Moving house is one of the most challenging life events you can experience, both physically and emotionally. This time last year, we were preparing for what would be the first of two major moves in the space of eight months.
Not only were we relocating 200 miles north to York from London, a terrifying life change after eight years in the capital, but the Beast from the East descended on the very day all our worldly possessions was being packed into two small trucks. What fun!
Jump forward to the November and we were doing it all again, this time packing and shifting most of the boxes ourselves, with three weeks of essential building work to factor into the equation. It’s safe to say we won’t be moving again for a very long time…
In the middle of my own moving angst and aches, my main concern was the affect all the upheaval would have on Baby Bookworm. He was 19 months old at our first move, just past two years by the second, and it was hard to explain to him why his world was being turned on his head.
Having the support of family was invaluable and allowed us a chance to get his bedroom ready with all his familiar things before he officially took residence. Books were a real help too, from the reassurance of reading familiar favourites to stories tackling the topic of a new home.
Here are four about moving to a new home and place that we recommend…
My New Home by Marta Altés. £6.99 (paperback), Macmillan
Moving house isn’t just about getting used to a new building. It can mean saying goodbye to friends and losing a feeling of belonging. This beautiful story addresses those very real struggles and worries – and offers the reader hope that you can find a new sense of home.
We love how colour is used in the illustrations to convey emotions of happiness and loneliness as the young raccoon adjusts, making new pals while still staying in touch with the old ones. It’s uplifting and also has an important message for all children about welcoming strangers.
Maybe The Moon by Frances Ives. £12.99 (hardback), LOM Art
Eric lives a happy, colourful life in the forest with his animal friends until his mother takes him to live in the city. Everything is strange and grey – even the moon looks different – but as he explores, he finds new beauty, new friends and realises he will never be alone when he has the moon.
It’s a striking picture book debut by author-illustrator Frances Ives, with dreamy artwork and a wonderful, life-affirming message. We especially like how colour creeps back into Eric’s life as he settles into his new surroundings and the foiled cover is just perfection.
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Ella Who? by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Sara Sanchez. £12.99 (hardback), Sterling Children’s Books
When a little girl moves house, she quickly makes a pal – a baby elephant hiding behind the pot plants. The adults are so distracted by all the boxes that they don’t notice the pair playing dress up, reading books and unsuccessfully using the seesaw.
There’s a joy and energy to this story that is just delightful. The concept of this unlikely duo having a grand old time under the noses of the grown ups is very amusing for children, while it also has a reassuring message about making new friends.
Where’s Home, Daddy Bear? by Nicola O’Byrne. £11.99 (hardback), Walker
Evie Bear is feeling scared and sad about leaving her home for a new one far away. But as she and Daddy Bear make an epic road trip, she learns that home isn’t a place but the ones you love and the cuddles they give you. By the time they arrive, she is excited rather than frightened.
This sweet book has lots of touching elements, particularly the relationship between father and daughter, and the missing Mummy Bear, only seen in a photo unpacked at the end. The Americana vibe is charming too, with diner stops and marshmallows over the camp fire.
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Great idea for a list! Have you read Lenny & Lucy by Philip and Erin Stead? We really love it a lot. Really beautiful book.
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We haven’t but will look it up! Thanks for the recommendation.