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80+ Terrific Kids Books About Trying New Things

Updated Mar. 12, 2019

Trying new things can be scary, intimidating, exciting, fun, or all of the above! Whether your child is confident in stepping out of their comfort zone to try something new or not, these children's books will inspire and help little ones through many different adventures or challenges they may come across. Your little one is sure to connect with at least one of the characters and stories below and learn how trying new things can help us discover new talents, have fun, and be proud of ourselves!

Top 10 Trying New Things Books

Appleblossom the Possum book
#1
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

What a darling book! I love both the realistic aspects about possums as well as the entertaining scenarios the possums are involved in. Appleblossom ends up falling into a house and breaking one of the main possum rules--staying away from humans! Luckily, she has a great possum family and a kind human girl who help her out by stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things. The possums are great examples of being there for your family members and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to help those around you. I also learned quite a few fun things about possums!

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer book
#2
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Let's Go, Hugo! book
#3
Let's Go, Hugo!
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Let's Go, Hugo! is a fantastic picture book. Hugo, a bird who's comfortable living at ground level and scared of flying is pretty happy with his life. But he meets a friend, Lulu, who tells him that the Eiffel Tower is just a small flight away, and Hugo would love to see it. The illustrations are adorable, and the book has a fantastic message about being courageous and trying something new and scary. Hugo doesn't overcome his fear alone, and the book also highlights excellent friends, Iike Lulu, who show care and kindness to help Hugo overcome his fear.

Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Hugo is a bird that's afraid to fly. I love this story, because he faces his fears and ends up so happy once he's learned how to fly. I also love that he has such wonderful friends along the way that help him practice and help him through his nerves when he's scared. Sometimes it's helpful to have friends that can help you to overcome your fears. :) Plus, the illustrations in this story based in Paris are gorgeous!

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower -- or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#4
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree book
#5
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written and illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

First off, I love the illustrations in this book. It's so beautiful and adds so much to the story. I love that Tina didn't worry about what her sisters thought, she just kept doing what interested her. When her siblings finally venture out to find her and see that Tina was telling the truth, they end up trying some new things and end up having wonderful experiences together by having the attitude of saying yes!

Tina isn't like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren't convinced—and 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 discover a world of surprises!

What Do You Do with a Chance book
#6
What Do You Do with a Chance
Written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

I'm a huge fan of Kobi Yamada's and Mae Besom's books. I love their illustration style and how they take an abstract concept like taking a chance and present it in a friendly, approachable manner that's conducive to discussion. The story captures the feeling behind wanting to take chances when they come your way but also the worry associated with messing them up.

The award-winning creators of New York Times bestsellers What Do You Do With an Idea and What do You Do With a Problem return with a story of a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—then discovers that when you get brave, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen. In this story, a child is visited by his first chance―and not being sure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though the truth was that he still wanted to take one…

My Brave Year of Firsts book
#7
My Brave Year of Firsts
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While Frankie learns to ride a bike, tie her shoes, make new friends, try new foods, and work with her dad, she also learns that trying new things is how she grows--and that being brave enough to do so is what growing up is all about.

Edmund Unravels book
#8
Edmund Unravels
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Super cute and original! This book is particularly great as a gift for anyone leaving the nest and venturing a little farther from home than they have before, be that starting school for the first time, going away to summer camp or leaving for college. The illustrations are modern and bold and the message that adventuring is great, especially when you remember that you have a loving home to come back to is beautifully reassuring.

This delightful debut picture book celebrates both the joy of venturing into the unknown and the value of staying connected to loved ones back home. It stars a little ball of yarn who can’t resist the tug of adventure, the twists and turns of discovery, or the comfort of family and friends. Edmund is a ball of yarn and a ball of energy! From the time he could roll, he’s been bouncing down his front steps to explore, and his parents have always been right there to reel him in and roll him back up. But now that he’s bigger, Edmund is ready to discover the wonders of the world. Everything is new and exciting—but sometimes, even a little ball of yarn gets lonely, and there’s nothing better than the comfort of being around those he cares about.

The Pink Refrigerator book
#9
The Pink Refrigerator
Written and illustrated by Tim Egan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Dodsworth does as little work as he can, collecting items from a junkyard and placing them in his thrift store for sale, until he happens upon a pink refrigerator that spurs him to do much more with his life.

