Updated: Jun 18, 2020
As our communities start to open again after lockdown and little ones prepare to return to school or nursery, we’ve shared our top six books to help children cope with change and build their resilience.
Wemberly Worried – Kevin Henkes
Wemberly is a nervous mouse who frets about everything, from spilling her juice to whether she will shrink in the bath, but as she gets ready to start school her list of worries gets longer and longer. Her grown-ups are little help, simply telling her she ‘worries too much,’ but when Wemberly finds a friend who is just as worried as she is, she starts to feel a little braver. A sweet book with a reassuring ending that will resonate with any little worriers.
The Day You Begin - Jacqueline Woodson
This deeply touching book, beautifully illustrated in vibrant jewel colours by Rafael López, perfectly captures the feeling of being an outsider, of being unsure about taking your first steps into a new place because you’re worried what people will think of you. In gorgeous lyrical prose, Woodson describes the many ways a child might feel ‘other’ and how, when we are brave enough to take those first steps and share our stories, we can make connections with others that we didn’t expect.
Jabari Jumps – Gaia Cornwall
We love this sweet story about a little boy building up the courage to face one of his fears. Although Jabari thinks he’s ready to jump from the diving board, insisting he’s not at all scared, he finds ways to delay his big moment until his Dad gently reminds him it’s ok to be afraid of something new. The soothing, gently witty illustrations, which feature a playful use of perspective, and touching, relatable message make this a joyful read for little ones and grown-ups.
The Kissing Hand – Audrey Penn
A modern classic for any little ones facing a challenging new situation. Penn’s sweet raccoon Chester, rendered in lush watercolour illustrations, is frightened to start kindergarten, fearing he will miss home and his mother too much – but, after reminding him of all the wonderful new things he will experience, his mother lets him in to a secret which she promises will bring him comfort whenever he feels scared or lonely.
Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave – Jessica Hische
Celebrated illustrator Hische brings us a gorgeous, colourful book of affirmations to inspire little ones to see each day as a world of limitless opportunities. We love the large, expressive lettering spelling out positive words like ‘adventurous,’ ‘curious,’ and ‘creative,’ accompanied by a cast of sweet woodland animals acting out these traits. We also adore the final message that even if we didn’t manage to be all of these things today, that’s ok – we can always try again tomorrow.
Spin – Rebecca Janni
A simple, reassuring book that lets little ones know that though they may be nervous about something, they will usually find that it’s not quite as hard they think once they get started. The book is full of continuous motion with a confident central character who keeps cycling and trying her best, no matter what she encounters along the way.
For videos of more of our favourite books, check out our Story-time sessions on Maggieandrose.me.