Skip to content

Kipper’s Birthday

kippers-birthday thumbMick Inkpen
Hodder Children’s Books
Age 3-5

Kipper is getting ready for his birthday and wants to invite his friends to a party. He makes invitations and a cake. The trouble is no one arrives on the right day and Kipper ends up eating all the cake himself. Luckily Kipper is eventually able to celebrate with his friends. This is a story about the excitement of birthdays to which children will relate. Kipper’s confusions over time provide lots to talk about.


Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud, pausing sometimes to talk about what is happening and what children think might happen next.

Talk about the story

Talk about how children think Kipper felt when his friends didn’t arrive. Why do children think  his friends come on the wrong day?
Kipper tries to spell all the words in his invitations and gets lots of them right or nearly right. You may want to talk about how important it is to have a go even when you are not sure how to spell every word.

Tell the story
Your child can tell you the story in their own words using the pictures to help them.

Watch the story

From kidzstorytime

Things to make and do

Have a toys’ birthday tea party
Children can choose a few toys to invite to a ‘birthday tea’ and perhaps wrap up some boxes for presents as well. Whose party will it be? Children might like to choose one toy to be the guest of honour.

Make party invitations
Print off copies of the invitation template, fold them in half and your child can fill them in with your help or on their own. They can draw and colour a picture on the front for each guest as well before delivering their invitations. You can also make the fold it yourself invitation.

Make a cake
Choose a favourite recipe and bake together. See here for rock cakes.

You can pile up the mixture in heaps (perhaps small ones rather than Kipper’s gigantic one!

Cooking together gives lots of opportunities for talk, counting, weighing and noticing how things change. The cakes can be served to the family or at the toy’s tea party.

Tell the time
Time is very important in the story. Using a clock or a watch with numbers, show children how to make the times in the story: twelve o’clock, one o’clock, two o’clock and five o’clock. Talk about what your child normally does at these times of the day.

Make a chart
Kipper gets in a muddle with ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’. Use the template and make a ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ chart. Your child can write what they did or plan to do in each section:  Yesterday I… today I ….tomorrow I …

Find out more

Read about more books by Mick Inkpen.

Other books by Mick Inkpen include:


Kipper’s Toybox

Penguin Small


The Blue Balloon

* Lullabyhullabaloo

* See more lovemybooks ideas