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Disguise: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about disguise?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to disguise. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about disguise.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about disguise can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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The Witches
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG!

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

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If the Magic Fits
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Try on a little magic with this lighthearted fantasy adventure! For fans of the Land of Stories and the Descendants series. “A charming new fairy tale! Readers won’t want this adventure to end!” –Jessica Day George, New York Times bestselling author of Tuesdays at the Castle Inside an enchanted castle, there’s a closet–a closet with one hundred dresses that nobody ever wears. Dresses like those need a good trying-on, and Darling Dimple is just the girl to do it. When she tries on Dress Number Eleven, something unbelievable happens. She transforms into the castle’s Head Scrubber! It turns out that each dress can disguise her as someone else. And Darling is about to have an adventure that calls for a disguise or two . . . or a hundred.

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Toliver's Secret
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

When her grandfather is injured, 10-year-old Ellen Toliver replaces him on atop-secret patriotic mission. Disguised as a boy, she manages to smuggle amessage to General George Washington. “An unusually fine historical novel forthis age level.”– “Booklist. “

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Leviathan
Written by Scott Westerfeld & illustrated by Keith Thompson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With the Great War brewing, Alek’s and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

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Alien Superstar
Written by Henry Winkler & illustrated by Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

No one is shocked by the six-eyed alien strolling around the Universal back lot. The tourists just think he’s part of the show. It doesn’t take long for Buddy to land a role on a popular TV show, playing (of course) an alien. He becomes an overnight heartthrob and is suddenly faced with legions of adoring fans, rides in glamorous limos, and appearances at “all-the-shrimp-you-can-eat” red carpet parties. But can Buddy maintain his secret identity while in the spotlight?

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  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy - Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl, And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life–if only she doesn’t get caught. . . .

  • The Princess in Black - Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black! Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret –she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

  • Princess in Disguise - With the help of family and friends, Annie and Liam’s wedding day looks as if it’s going to be perfect until everything starts to go wrong. Liam’s father doesn’t show up, nor do the magic-wielding guests. Members of the wedding party come down with strange afflictions, Annie’s gown is ruined, a storm floods the castle grounds, and an unknown king lays seige to the castle. Queen Karolina decides that they need the help of her fairy godmother, Moonbeam, but a pea-soup fog keeps the messengers from leaving. Only Annie and Liam can get past the magical fog to find Moonbeam, but even after they find her, it’s up to them to discover who cast the spells that ruined the wedding, and why the unknown king wants to conquer Treecrest.

  • Delivery Bear - Zogby wants to work for Fluffy Tail Cookies as a delivery animal—but he’s a bear and all the other animals are cute bunnies. Zogby tries to pretend to be a bunny by wearing bunny ears, putting on whiskers, and adding a fluffy tail. But he still scares the customers! When Zogby realizes being himself is best, can he find a way to stand out and get the job?

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Fourteen Animals (That Are Definitely Not an Octopus)
Written & illustrated by Gabriel Pyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

In this hilarious book of animals, artist Gabe Pyle presents sixteen beloved animals who are definitely not an octopus—or are they? Observant youngsters will love uncovering each octopus cleverly disguised in 16 animals’ shapes. Based on the immensely popular threadless t-shirt, 16 Animals (that Definitely Aren’t an Octopus) is a fresh, witty romp through the animal kingdom that even adults will find hard to resist.

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Breadwinner (Anniversary)
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

The first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families, and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father – a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed – works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner. The 15th anniversary edition includes a special foreword by Deborah Ellis as well as a new map, an updated author’s note, and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.

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Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
Written by Sean Taylor & illustrated by Jean Jullien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Watch out! Hoot Owl is hungry in an offbeat story with deadpan humor and bold, striking illustrations. Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl. He is a master of disguise! In the blackness of night, he’s preparing to swoop on his prey before it can realize his dastardly tricks. Look there–a tasty rabbit for him to eat! Hoot Owl readies his costume, disguising himself as . . . a carrot! Then he waits. The rabbit runs off. Never mind! Surely his next juicy target will cower against such a clever and dangerous creature as he! Kids will hoot at Sean Taylor’s deliciously tongue-in-beak narration, belied by the brilliantly comical illustrations of Jean Jullien.

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The Thirteenth Pearl
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy is asked to locate a stolen pearl necklace that is unusual and very valuable. She soon learns that strange and dangerous people are responsible for the theft. They harass her at home and intensify it when she and her father go to Japan, until they finally manage to kidnap Nancy and her friend Ned Nickerson when she returns to River Heights.

Through clever sleuthing, Nancy is able to penetrate the rites of an amazing group of pearl worshippers, some of whose members are far from devout, and she uncovers underhanded dealings of certain employees of World Wide Gems, Inc., a tremendous international jewelry company. Readers will love accompanying Nancy, disguised as a Japanese girl, in this adventure in Tokyo.

