Ease your children with PCSing with the book “I Move A Lot and That’s Okay”

Photo courtesy of Shermaine Perry-Knights
Photo courtesy of Shermaine Perry-Knights

Ease your children with PCSing with the book “I Move A Lot and That’s Okay”

by Shermaine Perry-Knights
Stripes Europe

Moving is hard to do. It’s especially hard as a child in the armed forces. The average military child changes schools nine times between kindergarten and graduation. Books can help! I Move A Lot and That’s Okay supports social-emotional learning for military children and their civilian peers. This picture book follows a bright-eyed girl during a PCS as she shows the reader that she can embrace a new environment, language, and a different culture in Naples, Italy. Its message of resilience and hope are universal ones that help all children to overcome obstacles more easily. 

This story highlights the sacrifices of military children. It explores the thoughts, feelings and experiences of children who struggle with rapid relocation. “I Move A Lot and That's Okay” teaches young readers resilience, flexibility and how to navigate emotions.

I decided to write this book because the main character, Grace, is my story. I’ve seen a lot of literature for military children, but not as much from the military child’s perspective. Not only PCSing but going to a new school – what does that feel like? You’ll get to see the highs and lows of Grace’s emotions. She is leaving her friends and starts to forget people. If you move enough that is what happens. A lot of the illustrations are based on my memories and even my photos. I had a picture of Naples airport and the foothills of Italy that we used. And a picture of the elementary school at the time; Grace attends Naples Elementary School. The reader will explore unconventional fun activities. For example, Grace jumps on bubble wrap and draws on boxes. On moving day, we jumped on bubble wrap at home because there was a lot of it around and that made us happy. It is a great idea for parents. During PCS season, adults must find simple moments and inexpensive activities to help kids connect with family members. PCS represents a lot of instability and potential adventure for children. I wrote the book that I wish I had as a kid while moving a lot. “I Move A Lot and That’s Okay” is a conversation tool for parents and teachers, which validates your childrens’ experiences, feelings and thoughts.

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