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Picture Book Activity Blog w/PBS Kids

Change happens regardless of the season. But in Fall, a new school year is guaranteed to cause some shake-ups and anxiety both for children and caregivers. Many children will be subject to new routines, including heading to school or daycare for the first time, and navigating the difficult emotions that come with separation from their caregiver.  Other children may be moving to a new city, or switching schools; or maybe their friends have moved or will be attending a different school and they are struggling with ways to stay connected.  While not traditionally thought of as grief, these are moments of loss that require gentle reassurance that change is normal, and that it takes time to adjust and get used to new things.  

There are a few stand-out titles new to the Library this month that explore the theme of change and connection.  We’ve paired them with exceptional resources from PBS LearningMedia to help extend your learning.

See You Someday Soon

by Pat Zietlow Miller

In this heartfelt picture book, a child imagines ways to connect with a grandmother who lives far way. Whether by rocket ship or jet pack, train or in a plane, any journey is worth it to see someone you love.

With inviting and accessible text by Pat Zietlow Miller paired with inventive art from the critically-acclaimed illustrator Suzy Lee, this picture book reminds us that, no matter the physical distance between us, the people we care about are never far from our hearts. The book features clever and innovative die-cuts throughout, adding a creative, thoughtful and discussion-worthy novelty aspect to this layered and deeply emotional story.

Explore some of the ways we can keep in touch with Penny and KidVision VPK kids and join them on their Post Office Field Trip to learn about the journey of a letter.  Martha’s Email from Martha Speaks series, explores how email works when Helen helps her grandmother set up an email account 

And in this video, I Really Want to See You from Let’s Learn, Maria Begg-Roberson and her son, Miller, read I Really Want to See You, Grandma! by Tarō Gomi. After the story, they lead viewers in a craft to send to someone they love and miss.

The Long Ride Home

by Stephanie Graegin

The Long Ride Home explores memory and friendship in a way that appeals to both children and adults, illustrating the power of place as connection.  As Little Koala looks out the window on her long ride home, she is reminded of her best friend who recently moved away: the ice cream shop where they giggled uncontrollably; the yellow house where the party was a little too loud; and the library where they borrowed their favorite book over and over.  If you and your family are moving, or if a close family friend has recently moved, this story may resonate with you.  

Another notable title A New Home by Tania de Regil is read aloud on PBS’s Let’s Learn with instructions on how to make a memory box.  Or you may prefer to make a Memory Book with Arthur to celebrate the favorite times passed with the person you are missing.

I’ll Always Come Back to You

by Carmen Tafolla

This is a great selection for a child struggling with separation anxiety.  It illustrates in a humorous way that nothing can keep a mother from coming back to her child after a day at work and makes the promise that whether the time apart is long or short, the family will be together again.  

A straightforward song to reassure your child that you will return to them is Grownups Come Back with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Or try this Going Away and Coming Back Activity that helps children use play to work on their feelings about when their parents go away and develop a sense of trust that grownups come back. It also  includes a short book list for you to explore.

Rosa’s Song

by Helena Ku Rhee and Pascal Campion

When Jae moves to a new country, he is nervous to make new friends; especially since he doesn’t speak the language. His mom encourages him to try and he finds that others are just as eager to get to know him.

Making new friends can be difficult; even more so when you don’t speak the same language.  However, this book shows how a little courage and imagination can go a long way, and connect you to those around you when you least expect it.

Even adults can appreciate this catchy tune in English and Portuguese Dom le Nena / My Friend from PBS Kids Rock!  And the simple strategies from Elmo and Romeo Santos on how to make new friends with their Spanish/English bilingual song Quiero Ser tu Amigo is also worth a listen.  And this totally rockin’ tune from Sesame Street  Come and Play teaches kids how to make friends and how to include someone who is feeling left out.  Add all three to your playlist!


Youth Services Librarian at Mead Public Library