Tuesday, May 26, 2009

National Moving Month

Did you know May is National Moving Month?
Recognizing America's mobile roots and kicking off the busiest moving season of the year. Each year more than 40 million Americans move between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with the average American moving every seven years. During this month, moving experts will be educating Americans on how to plan a successful move, to pack efficiently, and to handle the uncertainties and questions that children who are moving have.
My post today focuses on those children, so hopefully these books will be of help to you or someone you know!

Civardi, Anne.
Moving House (Usborne First Experiences).
EDC Publishing.

Anne Civardi and EDC Publishing joined together to help children through a whole series of "first experiences" - an airplane ride, a doctor visit, going to a party, going to school, a new baby. The list continues on and almost all of the titles can be found here.

This particular book focuses on moving to a new house. I'd say it does a pretty good job at explaining the basics to children! The simplest explanation, which I'd say is suitable for older children, ages 6-8 perhaps, can be found at the top of the pages. However, the book also has more detailed explanations available at the bottom of each page. If your family is moving in the near future and the kids seem to be confused or struggling with the idea, I think this book would be a good starting point. You can always combine it with more book about the emotions children will face as the move nears and even after the move occurs, to make the most of this book!

Viorst, Judith.
Alexander, Who's Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move.
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group.

Alexander is back! And this time, he's dealing with more than just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! This time, his family is moving - ripping him away from his best friend Paul, the cleaners who save everything from his pockets, the Baldwins and their dog, the Rooney's and their six girls, Mr. and Mrs. Oberdorfer's Halloween treats, Pearson's Drug Store, even his teacher Ms. Knoop... His brothers can't understand why he's being such a baby about the move, but they'll both have new friends their age at their new house.

Throughout the story, Alexander insists he's not going to move. Dad promises he'll find Alexander a new soccer team, possibly even a dog to be his new best friend until he meets some people friends. Mom even agrees to let him call Paul long-distance. Even his brother offers to help Alexander out by offering to let him sleep in his room if he's lonesome in his own room. Eventually, Alexander gives in and begins packing... insisting that it'll be the last time he ever moves... he's never going to move again!

If kids are upset about a move, this may be just the book to share with them... they will sympathize with Alexander, maybe open up and express some of their own thoughts and fears. While I don't entirely agree with bribing kids with a dog, long-distance phone calls might be a compromise. Signing kids up for some kind of extra-curricular activity is perfect to get them with other children in their new neighborhood/school district. Maybe this is the way to get them on the same page with the idea of a move - allow them to choose what kind of activity they'd like to participate in!

MacLachlan, Patricia.
What You Know First.
HarperCollins Publishers.

The illustrations are beautiful - they're simple, but they perfectly convey the moods and feelings in the story! A young girl is upset about her family's impending move away from the prairie life that she's always known. She tries hard to convince her parents to leave her behind, but they work just as hard to convince her how much she's needed to make the family complete.

In the end, the little girl compromises, taking a bit of the prairie life with her - a twig of the cottonwood tree and a little bag of prairie dirt. However, even though she's only able to take those two concrete objects with her, her father reminds her that she'll always have the memories, as,
What you know first stays with you, my Papa says.
Think about it... how much truth is there in this? How much do you remember about your first home where memories were made?
  • I remember the closet at the base of the stair case where we stored extra sheets and towels. I remember playing boogie-man and hiding myself in that same storage closet.
  • I remember no closet in my bedroom. There was a bar about 2 feet long to hang my clothes. The rest were stacked on a changing table that was left over from when I was a baby.
  • I remember my bedroom was dark wood paneling that my parents painted pale pink. And built in book cases above my bed, with a strawberry shortcake comforter.
  • I remember the basement being set up as a play room for us kids, desks set up so I could be the "teacher" while my brothers roller skated around the "classroom."
The memories don't end there... so I'm truly believing what Papa says from What You Know First... What you know first stays with you... this is true for me at least!

If you or someone you know is moving in the near future, here are some other books that might help kids in dealing with the transition:
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.