For parents, watching your child hit new milestones is an exercise in mixed emotions. Our perspective often is both sentimental for their quickly advancing childhood and excited for the new stage. Perhaps we don’t always consider the perspective of the child who is experiencing new challenges and newly acquired skills, as they, too, are likely going through a variety of feelings. Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts, a new picture book written by Dianne White and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman, addresses some typical milestones in a gentle and encouraging manner intended to give respect to children’s myriad of emotions.
It starts by acknowledging that children are “saying goodbye” to things as they grow– tricycles are replaced by bikes, beloved articles of clothing are exchanged for better-fitting pieces, for example– and there may be some sadness involved. This adorable picture book tries to respect that feeling while also encouraging children to see the positive parts of growing up, especially in the new skills and activities they get to take on. Though it’s not necessarily evident from the beginning of the story, the various children depicted are all heading toward one big shared milestone, making this a delightful book for kids to read this summer before heading off to kindergarten in the fall!
There’s a bright cheerfulness in the tone of the story and the illustrations that offers comfort and support to young children who may be a bit hesitant about the new things in their life. Parents will likely find a joyful sentimentality to the story, as well, making a shared reading an experience of warmth and love.