Moving is challenging for kids and adults. It can change our relationships and create distance between friends and family. Whether they’re the moving party or have friends moving away, these picture books about moving are sweet and empathetic. If you have a child struggling with loved ones moving away, hand these books to them!
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30+ Great Picture Books About Moving
Here are 30+ picture books about moving away:
The Blue House
Published: August 11, 2020
For as long as he can remember, Leo has lived in the blue house with his dad, but lately the neighborhood is changing. People are leaving, houses are being knocked down, and shiny new buildings are going up in their place. When Leo and his dad are forced to leave, they aren’t happy about it. They howl and rage and dance out their feelings. When the time comes, they leave the blue house behind–there was never any choice, not really–but little by little, they find a way to keep its memory alive in their new home.
Published: April 15, 2018
New from the creator of Skunk on a String comes Wallpaper, a wordless picture book in Thao Lam’s signature paper collage style. It tells the story of a young girl whose family moves into a new house. Outside, she can hear other kids playing, but she’s too shy to say hello. So she picks at the old wallpaper in her room―revealing an entryway to a fantastic imaginary adventure world behind the walls.
There, she runs between the vibrant and varied environments―surrounded by birds, swimming in a frog pond, in a herd of art-deco sheep―as she finds herself chased by a monster. He is frightening at first, until it becomes clear he simply wants to be her friend. When it comes time to go back to reality, the girl feels inspired with the courage to approach the other kids and say hello.
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!
Published: July 13, 2021
Ramón is a little boy who can’t sleep. He is nervous for his first day at a new school.
And El Cucuy is the monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. He can’t sleep, either.
It turns out that El Cucuy is scared, too!
This gentle, perceptive story explores the worries that can accompany moving to a new place and beginning a new journey—and reveals how comfort, bravery, and strength can be found through even the most unexpected of friendships.
Before I Leave
Published: February 16, 2016
How do you say goodbye to your best friend?
When a little hedgehog’s family tells her they’re moving far away, she and her anteater best friend decide to play one last time, like nothing is changing. And though it’s hard, they discover that while some things have to change, the most important things find a way of working out.
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh
Published: September 3, 2019
Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from happy sunny yellow to courageous red. He especially takes care with his patka—his turban—making sure it always matches his outfit. But when Harpreet’s mom finds a new job in a snowy city and they have to move, everything just feels gray. Can he find a way to make life bright again?
Home is in Between
Published: February 23, 2021
Shanti misses the warm monsoon rains in India. Now in America, she watches fall leaves fly past her feet.
Still, her family’s apartment feels like a village: Mama cooking luchi, funny stories in Bangla, and Baba’s big laugh. But outside, everything is different – trick-or-treating, ballet class, and English books.
Back and forth, Shanti trudges between her two worlds. She remembers her village and learns her new town. She watches Bollywood movies at home and Hollywood movies with her friends. She is Indian. She is also American. How should she define home?
Ten Beautiful Things
Published: January 12, 2021
Lily and her grandmother search for ten beautiful things as they take a long car ride to Iowa and Lily’s new home with Gran. At first, Lily sees nothing beautiful in the April slush and cloudy sky. Soon though, Lily can see beauty in unexpected places, from the smell of spring mud to a cloud shaped like a swan to a dilapidated barn. A furious rainstorm mirrors Lily’s anxiety, but as it clears Lily discovers the tenth beautiful thing: Lily and Gran and their love for each other.
Published: October 25, 2011
Written by the acclaimed author of The Phantom Tollbooth, this Amazon Best Picture Book of the Year is a simply told story about a boy who moves to a new neighborhood and finds a unique way to make friends. With whimsical illustrations by award-winning illustrator G. Brian Karas, here is a read-aloud that’s great for storytime, and is sure to be a hit among fans of Juster, Karas, and anyone who is “the new kid on the block.”
Marie’s Big Adieu: A story of moving away from a friend
Published: March 6, 2020
Marie and her family are moving house! But while her parents are excited, Marie feels sad. She doesn’t want things to change, and moving means she’s going to have to say goodbye to her best friend. But luckily, her family are here to help her every step of the way, showing her that moving can be a fun and brand-new opportunity after all!
