Min’s Move – a new book to help children with the transition of moving abroad (Book Review)
MoveHub, “the UK’s number one resource for moving abroad” has produced this fully illustrated story book as means of helping families with the transition of moving to another country.
Having taught many international children over the years I have often wondered how they cope with such a huge transition – moving from one country and culture to another. So when I was approached by Move Hub review this new book I was intrigued as books can be so helpful for children when adjusting to change.
About Min’s Move:
Min’s Move has been developed with child psychologists and illustrators to give both children and their parents an easy way to tackle the difficult and emotional issues surrounding a big move, after finding that more and more families were struggling with the transition.
With more and more families moving abroad for work or lifestyle reasons, this clever book can help parents and children to process their feelings together, and discuss the changes they all face in a caring and considered way.
Min’s Move explores common things that children may worry about when moving to another country such as making new friends, starting a new school, leaving friends and family behind etc. The story, about Minnie and her brother Max allows children to verbalise the questions and fears they may have and express their own feelings about moving as they accompany Minnie and Max on their adventure.
Throughout the book Minnie and Max learn about the new place that they are moving to – Hong Kong. The book explains everything that is involved in such a big move, including getting there by plane, packing up all their belongings, details about the new food and culture and saying goodbye to loved ones.
I absolutely loved the illustrations in this book. Drawn to imitate a child’s own drawing it really engages a child and gives them something to identify with as this is possibly how they may illustrate the story themselves. It is obvious that a lot of thought and research went into the production of this publication. The language used by the characters is very much in line with how children speak. The vocabulary is perfectly pitched at young children but includes lots of new vocabulary too which I felt portrayed the new and exciting changes ahead in the lives of the characters of the book.
Throughout the book all the ups and downs of Min’s Move are explored, including her scary dreams of dragons but thankfully as the book draws to a close we find Min happy in her new life and country, now having fun and pleasant dream of the dragons that upset her so much at the beginning of the book.
Although we have no plans to move, my own children (5yrs and almost 3) really enjoyed this book. They loved all the new and wonderful facts about Hong Kong and they could really empathise with Minnie and Max. They have cousins who moved to Australia a couple of years ago and I was really delighted to see how they made the connection to their cousins and what their cousins must have experienced.
A fantastic feature of this book is the list of questions that parents can ask their children as means of helping kids to express their own feelings about moving abroad. These questions are based on consultations with the child psychologists involved in this project so are particularly well formulated and focused. There are also great tips for introducing your child to the new country such as exploring maps, having smaller farewell get togethers rather than an overwhelming large farewell party and learning a new song in the new language.
I found the book to be a little long for a picture book, but having said that, I feel that the length is probably necessary in order to explore all the issues and questions involved and is possibly best read over a period of time to enable families to fully open up to each other and discuss their fears, hopes, and expectations for the move ahead. I think that this book would be an extremely useful tool and resource for families. It would also have a lot of value within the classroom helping children moving abroad and those settling into a new school having moved from another country. I think that this book certainly could help children and their families reduce the stress involved in such a move and make it a joyous and exciting adventure.
Would I recommend this book – absolutely! Anything that gets children opening up and talking about their feelings is a highly valuable resource and books have a magical way of enabling them to do just that!
Min’s Move is available to buy through MoveHub: www.movehub.com/buy-mins-move
Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary copy of this book in order to provide an honest and fair review.