New beginnings come in all shapes and sizes. They can be exciting or scary. Or both. What better way to share the excitement or ease the fear that with children’s books about new beginnings of all kinds!
With this list featuring picture books about making a leap, taking that first step and starting afresh–however you want to say it–I’ve included stories about all kinds of new beginnings. And not just New Year celebrations! Perhaps the fresh start is a first day of school, a move to a new town, fixing a mistake, trying something new and different or letting go of the old to make room for the new. Whatever it is, these children’s books will inspire!
Books about New Beginnings
Check out the variety of children’s books about making a fresh start below!
by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
As a young girl gets ready to leave her town and go There, she contemplates all the questions such a change may bring up. Will she like it? What will be There? Will she still get to do all the things she enjoys doing now? And does she really want to go? A charming and deceptively simple book that will inspire a thoughtful response by your own child.
Wherever You Go
by Pat Zietlow Miller
A journey can always represent new beginnings and this story shows children that going out into the world can sometimes also mean coming back to where you started. The journey of a rabbit on his bicycle as he travels through countrysides, cities, along rivers and eventually back home is told in flowing rhyming poetry. My son loved to talk about the “message” of the story, which is to reach for adventure. And the wonderful illustrations are fun to examine.
The Book of Mistakes
by Corinna Luyken
What do you do when you make a mistake? Is a mistake a failure or does it offer a new beginning? Parents know that responses can run the gamut from full on melt-downs to mild, “whatevs.” Luyken’s creative story encourages kids (and grown-ups) to look at mistakes not as failures but as a rewards on a journey.
The Pink Refrigerator
by Tim Egan
Sometimes just getting out is enough to make a big difference in one’s life. A badger (? mole? – I’m not really sure what kind of creature he is!) finds a mysterious pink refrigerator in a junk yard. Each day the note on the fridge sports a new suggestion, like “read more”, “make pictures”, or “play music”. Inside the fridge he finds the materials he needs: books, art supplies, a trumpet, etc. The final note, “keep exploring” prompts Dodsworth to leave his own note, “Went to find an ocean.” This is a great story about the willingness to be brave and open to trying new things.
If I Never Forever Endeavor
by Holly Meade
Spreading one’s wings and leaving the parental nest is the classic metaphor for taking a risk as well as new beginnings. This is a wonderful book about the transformative experiences that come as a result of being willing to find the courage to try something new. The bird sits in his nest, contemplating his options, weighing the benefits of security against the possibilities of flight and what he will miss if he doesn’t try. He finds his strength from within, proclaiming, “If in all of forever, I never endeavor to fly, I won’t know if I can.”
The Bear and the Piano
by David Litchfield
After a bear discovers a piano in the woods he becomes quite the virtuoso. A pair of children hear his music and convince the bear to go to the city and share his talent with the world. But bear worries about his fellow bear friends. Will they want him back when he returns or will they think he has abandoned him? The ending of this book will warm your heart and soul.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
by Derrick Barnes
Sometimes a new beginning is initiated by the most ordinary of activities. Like a haircut! I absolutely love this book and its energetic illustrations. A strong, rhythmic text describes a boy going into the barbershop and the experience of getting a new, fresh haircut and all the excitement that surrounds the possibilities of what a new haircut might bring–like a look from a girl, or acing an exam.
The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson
Starting a new school can be overwhelming, and even more so if you feel different from your schoolmates. Woodson’s gentle book is a wonderful reminder for kids that everyone feels different at some point. The book teaches children that the key to overcoming that fear can be sharing your story with others. A truly remarkable book.
Just Us Women
by Jeannette Caines
This is a great, lesser known book about a girl and her aunt making a road trip, just the two of them. The girl describes the joyful experience of being about to make stops and see the sights on their own schedule. They can buy all the “junk” they want at flea markets, and eat dinner at the restaurant of their choosing. The pace of the book is leisurely and it may just make your kids want to head out to the road.
Bad Bye, Good Bye
by Deborah Underwood
We all know that moving residences is one of the scariest and potentially most stressful changes a family can make. Underwood’s story acknowledges the physical, sensory experience of moving along with the anger and hurt of leaving behind loved things and people. But she also allows the hope and excitement of meeting new people and experiencing new things to shine through. She does this all with a simple text that will speak to kids of all ages, from preschoolers on up.
The Tweedles Go Electric; The Tweedles Go Online
by Monica Kulling
In these two fun titles, new beginnings take shape with the introduction of new technology! In the first book, (Electric) the Tweedles decide to ditch the horse and buggy for a car. But not all the family members are enthusiastic about the new horseless carriage. In the second book about the Tweedles, the family enters the world of technology by getting a telephone! In both books family members have different reactions to innovation. Some love it, some worry it will interfere with family life, and others would rather just focus other inventions! The comparison and contrast between “going electric” and “going online” in 1904 and now is fun as well as insightful.
More books to start something new!