With a charming story and beautiful illustrations, Marie’s Big Adieu intertwines a wonderful rhyme with important lessons about moving home, saying goodbye, and making new friends. A perfect teaching aid for kids who are struggling with anxiety, grief, or stress, Marie’s heartwarming story uses a message of love and positivity to help them navigate their emotions and come to terms with their complex and often confusing feelings.
Coquí in the City
Published: March 16, 2021
Miguel’s pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbors in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo’s story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Then Miguel learns that he and his parents are moving to the U.S. mainland, which means leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in New York City is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him–including the love he has for Coquí–wherever he goes.
Published: September 8, 2020
A big truck with its mouth wide open is parked at the curb, ready to gobble up Evelyn’s mirror with the stickers around the edge . . . and the sofa that we bounce on to get to the moon.
Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela’s best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other: Daniela with her mami and hamster, and Evelyn with her mami, papi, and cat. But not after today—not after Evelyn moves away. Until then, the girls play amid the moving boxes until it’s time to say goodbye, making promises to keep in touch, because they know that their friendship will always be special. The tenderness of Meg Medina’s beautifully written story about friendship and change is balanced by Sonia Sánchez’s colorful and vibrant depictions of the girls’ urban neighborhood.
A New Kind of Wild
Published: April 21, 2020
For Ren, home is his grandmother’s little house, and the lush forest that surrounds it. Home is a place of magic and wonder, filled with all the fantastical friends that Ren dreams up. Home is where his imagination can run wild.
For Ava, home is a brick and cement city, where there’s always something to do or see or hear. Home is a place bursting with life, where people bustle in and out like a big parade. Home is where Ava is never lonely because there’s always someone to share in her adventures.
When Ren moves to Ava’s city, he feels lost without his wild. How will he ever feel at home in a place with no green and no magic, where everything is exactly what it seems? Of course, not everything in the city is what meets the eye, and as Ren discovers, nothing makes you feel at home quite like a friend.
A House for Hermit Crab
Published: August 20, 1991
Join Hermit Crab as he learns an important lesson about growing up: For every friend and adventure left behind, there are new ones just ahead!
Life Without Nico
Published: April 1, 2016
Maia and Nico are best friends. They never get tired of playing together. Unexpectedly, though, Nico and his family have to move far away for a while. Maia is devastated. “Now time passes slowly, and the emptiness is with Maia everywhere she goes.” She makes her way through the dark days, bored and alone. But, slowly, things begin to change, and “… Maia meets an unexpected companion … She makes a new friend … She even discovers a new passion.” Her life has become so happy and full, in fact, that she worries there will no longer be enough room for Nico. Of course, when he returns, she discovers there is. As Maia learns, “There is always space in your heart for friendship.” This poetic, touching picture book written by Andrea Maturana is sure to move readers of any age. It sensitively explores a child’s capacity for friendship and the range of feelings experienced while trying to cope with loss. Losing a friend is a common childhood experience, and this book would offer a perfect opportunity for a classroom discussion on this or any kind of loss. It speaks to the resilience of children as well, and the experience of growing up and discovering that welcoming new things and people into your life doesn’t mean losing the old. The sweet artwork by Francisco Javier Olea uses warm, muted colors that reinforce the reassuring tone of the story, as well as magical imagery that enhances its emotional depth.
Published: March 15, 2021
Carmen Batlló and Dragon, her imaginary salamander friend, love exploring the woods behind their home. But when Carmen’s family announces a move to the city, Carmen is miserable. Not only will she lose her connection to nature, she will also lose Dragon. After all, the city is no place for salamanders.
As she watches her family’s new house take shape under famous architect Antoni Gaudí, Carmen discovers Gaudí also has a passion for the natural world. Walls curve and rise like a cave, mosaic flooring sparkles like lilies on a pond, and a fireplace shaped like a mushroom keeps the house warm. Best of all, there’s even a place for Dragon!
