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Surprise

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  140 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The anticipation, joy, challenges and rewards of parenthood, captured by Happy artist Mies van Hout.

From longing and expecting, via marvelling and nursing, to listening and eventually letting go – Mies van Hout has created a picture book that will conjure a lasting smile on the face of every parent and parent-to-be.

Just as fish expressed the emotions of Happy and monsters
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Lemniscaat USA
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Nyctea
Desiderare.
Sperare.
Attendere.
Stupirsi.
Nutrire.
Confortare.
Accudire.
Pazientare.
Divertirsi.
Ascoltare.
Incoraggiare.
Lasciar andare.

In stupendi disegni e poche perfette parole, una tenerissima verità d'amore per tutte le mamme verso i loro piccoli.
Eva Kelly
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This one was O.K. It was about birds and words. The pictures looked like they were made on a chalkboard. Mama liked it more than me, so I'll say it was a good one because of her. But I thought it was just too scratchy and random.
Jennifer
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I seriously love this guy's books. If I had a kid I would make his illustrations the center of my nursery.
Viviane Elbee
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
We had a nest of baby birds in our backyard, so this was the perfect story to read to the kids. They could relate the different stages in this book to what we've seen with the baby birds in the nest.

It is about parenthood, from yearning for babies to letting them fly free.

The artwork is very different and interesting.

I wasn't really sure who the intended audience was. Since it is only one word per page, it is very quick to read - could even be read to babies. It has good vocabulary too, with wor
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Stacie
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books, science
Absolutely delightful book on mother/parenthood told in single word concepts and messily gorgeous illustrations. I do not know how Mies does it but these pictures perfectly and colorfully capture emotion. Amazing!!! Plus a child can learn a bit about the lifecycle of birds - art plus science!
Amy
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lovely little bird of a book. I imagine it prompts much art from children who love it.
Sharni
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1000-books
Simple but with startlingly colourful, evocative drawings
Miss Ryoko
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Perhaps it is because I am not a parent and never plan to be one I couldn't fully apprecaite this book. It is a book about the stages of motherhood from yearning all the way through to the cildren growing and letting them go. I will say, however, the illustrations were superb! It looks to me like Mie van Hout used chalk and oil pastels. What a great combination!
Maureen Milton
Verbs hand lettered in white oil crayon on richly colored paper detail the life cycle beginning with a parent “yearning” for a chick. Different birds, rendered in bright oil pastel on black paper, are “caring,” “cherishing,” “teasing,” and “listening,” and, at the end, eventually, “letting go.” Details decorating the letters of each gerund emphasize meaning; for instance, there are expectant eyes in the “o” and “p” and a yellow yolk at the center of the “g” in “hoping.” Exuberant magenta endpape ...more
Amy Forrester
Using just one word per page, this striking book looks at the many emotions of bird parenting from yearning for a baby bird, marveling at a newborn, comforting a crying little one, to finally letting that baby go. Originally published in The Netherlands, the illustrations, featuring vibrant colors and textured lines against black backgrounds, are the highlight of this gorgeous book. The concepts in this book are at times abstract, making it a great book for one-on-one discussions about emotions ...more
Barbara
It's pretty amazing how a bird can express so many human emotions so vividly. The author/illustrator takes an adult bird through all the stages of life, beginning with yearning all the way through the letting go part when the little bird is sent off on its own. I loved the illustration of the mother bird as she listens to her offspring. I was moved by the sentiments and the illustrations in this lovely book. Something tells me that many parents will be able to relate to this bird's experiences.
Venus
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this one-word-per-page picture book, Mies Van Hout creates a world of color of beauty. The simple idea of a bird dreaming of becoming a parent and the fruition of that dream is mesmerizingly simple and yet contrasts against the complex subjects of dreams, love, listening, and letting go. The oil pastels on the black canvas are striking and held the interest of my 2 year old nephew very well.

Review original posted here at Children's Atheneum.
Char Hight
First off, the illustrations are beautiful. Each picture could be its own artwork. This very simple picture book is very rich in vocabulary, more specifically verbs. For older children, this could be use to them how they can use one word to describe a picture. Words like yearning,comforting, cherishing, and more would be great to begin a unit on verbs. Grades K-2
Erin
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The vibrantly colored bird on the black cover caught my eye. The story of a bird mother is simply told, one descriptive word and one picture on each spread that tugged at my mama heartstrings. From yearning to letting go, all I kept thinking as I read was that I would love to give this to a new parent.
Amanda
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh, why do books like this choke me up unexpectedly? Yikes, must be the mommy in me...definitely would recommend this to all the mommies out there (but oh that last page--it's what our goal is and how we rear up our children to succeed and stand on their own as God wills them, but to let go of Madam will be so difficult).
Mary
This book has excellent pictures and is a touching story about children and the natural cycle of life with parents leading to independence. There are very few words, which makes it a good book to use to work on narrative skills and dialogic reading.
SAPL Christina
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiddos
Sweet. For parents...expecting through empty nesters.
Van Hout always delivers with her delightful illustrations.
Happy is still a favorite.
Heather
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, picture-books
I think you would either love or hate this author. I thought it was uber creative and brilliant
Jo
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-time, 2014
vocabulary, art, birds
Emily Scheinman
I love these illustrations
Stephanie
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the illustrations, colors and wording in this book. So simple, yet meaningful.
Gretchen
Very colorful and cute.
Brindi Michele
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
great for explaining emotions and bird themes
Jill
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book. I'm not sure if it would work very well in a storytime setting, however.
Edward Sullivan
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Stunning colors and single words describe the journey of bird parents and children. Beautiful and imaginative.
Kristin
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This children's illustrator is amazing. I will be getting all of these for my niece.
Pam  Page
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Beautiful book that would make a great gift for an expectant or new mom!
Diane
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Such a gorgeous use of color and simple text express the emotions of parenthood. Beautiful.
Lara
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Even if it is just a word a page, this book has a great vocabulary and it tells a story. The artwork is gorgeous, fun and funky. It's a nice change of pace.
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