It’s not easy when your best friend moves away. I found three picture books that might help a child in this dilemma but I’d love to add more books to this list. What am I missing? Thanks for your help!
Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
Daniela’s best friend, Evelyn Del Rey, is moving away, and they share one last day to play together like they always do. Evelyn’s apartment is almost like twins, just like they are. It’s hard to say goodbye, but they make plans to stay in touch and see each other again soon. Evelyn will always be Daniela’s first mejor amiga, her numero uno best friend. And that will never change! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
With a little help from my friends by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, illustrated by Henry Cole
It’s nearly impossible to read this book without hearing the Beatles song in your head! Henry Cole does a brilliant job of taking the lyrics of this famous song and turning it into a story of a friendship between two girls. Their friendship is are able to surmount the difficulty of distance when one of them moves away. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
Juna loves to take an empty kimchi jar and explore with her best friend Hector. One day when she goes to find Hector, she finds out that he’s moved away. Her big brother Minho tries to cheer her up by buying her a fish for her jar. When the fish gets too big, she and her brother plant a bean plant in her jar instead. When the bean plant outgrows her jar, a cricket makes the jar its home. Each offering to her jar also sparks her imagination with a wonderful daydream. When she finally is able to say goodbye to Hector, Juna and her jar make another discovery at the park that helps her miss him less. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
A Year with Marmalade by Alison Reynolds and Heath McKenzie
Ella and Maddy are best friends but one autumn day, Maddy tells Ella that she’s going away for a year and asks her to look after her cat, Marmalade. As the seasons change, Marmalade keeps Ella company but she still misses Maddy. Finally, autumn comes again, and Maddy is back. And now the three of them are all together again. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Faraway Friends by Russ Cox
When Sheldon’s best friend moves away, he notices the word “Jupiter” on the side of the moving truck. Could it be that his friend is moving to Jupiter? Sheldon just needs a rocket ship to catch up with his friend. Luckily he has all the parts he needs lying around his house and his dog Jet to help him. On his way there, he finds a surprise that makes him miss his friend a lot less. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
My Life in Pictures by Deborah Zemke
Bea Garcia is upset because her next-door neighbor and very best friend in the world, Yvonne, has moved to Australia. To add insult to injury, a new family moves into Yvonne’s house, and they have a horrible boy named Bert who makes fun of Bea, wrecks her cardboard box building, and is generally horrible. Bea and her brother Pablo try to ignore Bert as much as possible, but since he is also in her classroom at school, Bea struggles with putting up with him. Review by Ms. YingLing Reads. [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3 by Gretchen Brandenbury McLellan, illustrated by Grace Zong
It’s bittersweet that Mrs. McBee is leaving Room 3 and not returning to their school after summer vacation. Her class is sad but she organizes them into helping with the packing up and the remembering of the good times that they had. Every kid in class had their own special way of helping and coping with this loss. And Mrs. McBee topped their day off with a big hug and swirly ice cream cones. Use this picture book for kids who are sad that their school year is ending, even if their teacher will return to the school. While this is not the loss of a best friend, a beloved teacher leaving can leave that same kind of void. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Snow Day in May by Christine Evans, illustrated by Patrick Corrigan
Review by Ms. Yingling Reads:
“Raven is having a difficult time in school. Her best friend, Belle, moved away suddenly, leaving her to present their history day biography project on Nellie Bly all by herself. She finds a coin and a well in the woods, and in a moment of panic, she wishes that she wouldn’t have to present. She finds herself in the Wish Library facing the Librarian and her pet lizard. She explains about making wishes and gives Raven a lengthy contract to sign in order to check out a wish, making very sure to outline how critical it is that Raven gets the wish back in time. The next morning, Raven and her sister wake up to a lot of snow! It’s localized to just her town, but school is closed and she doesn’t have to present. Of course, it also causes her airline pilot mother not to be able to get to work. Raven wants to return the wish and stop the snow, and when she returns to the well, she runs into her friend Luca but is unable to stop him from making another wish. What complications will arise in the next book? ” [chapter book, ages 7 and up]
Abby, Tried and True by Donna Gephart
Review by Ms. Yingling Reads:
“When her best friend and neighbor, Cat, moves with her professor mother to Israel, Abby is devastated to think about starting 7th grade without her. While Abby’s brother Paul (who frequently calls her “Abs” or “Six-Pack”) is outgoing and more than happy to help their mother Rachel with her online cooking show, Abby finds it hard to make friends. It’s an added insult when a new family rents Cat’s house, and Abby trips while walking her dog Miss Lucy and humiliates herself in front of a boy her age. However, Conrad turns out to be just a year older, very cute and wants to walk to school with Abby and spend time with her. The summer winds to a close, and when Paul comes back from being a counselor at a camp, something is wrong but no one is telling Abby anything. Eventually, she finds out that Paul has testicular cancer. He will need surgery and then four rounds of chemotherapy. Abby is terrified for her brother, and finds it hard to make it through school days filled with projects and mean girls, but takes a little comfort in the fact that Conrad’s uncle also had this type of cancer, was treated, and is now fine. While her extended, close-knit Jewish family gathers to support Paul, Abby struggles with her own worries about her brother while enjoying her growing friendship and romance with Conrad. Will Abby, her two mothers, and her brother make it through this difficult time?” [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Love, Amalia by Alam Flor Ada & Gabriel M. Zubizarreta
It’s bad enough that Amalia’s best friend moves far away without much notice, but then her beloved Abuelita dies. Her Abuelita took care of her after school every day, teaching her how to cook, and sharing stories of Abuelita’s children, now fully grown and living in far-flung places. Abuelita’s death brings the relatives back to Chicago where Amalia can finally put a face to the stories. The letters that Abuelita saved from her children are passed on to Amalia, and they make her realize her connection to her grandmother will never be lost. It’s this realization that makes her finally ready to reconnect with her best friend.
This quiet story has the warmth of a grandmother’s loving wisdom and would be comforting to anyone who has suffered loss either through a friend moving away, or a death in the family. [picture book, ages 8 and up]
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