Are You Moving? Here Are Picture Books That Can Help

A family with boxes

Why is change hard sometimes? For kids (and even some grown-ups), disruptions in routine can be difficult to cope with. And a move - to a new house, neighborhood, or city, can bring along all manner of anxiety, even when coupled with excitement.

After a big change, family rituals like putting up mezuzot, lighting candles for Shabbat, and saying sh'ma before bed, can offer grounding and familiarity. Restarting some of your favorite routines, like reading picture books together, can also help make things go smoother. If your family is preparing for, or just had, a substantial transition, pick up one of these Jewish picture books to read together.

Bitter and Sweet
by Sandra V. Feder

Recommended for ages 6 to 7

Hannah's family is moving -- and Hannah feels bitter about it. Her grandmother tells her that when she left the old country, she felt the same way, but reminds her that every hard time has a little bit of sweetness, too. When Hannah meets a new neighbor her age, she begins to see what her grandmother means.

First Rain
by Charlotte Herman

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

When Abby moves with her family to Israel, she misses her grandmother and remembers the fun they had with each other. Writing to each other helps, but it doesn't take the place of spending time together.

The Forever Garden
by Laurel Snyder

Recommended for ages 6 to 7

Laurel loves working in the garden with her neighbor, Honey. When it's time for Honey to move away, Laurel worries about what will happen with their special garden.

Gina from Siberia
by Jane Bernstein and Charlotte Glynn

Recommended for ages 7 to 8

During the Cold War era, thousands of Jewish families made the daring trip to escape the Soviet Union -- and one family brought Gina, their adorable wire-haired terrier, along with them. This sweet story follows Gina's journey -- both physical and emotional -- as she makes a life for herself in a new land.

A Mezuzah on the Door
by Amy Meltzer

Recommended for ages 4 to 5

Noah hasn't had a good night's sleep since moving from his noisy apartment in the city to a quiet house in the suburbs. That all changes after his parents invite former neighbors to a Hanukkat Habayit, the dedication of their new house as a Jewish home.

Sammy Spider's New Friend
by Sylvia Rouss

Recommended for ages 4 to 5

When an Israeli family moves in next door, little Josh Shapiro and Sammy Spider learn about the mitzvah of welcoming guests. In the process, they each make a new friend and learn some Hebrew words.

Tia Fortuna's New Home
by Ruth Behar

Recommended for ages 5 and up

Estrella's Tía Fortuna loves her home in Miami, but it's time for her to move to an assisted living community. Packing up her belongings is bittersweet, but it gives Tía Fortuna the opportunity to show her niece some of the various belongings from her Cuban Jewish background. This poetic story is a sweet representation of Sephardic culture - and of loving family bonds.

What a Way to Start a New Year
by Jacqueline Jules

Recommended for ages 6 and 7

Everything seems to be going wrong for Dina's family as they try to get ready for Rosh Hashanah. When it looks like the family won't have dinner for the High Holidays, their community steps in to support them.


When PJ Library families move to new communities, it can be nice knowing new friends are readily available nearby. Use our Zip Code Search & Interactive Map features to find and connect with a new PJ Library community. And don't forget to change your address to continue the gift of free children's books.