Best Children's Books About Trying new things

The Best 46 Books To Read With Your Child 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!

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.

Appleblossom the Possum book
#2
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.

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

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.

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?

Shark Nate-O book
#5
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 Cow Who Climbed a Tree book
#6
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
#7
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. Stacatto

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
#8
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
#9
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 Doll People book
#10
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.

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#11
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?

Green Eggs and Ham book
#12
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.

Dinnertime for Chickies book
#13
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.

The Pink Refrigerator book
#14
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.

Lily Wool book
#15
Lily Wool
Written and illustrated by Paula Vasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

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.

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do book
#16
The Thing Lou Couldn't Do
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An endearing story about a little girl who doesnÍt think she can. ñUp there! The tree can be our ship!î one of LouÍs friends exclaims when they decide to play pirates. ñUmmm ƒî responds Lou. Usually she loves adventures. But this is new. Lou has never climbed a tree before. And she knows she canÍt do it. She doesnÍt even want to try. But this adventure does look fun, and when all her excuses run out, Lou realizes the bravest adventurers are those who TRY. An inspiring lesson for anyone whoÍs ever avoided something hard.

Oakwing book
#17
Oakwing
Written and illustrated by EJ Clarke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

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.

Wemberly Worried book
#18
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.

Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan book
#19
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!

Walk On! book
#20
Walk On!
Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Tired of sitting on the floor all day long, a little baby makes his first attempts at standing up, taking a first step, and seeing the world from a different view.

Roller Coaster book
#21
Roller Coaster
Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Twelve people set aside their fears and ride a roller coaster, including one who has never done so before.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#22
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.

Bertie Wings It! book
#23
Bertie Wings It!
Written by Leslie Gorin and illustrated by Brendan Kearney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The illustrations and details in this book are so fun! Even though Bertie keeps being told he can't fly, in the end he learns to trust his instincts and not let what others think of him matter.

Bertie the birdie knows: he's ready to fly from the nest and into the sky. But whenever he's about to take wing, his fellow feathered friends squawk at him to STOP and follow their advice instead. But not one of these "experts"--the persuasive penguin, the emu, or the kiwi--has ever actually flown! Will Bertie learn to trust his own instincts . . . and soar?

Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts book
#24
Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts
Written by Dianne White and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

I Really Like Slop! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) book
#25
I Really Like Slop! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In I Really Like Slop!, Piggie invites Gerald to try her favorite food . . . slop. But Gerald is not so sure he's going to like it. At all.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.