Shark Nate-O book
#10
Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie and illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is so fun, especially for little shark lovers. Nate shows determination and perseverance as he learns how to swim. I also enjoyed all of the shark word play, and the illustrations are cute!

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he's a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can't swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

Books About Facing Fears & Trying New Things

Let's Go, Hugo! book
#1
Let's Go, Hugo!
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Let's Go, Hugo! is a fantastic picture book. Hugo, a bird who's comfortable living at ground level and scared of flying is pretty happy with his life. But he meets a friend, Lulu, who tells him that the Eiffel Tower is just a small flight away, and Hugo would love to see it. The illustrations are adorable, and the book has a fantastic message about being courageous and trying something new and scary. Hugo doesn't overcome his fear alone, and the book also highlights excellent friends, Iike Lulu, who show care and kindness to help Hugo overcome his fear.

Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Hugo is a bird that's afraid to fly. I love this story, because he faces his fears and ends up so happy once he's learned how to fly. I also love that he has such wonderful friends along the way that help him practice and help him through his nerves when he's scared. Sometimes it's helpful to have friends that can help you to overcome your fears. :) Plus, the illustrations in this story based in Paris are gorgeous!

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower -- or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

Shark Nate-O book
#2
Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie and illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is so fun, especially for little shark lovers. Nate shows determination and perseverance as he learns how to swim. I also enjoyed all of the shark word play, and the illustrations are cute!

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he's a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can't swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

The Doll People book
#3
The Doll People
Written by Laura Godwin, Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This adventurous story is full of facing fears, some sleuthing, and problem solving. Even though the cover may cause some boys to think it's a "girl book," I think this book is such a fun gender neutral book! When Annabelle Doll finds out she might have a missing Aunt Doll somewhere in the house, she decides to face everyone's biggest fear: leaving the dollhouse. Not only does Annabelle end up facing her fear, but she rallies together the entire Doll family and inspires them to face their fears on the quest to find their missing family member. They have to face cats, breaking, getting around, and humans (among other things), but they show bravery, courage, and dedication in their goal.

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Oakwing - After Rowan is mysteriously transformed into a tiny fairy, she is thrust into a world of fairy clans and talking robins where, she discovers, her long-missing mother is also trapped.

  2. Wemberly Worried - The Goodfather - Wemberly Worried is a good addition to the library of any young reader who struggles with worrying. The book can help start a conversation about worrying needlessly and choosing to replace worry with hope and confidence, even when trying something new.

  3. Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts - There are many ways of letting go. With each goodbye, a new hello. From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next. Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life's milestones, both large and small.

  4. Wally Does Not Want a Haircut - Wally the sheep does not want to get the haircut he really needs, even after all the other farm animals get new hairdos, but when his shaggy wool gets him in trouble, he has no choice but to ask for a trim.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and facing fears?

How about books about facing fears?

Books About Animals & Trying New Things

Appleblossom the Possum book
#1
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

What a darling book! I love both the realistic aspects about possums as well as the entertaining scenarios the possums are involved in. Appleblossom ends up falling into a house and breaking one of the main possum rules--staying away from humans! Luckily, she has a great possum family and a kind human girl who help her out by stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things. The possums are great examples of being there for your family members and pushing out of your comfort zone in order to help those around you. I also learned quite a few fun things about possums!

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#2
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan book
#3
Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell and illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam the Man needs a job. Even his sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns! But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a walk. But it turns out that getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. AND a dollar a pop isn’t going to cut it. So when Mrs. Kerner, another neighbor, asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, Sam jumps on the task. You can count on him, yes indeed. Watching chickens is more fun than he expects, and comes with an added bonus: it turns out that visiting the chickens is the one thing that can coax Mr. Stockfish out of the house! But what does a seven-year-old do with all the money he’s earning? It’s too little for a bike, and too much for candy. But wait! It’s just enough for a chicken of his own—the kind that lays BLUE eggs! Soon he has a whole waiting list of kids who want to buy a blue egg. And what does Sam plan on doing with his new fortune? Buy Mr. Stockfish his own chicken, of course!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Froggy Learns to Swim - Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim! Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

  2. Pouch! - Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein’s delightful tale of a baby kangaroo’s first hops toward independence is perfect for board book audiences. Joey wants to go exploring, but at first he isn’t sure he’s ready to leave Mama’s safe, warm pouch. Touching on a universal childhood experience, this sweet tale celebrates trying new things.

