It's easy to speak of the trauma and the guarded excitement of moving from our adult perspective. Our concerns center around timing, packing, transferring finances, all of the serious but bothersome elements that we know will not even be issues a few weeks after the move takes place. But what about the little people - those pint-sized varieties we once looked like? Even if a move to another place represents an exciting change, it can also be a scary specter, filled with visions of the unknown. New people, places and experiences will be so different from the home and neighborhood in which we may have taken our first steps, made our first friends, ridden our first bikes, and learned to read our first words.
Lynne Calogerro had a tough time with her 5-year old a few years back when dealing with the prospect of moving to a new home. It wasn't just a matter of fear here; rather it was the flat out refusal of her son to move. "He was convinced that he couldn't possibly move, because his Nana wouldn't be able to find the house, because Santa already had established us at our current chimney location, and because he just knew that in the end his toys would not get delivered to the right house and right room. All of it was just too much for him to take," says Calogerro, a mother of two in New Hampshire. "We actually had to have an artist come in and air-brush his new room with Tonka trucks to bribe him to leave our old house," laughs Lynne.
Calogerro, a writer of 15 children's books based on her own experiences as a mom, recently published "New Home, New School," a touching, entertaining, and simple story of her already established caterpillar character, Wordsworth. Attempting to reach out to kids who oftentimes feel uneasy about moving, the book deals with Wordsworth's comfortable, familiar home in a flower pot suddenly interrupted by the lady of the house's choice to re-plant the flowers in the garden, away from all he knows and loves. With his mom's encouraging and reassuring words, he begins to like the new view from the garden, but new fears arise, like a new school, making new friends, being brave, and he realizes how making just one new friend can go a long way towards feeling better about things.
Charmingly illustrated by local New Hampshire artist Don Higgins, the book is ideal for real estate professionals to give to their clients, for relocation firms to include in their packages, for homebuilders to present at contract time, and for loved ones and friends to give to young children to help ease their moving fears.
The creation of the book was a joint effort and pooling of talents. Calogerro enlisted the expertise and services of husband Chris, who owns and operates Spectrum Printing and Graphics in Billerica, MA. "We decided to use the direct-marketing, Internet approach with this little book," says the author. "We wanted to go directly to the people who would benefit from it - families with small children," she adds. Available through her web site for L. Lemon O'Pea Productions (www.llemonopea.com) the book is offered individually or in packets, giving those who care about relocating friends and clients a ready supply.
"We've had interest and orders for the book from all over the world," says Calogerro. By year-end L.Lemon O'Pea Productions will also be coming out with an accompanying coloring book, showing Wordworth's moving truck, his new school, and his new house being built, complete with earth movers and workmen - a great distraction for little ones being dragged along on house-hunting tours.
On a personal note: It's not often that I am able, as a real estate writer, to write from both an industry perspective as well as a personal one. Realizing in seeing this little book that young children's feelings about moving into new homes is an important issue riveted me back in time to when my own child was young. To a time when everything from her perspective was automatically made larger than life. I could have used "New Home, New School" when we moved to slow down my child's racing emotions and to use as a starting point to answer her fears about a new and unfamiliar place.