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Masquerade Party
Written by Giuliano Ferri
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Masks disguise and surprise in this playful lift-the-flap board book by Giuliani Ferri, the creator of Brick by Brick At the masquerade party you never know who you’re going to find. Who’s behind that pirate’s mask? Who’s under that knight’s helmet? In this playful lift-the-flap board book, children will love discovering the animals under- neath, and the alliterative text will give them lots of fun new words to learn. Here is another wonderfully surprising board book from a master of the form, Giuliano Ferri.

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  • The Adventures of Honey & Leon - Actor and New York Times bestselling author Alan Cumming and artist Grant Shaffer imagine what their dogs do when they’re not around–and it’s no surprise that the dogs aspire to lead lives as action-packed and glamorous as their dads’! Honey and Leon are rescue mutts who love their dads very much. But their dads often have to go away on glamorous and important business, which worries the dogs. Honey and Leon are done staying home and fretting–they’re off on a dad-protecting adventure! Careful to remain incognito, the two pups shadow their dads on a trip across the sea, keeping them out of danger at every turn! How did they survive without Honey and Leon’s protection for this long?! Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer wrote this story as a tribute to their own dogs, based on their frequent conversations about what Honey and Leon get up to while they’re away.

  • The New Friend Fix - One Day at a Time meets Mindy Kim in this second book in a charming new chapter book series about Catalina Castaneda, a Mexican American girl with a magical sewing kit who tries to befriend the new girl at school. Catalina is excited to find out a new student, Esmeralda, has joined her third-grade class at Valle Grande Elementary School. But despite Catalina’s attempts to introduce herself, Esme won’t talk to anyone but her own cousin, Jazmín. Could Jazmín be keeping Esme from making new friends? According to Catalina’s frenemy Pablo, it’s just like what happened to the secret princess in the telenovela hit The Hidden Crown! With Tía Abuela’s magical sewing kit, Catalina sets out to create a disguise to unravel the mystery.

  • Catalina Incognito - One Day at a Time meets Mindy Kim in this first book in a charming new chapter book series about Catalina Castaneda, a Mexican American girl with a magical sewing kit! Catalina Castaneda is not persnickety, even though that’s what her parents and sister, Coco, like to think. Catalina just likes things the way she likes them–perfect. That’s why it’s very hard to hide her disappointment when her glamorous Tía Abuela, a famous telenovela actress, gives her an old sewing kit for her eighth birthday. However, Catalina soon discovers the sewing kit isn’t as boring as she thinks–it’s magic, turning ordinary clothing into magical disguises. When Tía Abuela’s most famous costume has rhinestones stolen from it where it’s being displayed at the local library, Catalina gets to work on creating the perfect disfraz (disguise) to track down the thief. But, as Tía Abuela warned her, the magic is only as strong as her stiches, and Catalina doesn’t always have the patience for practice…

  • A New Planet - In the eighth book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris and Roxy have stowed away aboard Zeke’s spaceship and are flying to his home planet of Tragas! Harris and Roxy have hidden away on Zeke’s family’s spaceship and are headed to Tragas! Zeke’s parents freak out when they discover the kids aboard, but they’ve come too far to turn back. So that gives Harris and Roxy two whole days to explore the alien planet with Zeke while the ship refuels before they all have to fly back to Earth. But, much like Zeke had to on Earth, they have to blend in. Will they be able to hide the fact that they’re the aliens on this new planet?

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Honey & Leon Take the High Road
Written by Alan Cumming & illustrated by Grant Shaffer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer’s world-traveling dogs are back… and off to Scotland! When Honey falls in love with a handsome Scottish pup, will Leon be able to protect their dads on his own?

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Gorillas in Our Midst
Written by Richard Fairgray & illustrated by Terry Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Gorillas can be hard to spot, because they are masters of disguise and really good at hiding. Gorillas often have jobs where they get to wear masks—that’s why so many gorillas are surgeons, astronauts, scuba divers, and ninjas. There are adult gorillas and kid gorillas. There are even gorillas that go to school with you. You may think you’ve seen a gorilla swinging by before, but it’s much more likely that he was an orangutan—orangutans are terrible at hiding. You will know when there are lots of gorillas living in your midst because the grocery stores will be entirely out of bananas. In fact, you should always carry a banana with you, because you never know when there might be a gorilla around.

Gorillas in Our Midst is all silliness and fun, and is destined to become a new favorite. Comic artist Richard Fairgray’s illustrations are filled with wonderful details for kids to discover with each read. Kids will love spotting the gorillas on each page and are sure to laugh out loud at the gorillas’ many disguises. And, of course, a story like this can’t end without a surprising twist!

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