  3. When Your Llama Needs a Haircut - When it’s picture day and you realize your llama needs a haircut, you’ll need a good comb and some luck! This charming and hilarious board book features one shaggy llama and a whole lot of hairstyles! Uh-oh. It’s picture day and someone's a mess! Does your llama need a haircut? After a hilarious shampoo, it’s time to decide which style would be best for your shaggy llama. A mohawk? Layers? Or how about a brand-new fur color? But be careful…or you just might end up with a haircut, too!

  4. My New Shoes - Get ready to buy some new shoes in this fun follow-up to My First Day, now available as a board book! My feet are growing. What great news! It's time to buy a pair of shoes. In this simple introduction to buying a new pair of shoes, a little bear shops for shoes with his dad. He gets his feet measured and imagines all the different sorts of shoes people buy, such as sneakers, high heels, rain boots, sandals, light-up shoes, even shoes that look like sharks! This follow-up to the well-received My First Day is filled with short, fun, and rhyming text with lots of rhythm and adorable animal characters to share in the experience.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Picky-eating & Trying New Things

Dinnertime for Chickies book
#1
Dinnertime for Chickies
Written and illustrated by Janee Trasler
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is perfect for any picky eaters! When the chicks refuse to eat things, once they try a bite, they actually love it! I like the fun rhymes and that some of the words are playful like the way little ones talk (chocolate chippy and treaties). :)

Wash your wings, and take a seat. What will these tiny chickies eat? With the help of Cow, Pig, and Sheep, soon the chickies learn to cheep, "Pass the carrots. Pass the peas. Pass those yummy broccolis!" With engaging rhymes, endearing illustrations, and a soft padded cover, this book is perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially those picky chickies.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#2
Green Eggs and Ham
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sam-I-Am tries to persuade his friend to try green eggs and ham.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#3
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bread and Jam for Frances - Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won't touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!

  2. How to Feed Your Parents - Who's feeding whom? Matilda Macaroni loves to try new foods! Unfortunately, her parents don't. They only like pizza delivered, burgers from a bag, and noodles from a box. What's a girl with adventurous tastes to do? The engaging heroine of this fun, twisted picture book manages to turn the tables on her finicky parents and teach them that dinner can be more than chicken nuggets. There's also a recipe for quiche that young cooks can try!

Want to see even more books about trying new things and picky-eating?

How about books about picky-eating?

Books About Food & Trying New Things

Dinnertime for Chickies book
#1
Dinnertime for Chickies
Written and illustrated by Janee Trasler
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is perfect for any picky eaters! When the chicks refuse to eat things, once they try a bite, they actually love it! I like the fun rhymes and that some of the words are playful like the way little ones talk (chocolate chippy and treaties). :)

Wash your wings, and take a seat. What will these tiny chickies eat? With the help of Cow, Pig, and Sheep, soon the chickies learn to cheep, "Pass the carrots. Pass the peas. Pass those yummy broccolis!" With engaging rhymes, endearing illustrations, and a soft padded cover, this book is perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially those picky chickies.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#2
Green Eggs and Ham
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sam-I-Am tries to persuade his friend to try green eggs and ham.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#3
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bread and Jam for Frances - Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won't touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!

  2. How to Feed Your Parents - Who's feeding whom? Matilda Macaroni loves to try new foods! Unfortunately, her parents don't. They only like pizza delivered, burgers from a bag, and noodles from a box. What's a girl with adventurous tastes to do? The engaging heroine of this fun, twisted picture book manages to turn the tables on her finicky parents and teach them that dinner can be more than chicken nuggets. There's also a recipe for quiche that young cooks can try!

