The best picture books about new beginnings

The Books I Picked & Why

My Big Welcome

By Onaolapo Dagunduro, Saoirse Lou

Book cover of My Big Welcome

Why this book?

My Big Welcome illustrates how kindness can help children overcome anxiety when they’re starting at a new school, moving, meeting new people. The story introduces a number of classroom situations that a newcomer might face. Emilia, the new girl, is welcomed with warmth and kindness. And the bright illustrations give off such a positive vibe.

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Anita and the Dragons

By Hannah Carmona, Anna Cunha

Book cover of Anita and the Dragons

Why this book?

Moving to a new place can be daunting for adults and more so for children. Airplanes turn into dragons and the new home into a terrifying place. It takes courage to emigrate and imagination to adapt. Anita’s story stayed with me long after I finished it. And Anna Cunha’s illustrations are exquisite.

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The Day You Begin

By Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López

Book cover of The Day You Begin

Why this book?

This book really spoke to me because of this line: “You walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.” It’s not only about class or race or gender, it’s about everyone being special in their own way and about learning to appreciate the uniqueness of ourselves and that of others. I wish I could’ve read this book as a child.

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I Got the School Spirit

By Connie Schofield-Morrison, Frank Morrison

Book cover of I Got the School Spirit

Why this book?

This picture book gives off such a positive feeling that it’s impossible not to let it fill you to the brim with excitement and joy. It’s perfect to read with children at the end of the holidays for a gentle but enthusiastic introduction to the new school year. It made me want to go back to school!

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The Bear and the Piano

By David Litchfield

Book cover of The Bear and the Piano

Why this book?

We often fear change and it’s for this reason that we don’t dare try something new. We’re afraid we won’t be able to go back to the way things were before in case we don’t succeed. It’s important to realize that the people who truly appreciate and love us will always support our endeavors and welcome us back regardless of whether we succeeded or failed. The Bear and the Piano relates this message in a gentle and inspiring way for me.

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