You got to move it, move it
If your family is pulling up stakes, check out these books to help kids with the move.
By Valle Dwight
You’ve found a bigger house or gotten a great job in another town or decided to try cheaper pastures, so it’s time to pack the boxes and get a move on. But no matter the reason (or whether it’s across town or across the country), moving can be an uncertain and stressful time for everyone, especially your kids. They may have a range of fears about leaving behind their friends, school, or bedroom.
So before you stock up on bubble wrap, talk to your kids about the move. To help get the conversation started, here are some books that deal with all the issues and emotions relocating can stir up.
Toddler through kindergarten
By Anne Civardi, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright
UsBorne (2005), $4.99
This is one of the Usborne First Experiences books, and it takes a factual, positive approach to moving. For young kids who are wondering what to expect when they relocate, this is a nice, straightforward choice. You won’t find any value judgments (nothing about how much fun it is to make new friends or how hard it is to leave behind old ones), just a simple outline of what happens when you move.
Preschool through second grade
I Like Where I Am
By Jessica Harper, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
G. P. Putnam's Sons ( 2004), $14.39
“Cause I like my room and I like my school/And we live real close to a swimming pool/And my best friend lives around the block. /Why move to a place called Little Rock/ Anyway?"
This is a great, up-tempo book about a boy who is sad to be moving away from all the things he loves. The rhythm of the text holds throughout the book, making it a fun one to read out loud. The story follows a familiar arc, with the boy ultimately coming to appreciate the good things about his new home while still treasuring the old.
Mr. Rogers Moving
By Fred Rogers
G P Putnam (first edition, 1987), $7
Mr. Rogers is all about neighborhoods, so who better to turn to when you have to move out of one? Unlike other books on moving, this one isn’t a story but has a more direct approach — it explains the changes children might see when relocating (packing, the moving van, etc.) and addresses the emotions they may be feeling. Mr. Rogers points out the excitement about the new place and reassures kids that they can stay in touch with old friends by calling and writing letters (the book predates email!). And as always, he has words we can all live by: “Wherever you are, you’re still the same person.”