  3. Spoonful! - Open wide—it's time to eat! Fussy babies may not be interested in food themselves, but they might want to share a spoonful with absolutely anyone else! There's a spoonful for Mommy, one for the fish, for the fly in the corner, even the lady in the picture. With bright, engaging illustrations, a die-cut open mouth to feed, and just enough silliness, this fun board book is bound to make dinner entertaining for your stubborn baby. Hooray—you ate it all!

  4. Black Belt Bunny - From the author of the bestselling Ladybug Girl series, this hilarious, empowering picture book about a little black-belt who faces a new challenge is perfect for fans of The Three Ninja Pigs, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, and I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato Black Belt Bunny is fast and strong and has seriously awesome moves—from front-kicks to back-flips to air-chops. Then he’s faced with something new, something every bunny must learn, something he might not be as good at: He has to make . . . a salad. Black Belt Bunny tries to escape. He even disguises himself with a fake mustache. But when he finally hops to it, he discovers that his seriously awesome moves come in pretty handy, and that—in a funny twist that puts the narrator in the hot seat—he isn’t the only one who has to try new things.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and food?

How about books about food?

Books About Bravery & Trying New Things

This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer book
#1
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Let's Go, Hugo! book
#2
Let's Go, Hugo!
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Let's Go, Hugo! is a fantastic picture book. Hugo, a bird who's comfortable living at ground level and scared of flying is pretty happy with his life. But he meets a friend, Lulu, who tells him that the Eiffel Tower is just a small flight away, and Hugo would love to see it. The illustrations are adorable, and the book has a fantastic message about being courageous and trying something new and scary. Hugo doesn't overcome his fear alone, and the book also highlights excellent friends, Iike Lulu, who show care and kindness to help Hugo overcome his fear.

Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Hugo is a bird that's afraid to fly. I love this story, because he faces his fears and ends up so happy once he's learned how to fly. I also love that he has such wonderful friends along the way that help him practice and help him through his nerves when he's scared. Sometimes it's helpful to have friends that can help you to overcome your fears. :) Plus, the illustrations in this story based in Paris are gorgeous!

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower -- or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

What Do You Do with a Chance book
#3
What Do You Do with a Chance
Written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

I'm a huge fan of Kobi Yamada's and Mae Besom's books. I love their illustration style and how they take an abstract concept like taking a chance and present it in a friendly, approachable manner that's conducive to discussion. The story captures the feeling behind wanting to take chances when they come your way but also the worry associated with messing them up.

The award-winning creators of New York Times bestsellers What Do You Do With an Idea and What do You Do With a Problem return with a story of a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter—then discovers that when you get brave, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen. In this story, a child is visited by his first chance―and not being sure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though the truth was that he still wanted to take one…

Honorable Mentions
  1. Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts - There are many ways of letting go. With each goodbye, a new hello. From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next. Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life's milestones, both large and small.

  2. No Place Like Home - Having to move a lot because of her father's job, Kenzie is happy when an extended assignment allows her to enroll in a Las Vegas middle school, where she takes risks by revealing her crush, auditioning for a play, and running for student council.

  3. Lena's Shoes Are Nervous - Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem... Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

  4. Splat the Cat - It's Splat's first day of school and he's worried. What if he doesn't make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat's worried again. Maybe now he'll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

Want to see even more books about trying new things and bravery?

How about books about bravery?

Books About Friendship & Trying New Things

Let's Go, Hugo! book
#1
Let's Go, Hugo!
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Let's Go, Hugo! is a fantastic picture book. Hugo, a bird who's comfortable living at ground level and scared of flying is pretty happy with his life. But he meets a friend, Lulu, who tells him that the Eiffel Tower is just a small flight away, and Hugo would love to see it. The illustrations are adorable, and the book has a fantastic message about being courageous and trying something new and scary. Hugo doesn't overcome his fear alone, and the book also highlights excellent friends, Iike Lulu, who show care and kindness to help Hugo overcome his fear.

Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Hugo is a bird that's afraid to fly. I love this story, because he faces his fears and ends up so happy once he's learned how to fly. I also love that he has such wonderful friends along the way that help him practice and help him through his nerves when he's scared. Sometimes it's helpful to have friends that can help you to overcome your fears. :) Plus, the illustrations in this story based in Paris are gorgeous!

