The Surprise – Life is too short being an oddball! Authors Zadie Smith and Nick Laird want to introduce you to Maud. This guinea pig is a new pet in a pet friendly family, but Maud is a bit of an oddball. Will Maud change to be accepted into her new family or will she embrace who she is and learn to love life from her own eyes?

The Surprise Book Review

It is the lovely Kit’s birthday and her present was a sweet surprise, a guinea pig! However, to Kit’s surprise, her guinea pig was dressed in a Gi which is worn in Judo. When Kit leaves for school, she is surrounded by the other fur babies of the house, including a pug, cat and bird. They don’t know what to make of the guinea pig, and ask if she is an “oddball.”

In a life of schedules, The Surprise tries to make herself like the other animals but it does not go over well. It was not until she meets neighbor Emily when things start to CHANGE. We get away from schedules and labelling and move quickly towards being yourself. That is the best surprise.

The Lessons

When you learn, whether you are a child or in adulthood, to rest, walk and breathe in your own true self, this surprise becomes a most welcomed gift into your life. Others will learn to accept you and those who don’t, you will not allow into your life. Maud the guinea pig teaches your child to be comfortable in your own skin and it is a nice reminder for adults too.

Illustrator Magenta Fox gives strong pictures that your children will feel like they are apart of Kit’s family. Our authors tell a story that is relatable to all ages and will get your children to think about being their authentic selves and accepting others who are authentically themselves.

Extra Credit

Have your children draw a pet they have or a pet that they would like. Tell your child to give them attributes that make them unique! Do they love Judo like Maud? Is their rabbit an avid reader? Or maybe a pet snake who loves to ski. See what they come up with and don’t be surprised if some of their favorite things to see and do are emulated in their pet passion project!

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