Stella is excited about getting to start school this year. She has spent all summer getting ready and making plans with her friends. Nothing can deter her excitement, that is, until her parents give her some heartbreaking news. Stella’s family is moving to Berry Bay. As a result, she will not get to start school with her preschool friends and will have to move to a new house. She is devastated and worried about what will happen when they move.
Stella and the Berry Bay by Tuula Pere is a beautifully written childrens book about moving and change. This story reminded me of what I felt when I moved right before starting school. A book like this would have been wonderful to help ease my fears about going to a strange new place and having to make new friends. Tuula has captured the complex emotions that children can feel when moving and explained in a way that young children can understand and help them understand what they are feeling is normal.
I loved how Stella’s new teacher tried to help her; she validated her feelings and concerns and helped her when struggling. She did not just give in and give Stella what she wanted; instead, she worked with her to find a solution that would work for everyone. This is a beautiful example of problem-solving and teaching these skills to young readers.
Stella and the Berry Bay is a captivating childrens book that kindergarten and young elementary students can relate to and feel seen with. Parents and teachers can use this story to help children struggling with new situations, particularly moving, and help them realize that while they may be afraid, it is normal and ok to feel that way. It also is a story that offers hope that things will turn out alright, even when it doesn’t feel like it will at first. This is a beautiful book to share with all children.
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