Best Kids Books About Trying new things

The Best 30 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!

Let's Go, Hugo! book
#1
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?

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 Cow Who Climbed a Tree book
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#7
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.

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#8
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?

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.

Lily Wool book
#10
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
#11
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.

Wemberly Worried book
#12
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.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#13
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.

Walk On! book
#14
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
#15
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.

Bertie Wings It! book
#16
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?

I Really Like Slop! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) book
#17
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.

Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts book
#18
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.

Froggy Learns to Swim book
#19
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!

Bread and Jam for Frances book
#20
Bread and Jam for Frances
Written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

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!

Wally Does Not Want a Haircut book
#21
Wally Does Not Want a Haircut
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Sometimes You Fly book
#22
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.”

Just a Duck? book
#23
Just a Duck?
Written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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?

A Piece of Home book
#24
A Piece of Home
Written by Jeri Watts and illustrated by Hyewon Yum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

"When Hee Jun's family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates, and he can't understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate's house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea, "mugunghwa," or Rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a "piece of home" in their new garden."--Provided by publisher.

My Cousin Momo book
#25
My Cousin Momo
Written and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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