asian-american, black lives, book list, hispanic, social-emotional

List: Moving to a New Home

Goodbye House, Hello House (Blue Dot Kids Press)
Written by Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Ann James

For ages: 3-7
Emma is moving from a home in the country to one in the city. The rhythmic prose follows the girl as she notes all the last things she does in the only house she’s ever known. When she arrives at her new home, she does the opposite, recognizing a whole host of firsts. The symmetry of the narratives makes it perfect for comparing and contrasting or talking about accepting change healthily. Ann James’s illustrations feel like a child’s crayons or watercolor paints, letting colors bleed over lines.

Coqui in the City (Dial Books)
Written & Illustrated by Nomar Perez

For ages: 3-7
Miguel loves his home in Puerto Rico, and the book’s first few pages detail everything he cherishes, from time spent at Abuelo’s house to enjoying quesitos. Unfortunately, his family is moving to the U.S. mainland, so Miguel will have to leave so much behind, including his pet coqui (a native Puerto Rican frog). His first few weeks in the States worry him as he feels disconnected from his culture. Thankfully, Miguel’s family finds a Puerto Rican community in their new home, and he finds connections with the diverse people in their neighborhood. This is a fantastic book about how we must never lose touch with our roots but also be open to connecting with others.

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away (Candlewick)
Written by Meg Medina
Illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

For ages: 3-7
When a friend moves away, it comes with a lot of heartbreak. Daniela is preparing to say goodbye to her best friend & neighbor, Evelyn. Daniela loves that their apartments are so similar, as this connects them even closer. We meet them when the girls enjoy their last day together as Evelyn’s parents pack up a moving truck. This is one of the best books on this list. It truly embraces the strong emotions children have about a friend moving away while remaining gentle in how it talks to children about the situation. The ending gives hope that these two girls will remain friends into old age, a bond that goes on and on and on.

Yard Sale (Candlewick)
Written by Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

For ages: 3-7
A part of moving that can feel bad is when you have to discard some of your belongings. Callie is not excited about downsizing due to her family’s move into an apartment from their large house. The girl observes how her parents negotiate with potential buyers. She even notices things she’s done that show wear & tear on these belongings. The book does an excellent job of conveying how distressed Callie feels but then having her parents comfortingly reassure her of their new home. Lauren Castillo’s wonderful watercolor and ink drawings keep things playful and childlike, much like Goodbye House, Hello House.

Herman’s Letter (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
Written & Illustrated by Tom Percival

For ages: 3-7
Henry, the pink raccoon, moves away from the forest, leaving behind his best friend, Herman, a brown bear. Herman is not dealing with it healthily. Letters from Henry about some of his new friends and the adventures he’s having make Herman get angry. Herman pouts and refuses to write back, but Henry keeps writing. These letters are presented as flaps that the reader can lift. Finally, Herman decides to write back, but the post office has started hibernating for the winter. Herman must make the journey himself and deliver the letter by hand to Henry, seeing his friend’s new life up close and personal. 

Home Is In Between (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Written by Mitali Perkins
Illustrated by Lavanya Naidu

For ages: 3-7
If you are moving to a place outside of your culture, it can be extremely daunting. Shanti’s family packs up from their home in West Bengal and moves to an American city. Shanti learns how to be in two worlds at once in this new place. At home, she engages in life as she lived back in India. Still, outside the house, she grows a diverse friend group and learns to appreciate other cultures. For those of us who work with school populations of immigrants & refugees, a book like this can give a voice to their experience in your classroom. Most native-born American children haven’t experienced this culture clash. This book will help them understand what some of their classmates might be going through.

Everything Naomi Loved (Norton Young Readers)
Written by Katie Yamasaki
Illustrated by Ian Lendler

For ages: 4-8
Naomi loves her big city home, and we get a wonderful panorama of the details of her life. But, unfortunately, her move is not in the pursuit of a better life but from gentrification. Trees are cut down, and stores close as rent increases. This book is terrific at presenting communities’ poignancy when they are slowly broken down by outside financial interests moving in and taking over. For our urban schools, this is a painful reality that seems to hit harder every day. We must acknowledge that not everyone moves for positive reasons, and we must ensure that the communities we build can withstand these outside forces.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s