Published: March 2, 2021
Elliott has just moved into a new house. He spends his days with his fictional friends, immersed in a book. When an inviting Sunday rain gathers the local kids to play in the puddles, Elliott longs to join in, but he’s too shy to go outside. Soon, Elliott discovers that new friendships are like a new book―you just have to plunge into the adventure.
When You Are Brave
Published: March 5, 2019
Saying goodbye to neighbors. Worrying about new friends. Passing through a big city. Seeing a dark road ahead. In these moments, a young girl feels small and quiet and alone. But when she breathes deeply and looks inside herself, a hidden spark of courage appears, one she can nurture and grow until she glows inside and out.
Lenny and Lucy
Published: October 6, 2015
Peter and his father are moving to a new house beyond the dark unfriendly woods. When they arrive at their new home, Peter wants to turn back. Fortunately, he has Harold for company, but Harold is just a dog and can’t help Peter. Scared of the things hidden in the woods, Peter makes a tall pile of pillows. He stiches and sews. He pushes and pulls. And when he is done, he has Lenny, Guardian of the Bridge, to protect him and Harold.
Lenny is a good guard but Peter worries that Lenny will get lonely out by the woods all by himself, so he makes Lucy, who is a good friend. Together, Lenny, Lucy, Peter, and Harold discover that this new place isn’t so scary after all.
Published: October 9, 2018
When Zola moves into the neighborhood, her new next-door neighbor is too shy to go over and introduce herself. Plus, Zola already has a friend to play with—an elephant!
What we imagine is not always true, as the little girl discovers. Luckily, she also discovers that being brave can lead to new friendships—and even richer imaginary worlds—in this heartwarming book about friendship, moving, and the power of imagination by New York Times best-selling author Randall de Sève and Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator Pamela Zagarenski.
Here I Am
Published: September 10, 2013
Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. They boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. How will he once again become the happy, confident kid he used to be? Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps toward discovering joy in his new world. A poignant and affirming view of the immigrant experience.
My Two Blankets
Published: September 1, 2015
Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie, and everything is strange: the animals, the plants—even the wind. An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort when she’s sad—and a new blanket just might change her world.
This multicultural story of friendship is about leaving home, moving to a foreign and strange place, and finding a new friend. It’s a story for all who have experienced change. Irena Kobald’s poetic text, paired with Kate Greenaway medalist Freya Blackwood’s powerful paintings, renders an emotional and heart-warming story about two children from diverse backgrounds coming together to become new friends.
Bad Bye, Good Bye
Published: April 1, 2014
“Bad truck, bad guy; bad wave, bad bye . . .” A boy and his family are packing up their old home, and the morning feels scary and sad. But when he arrives at his new home, an evening of good byes awaits: bye to new friends, bye to glowing fireflies, bye to climbing trees. The New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood’s spare text and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Jonathan Bean’s lush, layered illustrations perfectly capture the complex emotions of moving day. The child-centric transition from dreary morning to cheerful evening comforts young readers facing big changes of their own.
The Word for Friend
Published: June 16, 2020
Kemala the pangolin is sure she’s going to make friends at her new school in her new country. After all, Kemala loves to talk. The kids at school like talking, too–but their words are all different. This country speaks a language Kemala doesn’t know.
At first, no one understands Kemala either. This realization makes her curl into a little ball, like most pangolins do when they’re nervous. But a classmate helps draw her out with an art project that doubles as a vocabulary exchange. Soon, Kemala is learning the most universal language of all: friendship.
Published: February 20, 2018
When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass.
But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there?
Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a good match for kids interested in the environment, as well as any child going through a move.
Ella and Monkey at Sea
Published: August 7, 2018
Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind — and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions.
Published: April 9, 2019
But I’m not sure I want to leave my home.
I’m going to miss so much.
Moving to a new city can be exciting. But what if your new home isn’t anything like your old home? Will you make friends? What will you eat? Where will you play? In a cleverly combined voice — accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations depicting parallel urban scenes — a young boy conveys his fears about moving from New York City to Mexico City while, at the same time, a young girl expresses trepidation about leaving Mexico City to move to New York City. Tania de Regil offers a heartwarming story that reminds us that home may be found wherever life leads. Fascinating details about each city are featured at the end.