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower -- or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#2
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching book
#3
Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching
Written by Laura Gehl, Joyce Wan and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Peep cannot wait for Egg to hatch so they can have fun together, but Egg is not quite ready.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Girls Who Code - Part how-to, part girl-empowerment, and all fun, from the leader of the movement championed by Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai, and John Legend. Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 40,000 girls across America. Now its founder, Reshma Saujani, wants to inspire you to be a girl who codes! Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, this graphically animated book shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be. No matter your interest—sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice—coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true. Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place.

  2. Just a Duck? - Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?

  3. Class Act - Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy rooting for Jada Jones as she runs for student council in this easy-to-read chapter book. As a candidate for class representative, Jada is ready to give the campaign her all. But when rumors start to fly about her secret fear of public speaking, she isn't sure who she can trust. And the pressure to make promises she can't keep only adds to her growing list of problems. Is winning even worth it when friendships are on the line? This easy-to-read story--with plenty of pictures and a charming, relatable cast of characters--is a sure winner. The early chapter book bridges between leveled readers and chapter books for fluent readers adjusting to the chapter book format. At about 5,000 words, with short chapters and two-color art on almost every page, it will appeal to this unique reader. The two-color art throughout will help readers transition from the familiar four-color art of leveled readers and ease them into black-and-white chapter books.

  4. Mr. Posey's New Glasses - In a charming tale of an elderly man and his obliging young friend, former poet laureate Ted Kooser and newcomer Daniel Duncan invite us to look at the world with fresh eyes. Mr. Posey is feeling gloomy. Everything seems dull. Maybe he needs new glasses? Perhaps a trip to the Cheer Up Thrift Shop with his energetic young neighbor, Andy, will help. But when the duo try on the glasses in the shop's barrel, they're in for a big surprise. One pair with stars for frames shows only constellations in a night sky. Round frames reveal a world all aswirl, while a heart-shaped pair makes everything pink. And as soon as Mr. Posey puts on the cat-eye framed glasses, fierce dogs start chasing him. No, thank you! But when Andy makes a simple observation, Mr. Posey's view opens to a whole new world -- and finally everything is brighter, different, and exciting.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and friendship?

How about books about friendship?

Books About Being Yourself & Trying New Things

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree book
#2
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written and illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

First off, I love the illustrations in this book. It's so beautiful and adds so much to the story. I love that Tina didn't worry about what her sisters thought, she just kept doing what interested her. When her siblings finally venture out to find her and see that Tina was telling the truth, they end up trying some new things and end up having wonderful experiences together by having the attitude of saying yes!

Tina isn't like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren't convinced—and 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 discover a world of surprises!

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#3
Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences. Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lily Wool - Mr. Staccato - Lily Wool is such a playful and inventive tale! I love the message of the story, that Lily Wool embraces her differences to find her unique voice and contribution among the members of her flock. As a business owner myself, I also love her resourcefulness in opening her seamstress shop!

  2. Ta-Da! - What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it's a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it's—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

  3. Just a Duck? - Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?

Want to see even more books about trying new things and being yourself?

How about books about being yourself?

Books About Being Different & Trying New Things

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree book
#1
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree
Written and illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

First off, I love the illustrations in this book. It's so beautiful and adds so much to the story. I love that Tina didn't worry about what her sisters thought, she just kept doing what interested her. When her siblings finally venture out to find her and see that Tina was telling the truth, they end up trying some new things and end up having wonderful experiences together by having the attitude of saying yes!

Tina isn't like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren't convinced—and 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 discover a world of surprises!

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#2
Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences. Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

Lily Wool book
#3
Lily Wool
Written and illustrated by Paula Vasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Lily Wool is such a playful and inventive tale! I love the message of the story, that Lily Wool embraces her differences to find her unique voice and contribution among the members of her flock. As a business owner myself, I also love her resourcefulness in opening her seamstress shop!

A little lamb with a great big imagination. A new picture book from Paula Vasquez filled with delightful illustrations depicting a little lamb intent on being true to herself. Lily Wool gets bored with all of the grazing and resting that the herd does and prefers to count stars and dream of adventures. When Lily finds a strand of loose wool, she lets her imagination run wild and has a grand time until she accidentally unravels a problem. Children will love seeing how Lily Wool puts her imagination and creativity to work to fix things, and how Lily discovers a way to help others while she finds her special place in the herd. Paula Vasquez,an avowed artist from childhood, studied graphic design at the Universidad Cat�lica de Chile, and honed her illustration skills with a post-graduate diploma from Finis Terrae University. She currently lives in Santiago de Chile writing and illustrating children's picture books.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Just a Duck? - Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?

