Sometimes, plans change or things go a little bit wrong. What happens then? Change can be fun and exciting! But, it can also be scary or make us sad or angry.
From everyday changes all children face — like adjusting to a new babysitter or routine — to big life changes — like a new sibling, a move or loss of a loved one — you can help your little ones by understanding their needs, setting aside time to have hearts-to-hearts about these changes and offering your encouragement and support. Check out a few great books below that can help start the conversation.
“Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin
Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So, if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. But what happens if you accidentally give them spicy salsa? You might find yourself in red-hot trouble!
“The Cow Who Climbed a Tree” by Gemma Merino
Tina the cow believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible! But her three sisters aren't convinced. When Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her and, soon, to discover a world of surprises!
“Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” by Kevin Henkes
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and, then, to remorse as she sets out to make amends.
“Mean Soup” by Betsy Everett
After a horrible day at school and a rough ride home, Horace is in a foul mood. When his mother cheerfully suggests cooking up some soup, the frazzled boy resists — until he's called upon to add some very special ingredients.
“Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick D. Barnes
“You came in as a lump of clay, a blank, canvas, a slab of marble. But when my man is done with you, they’ll want to post you up in a museum!” What could cause this kind of transformation? Nothing but a “fresh cut.”
“Maybe Something Beautiful” by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, “Maybe Something Beautiful” reveals how art can inspire transformation — and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big.
“Sofia Valdez, Future Prez” by Andrea Beaty
Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia (aka Sofi) misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.
“Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend” by Cori Doerr
Change and transitions are hard, but “Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!” demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles, and much more. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away.
“Little Home Bird” by Jo Empson
Little Bird loves everything about his home. He's surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must?
“Little Tree” by Loren Long
For little ones, for graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. This story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids.
“You and Me and Home Sweet Home” by George Ella Lyon
Sharonda is sleeping on her aunt's couch and wishing for the day when she a will have a home of her own to share with Mama when a miracle occurs! Her neighbors, church members and volunteers are joining forces and working to make a young girl's dream come true.
“Darcy and Gran Don’t Like Babies” by Jane Cutler
Young Darcy doesn’t like her new baby brother, especially the way he monopolizes her parents’ time and attention. She confides in several adults, but nobody takes her seriously — until Gran comes to visit and matter-of-factly tells Darcy that she has never liked babies either.
“Granddad’s Island” by Benji Davies
“Grandad's Island” celebrates a close grandfather-grandson relationship with warmth and style. Whether it's read as a picture book about love, loss or just missing someone who isn't around anymore, it's a charmer.