Life changes are tough when you are an adult, when you are a kid with no control they are tougher. Moving is exciting but scary, especially if you are going far. Here are some books that help kids facing a move themselves or who have had friends move away.
Goodbye House by Frank Asch focuses on that kids get a lot of security from the familiar and may need to say goodbye to it before feeling at ease about a move. Little Bear is moving to a new home but before he can jump into the moving truck to go to his new home he tells his parents that there is something he’s forgotten. As he goes through the empty rooms it turns out that he simply forgot to say goodbye. I generally have a low tolerance for sentimental things ( says the woman who was crying as she pulled out of the preschool on the last day of class…) and this book is very sentimental but there is a great reason for this and that’s closure.
The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain has been on my bookshelf as long as I have been able to read. I love this book and maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s because I remember connecting with Brother Bear as he stepped into the unknown. This is a great book and is especially powerful for children who are familiar with the characters. If a character they know has to move too, the unknown isn’t so scary. Don’t overlook this book just because it’s part of a character franchise.
My Best Friend Moved Away by Nancy Carlson was a huge hit with my son who is still sad about our neighbor moving at Christmas and knows we have an upcoming move as well. This book deals with children missing their friends, reminiscing about the friendship, and trying to deal with the heart-wrenching task of bonding with someone new. My 4.5-year-old followed the book well and even clued into my one and only issue. Which is that in the end, a new girl moves in to give the book a happy ending.
My issue is that it’s rare that in the end things will be that awesome. After reading, my son turned to me and said: “or maybe it won’t be a kid at all!” My complaint isn’t big in the grand scheme of things but if you are reading this to a child already vulnerable about losing a friend telling them that a new best friend will be coming with a moving truck is simply unfair. If it’s just a story the perfect ending is well, perfect!
A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn is a sequel to one of my favorite books “The Kissing Hand”. In this book, Chester, the little raccoon, has to leave his home. They move to another tree because his is being chopped down. This book really focuses on the feelings of fear of the unknown, the loss of security and the uncertainty that comes with moving. Feelings that even as a 34-year-old mom and veteran mover I am still facing! This is a great book. While you grab it, grab all the other books the library has by this author. You won’t regret it.
Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst brings our favorite angry kid Alexander back but this time he’s not threatening to move to Australia, he’s threatening never to move anywhere! I love this author and Alexander is one of my favorite book characters ever. Often, I have felt like him. I know I am not the only fan who is now reading him to the next generation. In this book, Alexander is adamant that he will not move. Unlike the rest of his family, he has no desire or intention to move. I liked this book, although it’s longer than maybe it should be. It touches on kids’ need to control things, especially when they have none. Glad my son seems to like Alexander as much as I do.