Bell’s Big Move (Bell #1)
Published: August 25, 2013
Bell’s Big Move tells the story of Bell and her girl, Sofia, who move from the big city to the quiet town of Pineville, where life is a lot less busy. Will their new friends, Jingle® and Andrew, help make Pineville feel like home?
Little ones will love hearing this story as a narrator reads to them, page by page. And if she’s nearby, the Bell® Story Buddy® stuffed animal will respond when you read key phrases from the story.
Published: April 14, 2015
When a family has to leave their house and move to a small apartment, it’s hard to let go of things—but having one another is what counts.
Almost everything Callie’s family owns is spread out in their front yard—their furniture, their potted flowers, even Callie’s bike. They can’t stay in this house, so they’re moving to an apartment in the city. The new place is “small but nice,” Mom says, and most of their things won’t fit, so today they are having a yard sale. But it’s kind of hard to watch people buy your stuff, even if you understand why it has to happen. With sensitivity and grace, Eve Bunting and Lauren Castillo portray an event at once familiar and difficult, making clear that a home isn’t about what you have, but whom you hold close.
Published: April 2, 2019
Meet Destiny—a cool, energetic, and strong-willed young girl who approaches every day with her own signature style! That is, until she moves to a brand-new neighborhood, where nothing looks quite the same as it did at her old house.
Even with new challenges and new friends to make, Destiny always has a plan. With a few reminders from her loving family and after remembering what being the Fresh Princess is all about, she may just take the leap and jump right in!
Julia’s House Moves On
Published: September 29, 2020
Julia’s house is restless.
Julia and her family of lost creatures are ready to move on. But where will they go? And how will they get there?
Don’t worry―Julia has a plan for that! Julia always has a plan. But when Julia’s plans all fail…
What’s left for her?
Goodbye, Old House
Published: September 14, 2021
This is the last time I’ll fish in this river…
This is the last time I’ll run through these trees…
This is the last time I’ll dream by this fire…
Goodbye, old house. Goodbye.
A heartwarming story of letting go and starting anew, with a unique illustration style that allows room and space for the reader’s imagination. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable inks.
Milo and Georgie
Published: April 11, 2017
When Milo’s family moves to a new city, he vows to officially retire from having fun. So he stays inside for days while his little sister, Georgie, yearns to explore the new neighborhood. Finally, Milo ties Georgie to the end of a ball of yarn so she can go out, on one condition: she has to come home when he tugs the string twice.
But one day, Georgie isn’t at the end of the string. Which means Milo might just have to step outside and discover everything he’s been missing. Charming, detailed artwork illustrates their vibrant new city in this heartwarming story about supporting each other, building community, adapting to change, and embracing new things.
Mabel and Sam at Home
Published: June 5, 2018
This playful and endearing book celebrates imaginative play as Mable and Sam move into a new house and make it their own. They sail the high seas of their new home, tour the intriguing museum of their living room, journey through outer space to the safety of their own beds, and discover how far afield—and how close to home—imagination can take them. Funny and engaging, this celebration of moving in and settling in is both heart-warming and house-warming.
Clancy & Millie and the Very Fine House
Published: July 9, 2010
Two new neighbors discover that friends are what make a house a home Clancy has just moved. He is missing his old house terribly—the new house is much too big and much too lonely—and he wonders how he will ever make it his home. With the help of his new friend Millie, Clancy builds towers to the sky and trains to the street outside, and together they build the home that Clancy thought he had lost forever.
Published: April 15, 2007
Moving is hard on everyone, but especially children. Chester Racoon, whom readers have come to know and love through the New York Times bestseller The Kissing Hand, and its sequel, A Pocket Full of Kisses, is facing another dilemma common to the lives of many children; he and his family are moving. Young readers will love the way Chester says goodbye to his old home and learns that there are some exciting aspects to his new home.
There they are: 30+ of the best picture books about moving! Which of these have you read and loved? What did I miss?