  2. Elle of the Ball -

  3. A Dragon in the Family - Darek and Zantor work to convince everyone that dragons and humans can get along in this second book in the fantastical Dragonling chapter book series! Ever since Darek saved Zantor the dragonling, they’ve been inseparable. Darek is the only family Zantor has ever known. But now Darek is bringing Zantor home from the Valley of the Dragons, and the villagers are up in arms! He and his brother Clep are called traitors. Their best friends are turning against them. Even Darek’s father has been threatened for allowing the enemy in their midst. How can Darek prove that dragons are good neighbors to the villagers?

Want to see even more books about trying new things and being different?

How about books about being different?

Books About Making Friends & Trying New Things

Wemberly Worried book
#1
Wemberly Worried
Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Wemberly Worried is a good addition to the library of any young reader who struggles with worrying. The book can help start a conversation about worrying needlessly and choosing to replace worry with hope and confidence, even when trying something new.

Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

Train! book
#2
Train!
Written and illustrated by Judi Abbot
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

My two year old absolutely adores this book, and it's quite adorable to watch him "read" it himself after having memorized the words from us having read it together so many times. It teaches a sweet little lesson about trying new things and having it not always be about our personal preferences. That being said... it's a little grating to read too many times in a row.

A train-loving baby elephant is excited to go on a real train, but when the other baby animals want to play with different vehicles, he becomes upset, until he tries some of the other toys for himself.

Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching book
#3
Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching
Written by Laura Gehl, Joyce Wan and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Peep cannot wait for Egg to hatch so they can have fun together, but Egg is not quite ready.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My First Day - Get ready for the first day of school with this sweet, reassuring board book. Follow one little boy as he experiences all the firsts a first day of school brings, from his first story to his first friend. When it's time to leave, he can't wait for another day at school!

  2. My Cousin Momo - Momo is coming to visit, and his cousins are SO excited! But even though Momo is a flying squirrel, he won’t fly for his cousin’s friends. Plus, his games are weird. He can’t even play hide and seek right! But when Momo’s cousins give his strange ways a chance, they realize that doing things differently can be fun…almost as much fun as making a new friend.

  3. Ogilvy - The clothes don't make the bunny in this new picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Underwood, illustrated by T. L. McBeth. When Ogilvy moves to a new town, the possibilities feel endless. There are so many new bunny friends and fun things to do together! But in this town, bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks. Ogilvy wants to do everything—and won't let a sweater or a dress get in the way.

  4. How Do You Do? - Water Buffalo and Crane's field is dry, empty, and hot--so hot that they can barely think of anything else. Every day is the same . . . Until one day, they hear something new. "How do you do?" When Goat dances into their lives, Water Buffalo and Crane can't help but join in. Suddenly their field doesn't seem dry, empty, and hot at all. Even after Goat dances away, their world is no longer so small. This beautiful story about widening your horizons and making new friends, brought to life with stunning illustrations by Gianna Marino, shows how all it takes is one special friend to change your world.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and making friends?

How about books about making friends?

Books About Dads & Trying New Things

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan book
#2
Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell and illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam the Man needs a job. Even his sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns! But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a walk. But it turns out that getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. AND a dollar a pop isn’t going to cut it. So when Mrs. Kerner, another neighbor, asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, Sam jumps on the task. You can count on him, yes indeed. Watching chickens is more fun than he expects, and comes with an added bonus: it turns out that visiting the chickens is the one thing that can coax Mr. Stockfish out of the house! But what does a seven-year-old do with all the money he’s earning? It’s too little for a bike, and too much for candy. But wait! It’s just enough for a chicken of his own—the kind that lays BLUE eggs! Soon he has a whole waiting list of kids who want to buy a blue egg. And what does Sam plan on doing with his new fortune? Buy Mr. Stockfish his own chicken, of course!

