Picture Books about Adapting to Change and Flexible Thinking

Picture Books about Adapting to Change and Flexible Thinking​

These picture books about adapting to change and flexible thinking show characters dealing with obstacles and facing uncertainty and disappointment head-on.

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Why Read Picture Books about Adapting to Change?​

Adaptability and flexibility help us look at things differently and modify our thinking and behaviour. We can develop new ideas, find new approaches to solve problems and adapt to new information. Essentially, adaptability and flexibility help with cooperation and problem-solving.

In these picture books about adapting to change and flexible thinking, your students will see characters using different strategies to deal with challenges, apprehension and disappointment. This includes starting school, moving house, changing relationships, and setbacks.

Picture books about Change and Adaptability

After the Fall by Dan Santat

A fresh retelling of the classic Humpty Dumpty story told from the egg’s perspective. Humpty Dumpty bravely faces his fear of heights, teaching us about courage, overcoming adversity, and the importance of self-esteem.

After the Fall promotes discussions around character traits, perspectives, a growth mindset, embracing fears, adaptability, and resilience.

Alone Like Me by Rebecca Evans

A young girl moves from a small village to a big city in China. As she navigates this drastic change, she longs to find a friend in her new surroundings.

Alone Like Me explores loneliness, resilience, adaptation, how changes can affect us, connecting with others, and finding common ground despite differences. 

As Time Went by José Sanabria

An old steamship finds a new purpose and becomes a home for a vibrant community of overlooked individuals. It symbolises how seemingly obsolete things can find new life and purpose.

As Time Went By explores adaptability and the power of second chances, resilience and the value of community.

The Can Caravan by Richard O'Neill

Janie is on a mission to help her neighbour, Mrs. Tolen, find a new home when she breaks her hip. With the support of a Traveller community, they transform Mrs. Tolen’s old caravan into a safe and secure dwelling.

The Can Caravan highlights resilience, adaptability, loyalty, independence, and the importance of recycling and teamwork.

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem by Amanda Gorman

Change Sings tells the inspiring story of a young girl and her group of friends who work together to bring about positive change in their community.

The book teaches your students that age is no barrier to making a difference and that their unique voices can bring about positive changes in the world.

The Creature of Habit by Jennifer E. Smith

On the Island of Habit, a big creature enjoys routine and predictability. This is disrupted by a new, smaller creature who does something different every day. This appears as madness to the big creature, but they learn to appreciate each other’s ways.

The Creature of Habit promotes discussions on embracing change, appreciating differences, adaptability, and trying new things.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This is the first of two stories about change by Peter Brown. Liam stumbles upon a wilting garden on an abandoned train track. With time, care, and patience, Liam nurtures the garden back to life which spreads throughout the city.

The Curious Garden sparks discussions on sustainability, adaptability, perseverance, cooperation, and the impact one person can have.

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies

This is the first of two stories about change by Nicola Davies. A girl navigates a world torn apart by conflict. After being rejected from a school, she finds hope in the empathetic gesture of a young boy – offering her a chair, a place to learn and belong.

The Day War Came illustrates the harsh realities faced by children impacted by war, highlighting the struggles of immigration, perseverance and courage from resilience.

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

This is the first of two open-minded books by Peter H. Reynolds. Vashti discovers her artistic voice with her art teacher’s encouragement and a single dot. Watch as she makes her first mark to creating a collection of dot paintings.

The Dot teaches us that we can become great risk-takers and creators with determination, a growth mindset, and a little encouragement.

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Dreamers mirrors the author’s experience of migrating from Mexico to America with her young son. Amidst the challenges of adapting to a new culture, language, and customs, Morales finds solace in her local library. 

Dreamers promotes determination, resilience, courage, and hope, cultivating empathy and an appreciation for diverse experiences.

Elephant Island by Leo Timmers

Arnold finds himself stranded on a tiny island after a storm washes him away from his home. He uses his ingenuity and resourcefulness to transform the island into a makeshift vessel to sail back home.

Elephant Island sparks discussions about perseverance in overcoming obstacles, resilience, resourcefulness and adaptability, and community support.

Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina

Evelyn and Daniela must part ways as Evelyn’s family moves to a new home. Their last day is full of play and laughter in their favourite places, reminding them that distance doesn’t spell the end of true friendships.

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away explores cherishing and creating memories, building resilience amidst change, adapting to new circumstances, and transitioning to a new home.

Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams

Living in a Peshawar refugee camp, Lina and Feroza each find one yellow sandal, forming a perfect pair. They alternate wearing them. When Lina and her mother emigrate to America, Feroza insists they’ll share the sandals again one day.

Four Feet, Two Sandals explores belonging, compassion, the power of hope, social awareness, and the realities refugee children face.

The Garden of Hope by Isabel Otter

In the wake of her mother’s passing, a young girl channels her grief into reviving a neglected garden. Through her tender care, what was once an overlooked space blossoms into a sanctuary radiating beauty, love, and optimism.

Gina From Siberia by Jane Bernstein

A terrier named Gina lives in the pine forests of Novosibirsk, Siberia. When her family emigrated from Siberia to New York at the end of the Cold War, Gina’s life was full of surprises and challenges. 

Gina From Siberia explores change, adapting to new surroundings, facing challenges with resilience, the bond between pets and their families and the Cold War era.

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

This is the first of two stories about change by Oliver Jeffers. After the loss of her grandfather, a young girl encases her heart in a metaphorical bottle, losing her sense of wonder. Meeting a curious child stirs something in her, reawakening the vibrant curiosity she had locked away.

The Heart and the Bottle illustrates emotional wellness, the grieving process, and the possibility of rediscovering joy and wonder even in the face of loss.

Hom by Jeanne Willis

A shipwreck leaves a boy stranded on a deserted island. He believes he’s alone but discovers Hom, a gentle creature who has also lost his family. The two form a strong bond and learn from each other’s experiences. When a rescue ship appears, the boy faces a difficult decision.

Hom promotes discussions on making friends, survival, adaptability, empathy and learning from one another. 

A Home Again by Colleen Rowan Kosinski

A brand-new house becomes a home with the arrival of a family. However, when the family moves out, the house feels lonely and unsure if it can ever be a home again. When a new family moves in, the house becomes a home again.

Home Again promotes discussions on home, dealing with changes, adaptability, and the importance of love and family.

Home Is a Window by Stephanie Ledyard

Home is a Window takes students on a family’s journey from their old, beloved home to their new one, finding comfort and familiarity by taking the things they love with them.

The book illustrates that home is not just a physical place but also a state of mind shaped by love, memories, and shared experiences.

The Journey by Francesca Sanna

A mother escapes a war with her two children. Her courage and desperation show the dire circumstances that push people to leave everything behind and embark on dangerous journeys towards an uncertain future.

The Journey fosters empathy and understanding of the realities of displacement and migration and the unwavering hope that fuels such journeys.