Check out these books for serious, heartfelt, and humorous suggestions for how to handle situations that don’t go as originally planned—meant for moms and dads, too.
by Oge Mora (Little, Brown and Company, 2019)
Boulder Public Library staff recommend this story of Ava, who is excited to spend Saturday with her mom on the one day of the week she doesn’t work. They have it all planned: library time, new hairdos, a picnic, and seeing a one-night-only puppet show. One by one their plans are ruined, but Ava and her mom salvage the day by remembering it was special because it was time spent together.
by Phoebe Wahl (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2020)
Leo and his dad are crushed when the landlord sells their old blue house to a developer, and they have to move out. The two express their anger and sadness through music, stomping, screaming, and art, then finally find a way to make their new house feel like home. Recommended by the Denver Public Library children’s librarians.
by Laura Renauld; illustrated by Jennie Poh
(Beaming Books, 2021)
Squirrel is all ready for winter, except she’s misplaced her favorite sweater made by her grandma. When she finds it, it’s way too small. The other woodland friends try to help her fix the sweater, with no luck. In the end, Squirrel learns to adapt, and creates a memory pillow out of the sweater using items her friends gave her. The book includes instructions for a no-sew memory pillow craft.
by Jasmyn Wright; illustrated by Shannon Wright (Atheneum Books For Young Readers, 2020)
Inspired by a mantra written for her third grade students, the author, now the founder of the Push Through organization, invites kids to announce their resilience, regardless of setbacks: What if it’s too tough? I’m gonna push through! … What if you’re not strong enough? That’s not true! The book includes brief profiles of public figures who pushed through, too.
by David LaRochelle; illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (Candlewick Press, 2021)
This story teaches that everyone makes mistakes, and when you do, apologizing is the next step. Read through humorous examples of insincere apologies followed by a variety of ways to appropriately ask for forgiveness.
by Josh Lieb; illustrated by Kevin Cornell
From the first page of this book, a little boy announces that chapter two is missing, followed by a search to get it back, with lots of other silly things that don’t go as planned along the way. Written by an Emmy-winning comedy writer and producer.
Librarians and book experts also recommend:
- Everything Will Be OK by Anna Dewdney; illustrated by Judy Schachner
- Trick or Treat, Crankenstein by Samantha Berger; illustrated by Dan Santat
- That’s Life by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst; illustrated by Ray Cruz
- It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr
- Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
- That’s Good! That’s Bad! by Margery Cuyler; illustrated by David Catrow
- It’s Okay by Shiow-Miin Tsai
- Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
- Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
- It Was Supposed to be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill
- Little Unicorn is Sad by Aurélie Chien Chow Chine
- The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette; illustrated by Julie Flett
- Ginger and Chrysanthemum by Kristen Mai Giang; illustrated by Shirley Chan
- Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock by Dallas Hunt; illustrated by Amanda Strong
- Sky Color by H. Peter Reynolds
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
- Things Lenny Loves Most About Baseball by Andrew Larsen; illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
- Little Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen; illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma
Saturday: Hachette Book Group. The Blue House, Chapter Two is Missing: Penguin Random House. Squirrel’s Sweater: 1517 Media. How To Apologize: Candlewick Press. I’m Gonna Push Through: Simon & Schuster. Background: Ajwad Creative/Getty Images.