My New Shoes book
#3
My New Shoes
Written by Leilani Sparrow and illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Get ready to buy some new shoes in this fun follow-up to My First Day, now available as a board book! My feet are growing. What great news! It's time to buy a pair of shoes. In this simple introduction to buying a new pair of shoes, a little bear shops for shoes with his dad. He gets his feet measured and imagines all the different sorts of shoes people buy, such as sneakers, high heels, rain boots, sandals, light-up shoes, even shoes that look like sharks! This follow-up to the well-received My First Day is filled with short, fun, and rhyming text with lots of rhythm and adorable animal characters to share in the experience.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lena's Shoes Are Nervous - Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem... Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

  2. Baby's Firsts - Told in rhyming text, the story traces the development of a baby from birth to his first birthday.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and dads?

How about books about dads?

Books About Swimming & Trying New Things

Shark Nate-O book
#1
Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie and illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is so fun, especially for little shark lovers. Nate shows determination and perseverance as he learns how to swim. I also enjoyed all of the shark word play, and the illustrations are cute!

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he's a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can't swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

Froggy Learns to Swim book
#2
Froggy Learns to Swim
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim! Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

Splish, Splash, Splat! book
#3
Splish, Splash, Splat!
Written by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splat does not want to have a playdate with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his candy fish! And he does not want to learn how to swim—water is horrible, scary, and wet! He's sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And how can he help Spike to do the same?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Saturday Is Swimming Day - New things can be scary -- but as one endearing little girl discovers, it's perfectly fine to take your time. Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it's loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it's OK to sit by the edge if she doesn't want to get in the water this week. The next Saturday the girl has a stomachache again, but with Mary's gentle encouragement, she eventually manages to make it into the pool to practice her kicks. Little by little, the girl's confidence grows -- until one Saturday comes around when she has no stomachache at all! In a charming and relatable story about trying something new, author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shows that sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear.

  2. 1, 2, 3, Jump! - First swimming lessons can be exciting and terrifying, but this joyful and imaginative guide shows young readers how to conquer the pool. From what to wear (a bathing suit, of course!) to what to expect (no, your teacher will not be a mermaid), 3, 2, 1 Jump! covers the what if’s and how to’s of getting in the pool for the first time. There’s a lot to worry about (Can I be sucked into the filter?) and even more to be excited about (When can I wear flippers?), and our narrator has thought of everything. By the time she’s ready, you to will want to jump in!

Want to see even more books about trying new things and swimming?

How about books about swimming?

Books About Starting School & Trying New Things

Wemberly Worried book
#1
Wemberly Worried
Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Wemberly Worried is a good addition to the library of any young reader who struggles with worrying. The book can help start a conversation about worrying needlessly and choosing to replace worry with hope and confidence, even when trying something new.

Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

No Place Like Home book
#2
No Place Like Home
Written by Dee Romito
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Having to move a lot because of her father's job, Kenzie is happy when an extended assignment allows her to enroll in a Las Vegas middle school, where she takes risks by revealing her crush, auditioning for a play, and running for student council.

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous book
#3
Lena's Shoes Are Nervous
Written by Keith Calabrese and illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem... Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Froggy Goes to School - Froggy’s mother knows that everyone’s nervous on the first day of school. “Not me!” says Froggy, and together they leapfrog to the bus stop — flop flop flop. Froggy’s exuberant antics will delight his many fans and reassure them that school can be fun.

  2. Splat the Cat - It's Splat's first day of school and he's worried. What if he doesn't make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat's worried again. Maybe now he'll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

  3. Fairy's First Day of School - In this humorous and reassuring picture book from the author of Mustache Baby, a sweet fairy has a fun-filled first day at school. Her experience is remarkably similar to the first day of preschool for human children. From circle time (sitting crisscross berry sauce) to center time (art, spells, tooth), all the activities one might encounter at school are explored, with sweet fairy-like touches. Best of all is the kind, warm teacher and plenty of new friends. The perfect story to ease fears and build anticipation for any child—human or fairy—starting school for the first time.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and starting school?

How about books about starting school?

