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Alfie and the Birthday Surprise

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Birthday parties always make people happy, and after losing his beloved old cat, Alfie's neighbor, Mr. MacNally, really does need cheering up. Alfie thinks a party might be just the thing, and there's an extra special surprise in store for Mr. MacNally. Full color. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 19th 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 4th 1997)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  188 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Amanda Corboy
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Alfie’s neighbours, the MacNallys, have a cat named Smoky who sadly dies. Bob MacNally is very upset, so to cheer him up Alfie suggests throwing Bob a surprise party for his upcoming birthday. The surprise goes well and Bob is happy with his presents and cake, especially when his daughter buys him a new kitten.

I enjoyed this book as it tackles a difficult subject sensitively. It shows Alfie being kind and considerate, thinking about how to cheer someone up. It is well illustrated so it would wor
Charity Yost Reed
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This book addresses the death of a pet, though nothing in the title warns of that. It was good for us because we had just lost a pet, but consider this your warning if you don't want to open a can of big questions. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Fitzgerald
This Alfie book seemed much more wordy than the others we have read, but my three-year-old happily listened to the whole story in one sitting. I like that this book handles the death of a pet in a positive way. Because it is the neighbor's pet, the child reader is a bit removed from the sadness, and Alfie is able to help comfort the neighbor by participating in a cheerful birthday surprise, which keeps the focus on the good that often arises from bad situations. I wouldn't necessarily recommend ...more
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love her illustrations.
2/2/21 Read with Naomi and Julia
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sweet, endearing story.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Hum, not quite what I was expecting based on the cute and festive cover. It's the story of the neighbor's old cat, how much the neighbor loves it, and how devastated he is when the cat dies. Even though he doesn't want to celebrate his birthday (which comes soon after the sad event), his wife and Alfie's family decide to surprise him with a party--and a new kitten.

While I think this story's heart is in the right place, and it shows the important message that there is always room in our hearts an
Rachael Vanderhoof
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Alfie and the Birthday Surprise is about a family surprising their dad with a new pet, after his beloved cat Smokie passes away from old age. This is a children's book that effectively addresses the issue of losing a pet, and touches the surface of understanding death and the process of grief. The illustrations are detailed and beautifully drawn. I would reccomend this book for grades 2-4, and may use it in the classroom as a silent read. ...more
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
makes me sniffle every time I read it
especially nice for anyone dealing with the loss of a favorite pet
lovely sense of community as Alfie's family plot with Bob McNally's family to surprise him with a new kitten
Shelby Royalty
I was a little surprised by this book. I don't think young children would enjoy the story since it revolves around a family pet dying. However, I enjoyed the story and could maybe find some way to use it. ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book as a child!! I met and had it signed by Shirley Hughes herself! This was one of my favourite stories but they are all lovely, simple, but beautifully told stories. I am keeping these to read to my children one day!
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I did like Alfie and the Birthday Surprise because of when Maureen brought Bob McNally a kitten.
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We have become Alfie and Annie Rose fans...we even pretend to be them. I have now found a stuffed lamb tied into a leftover container due to this book. Read Shirley Hughes and love her.
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
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May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Best childhood book about a birthday!
Cute as always, and with the added bonus of cats and cake!
Susie Turnbull
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Shirley Hughes is the illustrator of more than two hundred children’s books and has won many prestigious awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal twice. She is the author-illustrator of DON'T WANT TO GO! and OLLY AND ME 1 2 3. She lives in London. ...more

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