Exploring change through stories: 10 children's books on transitions

January 31, 2024
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At SM, we believe storytelling is a powerful tool to guide children through life’s changes and transitions.

In recognition of National Storytelling Week, we've compiled a list of 10 children's books that beautifully address the theme of change. From seasonal transitions and the challenges of trying something new to exploring identity changes, these books cover a spectrum of useful topics.

My identity

1. “Jack (not Jackie)” by Erica Silverman

This book is about change and acceptance, and a valuable story to explore gender identity with your child. Susan can’t wait for her little sister Jackie to grow up so that they can play forest fairies and be explorers together. But as Jackie grows, she doesn’t want to play those games. She also doesn’t like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack.

2. “Elmer” by David McKee

Elmer is different from the other elephants, he is a patchwork elephant amongst a herd of ordinary elephants. Although he is a popular elephant, he is fed up with being the odd one out and decides he wants to blend in. This story teaches children that we don’t need to change who we are, it is okay to be unique.

3. “Little People, Big Dreams" (collection) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

This collection of books explores the lives of outstanding people. They all began life as a child with a dream and achieved incredible things. The books tell the stories of scientists, activists, artists, and more, teaching children that all of us can make positive changes in the world, big or small.

My world

4. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle

This story explores transformation in nature as a tiny caterpillar undergoes a journey of growth, consuming various foods each day. The story concludes with the caterpillar's beautiful metamorphosis into a butterfly, reminding us that beauty can be found in change.

5. "Robin's Winter Song" by Suzanne Barton

In this story, we follow the journey of a robin as he adapts to the changing seasons. As the story unfolds, the illustrations and text show the transformation of his environment, from vibrant autumnal scenes to the serene beauty of winter.

6. "WOW! Said the Owl" by Tim Hopgood

Join Owlivia, the curious owl, on a journey of discovery as she stays awake during the day to explore the vibrant colours of her changing environment. This book teaches children to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature's transformations, inspiring them to explore the changes in the world around them.

My life

7. "Be Brave Little Penguin" by Giles Andrae

In this story, we meet Pip-Pip, a young penguin who finds the courage to face his fear of water. The book touches on the theme of change by showing how Pip-Pip overcomes his fears and embraces a new experience. It’s a story about being brave and the positive outcomes that can come from trying something new.

8. "The Invisible String" by Patrice Karst

‘The Invisible String’ is a comforting story that helps address separation anxiety, loss, and grief with your children. It features a mother who shares with her children the idea of an invisible string made of love that connects them all. It encourages conversations about love, understanding, and support, particularly during times of change in family dynamics.

9. "Don't Worry Little Crab" by Chris Haughton

This book follows Little Crab’s journey from fear to curiosity as they venture into the ocean with the support of Very Big Crab. The story gently addresses the theme of change, teaching young readers that with encouragement and a positive attitude, they can overcome fear and embrace new experiences.

10. "Oliver's Vegetables" by Alison Bartlett and Vivian French

At first, Oliver isn't a fan of vegetables, but with a little help from his grandpa and a magical garden, he discovers the joy of watching vegetables grow. The story is a wonderful reminder that change can be exciting and full of surprises, just like Oliver's newfound love for vegetables. It's a delightful tale that encourages children to embrace new experiences with curiosity.

Our nursery teams are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help support your child’s development both at nursery and at home. We pride ourselves on developing meaningful parent partnerships and are always on hand to offer guidance and a listening ear. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help your child grow and thrive.

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