Books About Growing Up & Trying New Things

Sometimes You Fly book
#1
Sometimes You Fly
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This gorgeous gift book, equally perfect for preschool graduations or college commencements, baby showers or birthdays, is an inspirational tribute to the universal struggles and achievements of childhood. Beginning with a first birthday, the scenes travel through childhood triumphs and milestones, coming full circle to graduation. A magical blend of succinct text and beautiful watercolors renders each moment with tenderness and humor and encourages readers to “remember then, with every try, sometimes you fail . . . sometimes you fly.”

Bye-Bye Binky book
#2
Bye-Bye Binky
Written and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Babies use a binky. Do big kids? No! Big kids say, "Bye-bye, binky!" Every child's life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

Big Girl Panties book
#3
Big Girl Panties
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Valeria Petrone
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Follows a young girl as she celebrates wearing underwear instead of diapers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lola Dutch When I Grow Up - Lola Dutch is always bursting with grand ideas--so of course she has many ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up! She could be a magnificent performer . . . or a daring inventor . . . or a brilliant botanist . . . there are exciting ideas all around! But Lola is too excited--she wants to try EVERYTHING. How will she ever decide what she is destined to become? The curious and creative Lola Dutch is inspired to imagine every way to explore the wonder of her world. And she doesn't have to wait until she grows up! Inspired by their own four gorgeously creative children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to continue this fun series about the unstoppable Lola Dutch, a larger-than-life character perfect for fans of Olivia and Fancy Nancy.

  2. Baby Penguin's First Waddles - What happens after a baby penguin emerges from her egg? Follow her journey and find out! Meet a penguin chick and see how she grows. Developed in tandem with the American Museum of Natural History, and featuring stunning photography in the penguin's Antarctic home, this nonfiction picture book captures the first few months of a baby penguin's life and her transformation into adulthood. With fun and engaging text, Baby Penguin's First Waddles is sure to delight animal-loving kids.

  3. I Use The Potty - Babies wear diapers. Do big kids? No! Big kids use the potty! Every child's life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

  4. Katie's New Shoes - When Katie outgrows her shoes, she and her friends JoJo and Pedro go to the shoe store with their mothers.

Want to see even more books about trying new things and growing up?

How about books about growing up?

Books About Shoes & Trying New Things

My New Shoes book
#1
My New Shoes
Written by Leilani Sparrow and illustrated by Dan Taylor
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Get ready to buy some new shoes in this fun follow-up to My First Day, now available as a board book! My feet are growing. What great news! It's time to buy a pair of shoes. In this simple introduction to buying a new pair of shoes, a little bear shops for shoes with his dad. He gets his feet measured and imagines all the different sorts of shoes people buy, such as sneakers, high heels, rain boots, sandals, light-up shoes, even shoes that look like sharks! This follow-up to the well-received My First Day is filled with short, fun, and rhyming text with lots of rhythm and adorable animal characters to share in the experience.

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous book
#2
Lena's Shoes Are Nervous
Written by Keith Calabrese and illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem... Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

Katie's New Shoes book
#3
Katie's New Shoes
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When Katie outgrows her shoes, she and her friends JoJo and Pedro go to the shoe store with their mothers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes - Juno Valentine’s favorite shoes don’t light up. They don’t have wheels. They are, to be perfectly honest, the tiniest bit boring. But they’re still her favorite muddy-puddle-jumping, everyday-is-an-adventure shoes. One day, when they go missing, Juno discovers something amazing: a magical room filled with every kind of shoe she could possibly imagine! Juno embarks on an epic journey through time and space, stepping into the shoes of female icons from Frida Kahlo and Cleopatra to Lady Gaga and Serena Williams. Each pair of shoes Juno tries brings a brand new adventure—and a step towards understanding that her very own shoes might be the best shoes of all. Parents and children alike will adore Instagram superstar Eva Chen's precocious debut picture book—a story that’s equal parts fashion fairy-tale and guide to girl power—and fall in love with the brilliantly spirited Juno Valentine.

  2. Do You Like These Boots? - Ladybug Girl has outgrown her favorite pair of boots! So her mom takes her to the shoe store to buy another pair. Children will learn their colors with Ladybug Girl as she tries on new boots–until she finds the perfect pair!

Want to see even more books about trying new things and shoes?

How about books about shoes?