Caroline Cook is a journalist, children’s book reviewer and a Bright Horizons parent! This month Caroline shares with us five brilliant books to help little ones who are experiencing change…
Whether it’s moving house, starting a new school or adapting to a new family structure, change can be really difficult for our little ones to process. Reading books together can be a useful way of starting conversations and encouraging children to talk about how they are feeling during periods of change.
1. Afraid of the Dark by Isabel Otter, Sarah Shaffi and Lucy Farfort.
Published by Little Tiger, 2020.
When a little girl, her dad and her dog, Pickle, move into their new house, she isn’t so sure about it and thinks she sees shadowy monsters on the walls at night. After a trip to the library, the discovery of new friends and a surprise from Dad, things slowly begin to feel better. This is a heart-warming book which feels like wrapping a warm, cosy blanket around yourself and your little one.
2. Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys.
Published by Scribble, 2018.
Written in beautiful rhyming verse and illustrated with a purple and orange colour palette, this story begins by telling your child that there is an umbrella of love in the sky which shows them you are thinking of them wherever they might be. No matter what the situation (broken toys, a new home, lost teeth, toilet accidents), they are always under that love umbrella.
3. Love by Corrinne Averiss.
Published by Quarto Kids, 2021.
At home, Tess is surrounded by love, but when she has to start school she's worried she won't feel that love any more. Her mum reassures her, by telling her how love is like a string which connects them wherever they are. Throughout the school day, new strings begin to connect Tess to others, and as home time arrives she looks for the string which connects her back to mum.
4. The Dinosaur Who Lost Her Voice by Julie Ballard and Francesca Gambatesa.
Published by Egmont, 2019.
Milly Jo is a dinosaur who loves to sing, but when an accident causes her to lose her voice she has to adapt to this unexpected change. Milly Jo comes up with a brilliant idea - she’ll teach the other dinosaurs to sing instead! An uplifting book which would help any child learning to adapt after the loss of an ability, or who has experienced a big change.
5. The Year We Muddled Through by Lauren Fennemore and Zoe Damoulakis.
Published by Owlet Press, 2020.
A beautiful book which looks back at the year the world was turned upside down and everyone had to adapt to a new way of life. Written as a poem to Lauren Fennemore’s baby who was born during the pandemic, it looks at how the unexpected changes gave the opportunity for nature to flourish, rainbows to brighten homes, and for people to appreciate different things.