Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to transitions. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about transitions.
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.
When it comes to children’s stories about transitions, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear to popular sellers like Hatchet to some of our favorite hidden gems like House for Hermit Crab.
We hope this list of kids books about transitions can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Alexander, who's not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to move - The rest of Alexander’s family is moving a thousand miles away, but there’s NO way Alexander is going to leave his best friend, his favorite babysitter, or all the places and people he’s known all his life. Even if he has to live in a tree house or a tent or a cave!
Boomer's Big Day - Moving day proves confusing for Boomer, a golden retriever, until he at last explores his new home and finds his own favorite and familiar things.
The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day - The Bear family decides it is time to move to a larger house.
A Piece of Home - -
All of Me - Ari has body-image issues. After a move across the country, his parents work selling and promoting his mother’s paintings and sculptures. Ari’s bohemian mother needs space to create, and his father is gone for long stretches of time on “sales” trips. Meanwhile, Ari makes new friends: Pick, the gamer; the artsy Jorge, and the troubled Lisa. He is also relentlessly bullied because he’s overweight, but he can’t tell his parents—they’re simply not around enough to listen. After an upsetting incident, Ari’s mom suggests he go on a diet, and she gives him a book to help. But the book—and the diet—can’t fix everything. As Ari faces the demise of his parents’ marriage, he also feels himself changing, both emotionally and physically. Here is a much-needed story about accepting the imperfect in oneself and in life.
Mama's Work Shoes - All about the adjustment a toddler makes when her mother returns to work, this humorous picture book takes on a big emotional milestone with a light hand. Perry knows all of Mama’s shoes. She knows that the zip-zup shoes are for skipping and swinging in the park. She knows that the pat-put shoes are for splishing and splashing in the rain. And she knows that no-shoes are for bath time and bedtime. But, one morning Mama puts on click-clack shoes, and Perry wonders what these new shoes are for. When Mama drops Perry at Nan’s house, and the click-clack shoes take Mama away for the whole day, Perry decides she hates these shoes! Perry later hides the click-clack shoes . . . and all of Mama’s shoes, just in case. Mama then explains that the click-clack shoes bring her to work in the morning, and they will also bring her home to Perry every single evening—clickety-clack fast!
Swim Or Sink - Although only in eighth grade Baxter Reilly is an important member of the Edgeview High School in Tempe, Arizona, and lately the pool has been his place of refuge from the stress of his parents’ separation—but now, between the pending divorce, his father’s miserable apartment, his mother’s new boyfriend, and the resentment and bullying from his older teammates, it is getting harder to focus on his role as the anchor of the 4 x 400 freestyle relay in the upcoming races.
Marshfield Dreams - The colorful boyhood of a popular author comes to life in this personal account Imagine learning from a nosy classmate that your mother is having yet another baby. To Ralph’s classmates, news of one more Fletcher baby is just “scuttlebutt.” But for Ralph, the oldest of nine, being part of a large family means more kids to join in the fun—from making tripods in the woods and “snicking” up the rug to raising chicks and even discovering a meteor (well, maybe). It doesn’t feel like there’s life beyond Marshfield, Massachusetts. Then one day Dad’s new job moves the family to Chicago, and there’s so much Ralph has to leave behind. In this humorous and captivating memoir, Ralph Fletcher traces the roots of his storytelling.
Two Homes - A young boy named Alex enjoys the homes of both of his parents who live apart but love Alex very much, in a comforting story about the reality of divorce. Reprint.
Knockout - Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He’s fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he’s always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. And when he finds out about a school with a killer boxing team and a free-study curriculum, it feels like he’s found a ticket to a new Levi. But how can he tell his mom about boxing? And how can he convince his family to set him free?
Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas - When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas. Juana’s life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can’t help wishing things would go back to the way they were before. When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change — like how much Mami loves her. Based on author-illustrator Juana Medina’s own childhood in Colombia, this joyful series is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.
Moving to the Neighborhood - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! A new family moves to town in this sweet board book based on a special episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Daniel Tiger is getting a new neighbor! Moving to a new neighborhood and starting at a new school can be scary, but with Daniel’s help, his new neighbor soon feels right at home. This sweet story is perfect for anyone who is moving to a new city, or for anyone who wants to be a good neighbor like Daniel! © 2018 The Fred Rogers Company
Always Mom, Forever Dad - Children whose parents no longer live together discover that although much has changed, and time spent with Mom is different than time spent with Dad, love is there no matter what.
Emily's Blue Period - After her parents get divorced, Emily finds comfort in making and learning about art.
My Family's Changing - This unusual picture book for younger children explores the issue of divorce. The author of this book is a psychotherapist and counselor and helps children to face their fears, worries and questions when their family is going through a break-up. A special feature, “What About You?” sidebars appear frequently with questions directed at the child reading the book. The questions encourage children to explore their own feeling about the situation. Full color illustrations throughout.
Anastasia Again! - Anastasia is hesitant to accept new surroundings when her family moves, but she soon learns moving means not only saying good-bye, but also making new friends.
Augustine - Moving all the way from the South Pole to the North Pole isn’t easy for the young penguin Augustine. Uprooted from her home, she misses her friends, her grandma and grandpa and her old bedroom. There are all kinds of unfamiliar faces at the North Pole, and everything looks strange and different. When it’s time to go to her new school, Augustine gets cold feet. But with the help of a few colored pencils and some inspiration from Picasso, this shy, artistic young penguin discovers a way to break the ice with her classmates and feel at home on the other end of the world.
The Kid in the Red Jacket - Howard Jeeter has moved across the country and his only friend is an annoying six-year-old girl. Of course, when you’re really lonely, you’ll be friends with anyone—almost.
The Alien Next Door 1: The New Kid - In the first book of the Alien Next Door series, an alien boy named Zeke tries to fit in and adjust to life on Earth, while a classmate, Harris, suspects that Zeke might not be quite what he claims to be. Zeke the alien is on his way to his first day of school, feeling down because he has to start over again on a new planet, as his scientist parents constantly move to wherever their research takes them. When he gets to school, no one seems to notice anything strange or different about him except Harris, a kid obsessed with science fiction and aliens. Harris sees Zeke doing extraordinary things but can’t convince anyone, least of all his best friend, Roxy, that Zeke might be an alien. Roxy just thinks Harris is jealous that she’s becoming friends with Zeke. But when Roxy invites Zeke over to Harris’s house, will Harris find a way to prove that he’s right?
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