The Secret Birthday Message
A message in code starts a little boy off on an exciting treasure hunt through a dark cave, an underground tunnel, and more—until at the end he finds a happy surprise.
This classic picture book from the beloved Eric Carle can be shared as an enjoyable story. Preschoolers will be intrigued by the adventures and pleased by the puppy at the conclusion.
The Secret Birthday Message can also be used as a fun spring board for teaching some basic concepts. As Publishers Weeklynotes: The book introduces "pattern recognition, matching shapes, map-reading, and directional relationships in full-color pages that allow preschoolers to participate fully in the enticing adventure."
The nonprofit MathThroughStories organization recommends reading the book and then having "children hide a 'treasure' somewhere in the classroom and create their own map with directions for how to find the hidden treasure. Encourage the children to use geometric shapes to represent objects and furniture in the classroom. When the maps are finished, children give the map to another treasure hunter."
Other favorite classic books from Eric Carle include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug, From Head to Toe, and many others.