It can be hard to say goodbye to our favorite characters when a book ends. Even in the shortest of stories, we feel a connection with those depicted on the page. Luckily, sometimes authors choose to continue the storyline in a series and let us enjoy these characters for a little longer. As we see these individuals move through different environments and encounter new challenges, we get to learn more about them while likely also learning more about ourselves.
As the holidays approach and we begin to look for gifts for the children in our lives, a meaningful option is a book series that allows them to take multiple adventures with their favorite characters. From optimistic cats to traveling sisters to child inventors, the following children’s series allow readers to create a bond with an array of different characters while also teaching them numerous lessons.
“Pete the Cat” (3-Book Boxed Set)
by Eric Litwin
Pete the Cat will not let anything ruin his day, even when his favorite shoes are stained. As he walks along the sidewalk in “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes,” he encounters strawberries, blueberries and other messes that turn his bright white shoes brown. Rather than being upset, Pete the Cat keeps on walking and focuses on the good. This mindset is also present as he explores his new school in “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes” and when he loses one of the buttons on his favorite shirt in “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.”
Best for children ages 4 to 8, the “Pete the Cat” series emphasizes positive thinking when faced with challenges. It’s easy to let small inconveniences affect our mood, or even ruin our day, but Pete the Cat shows that these stresses are not worth harping on. Instead, this peppy feline friend encourages readers to take these challenges in stride and look at them as lessons.
“Sissies Adventure Series” (3-Book Boxed Set)
by Marisa Howard
Being a big sister comes with many responsibilities, and one of those is helping your younger sister explore the world. In the “Sissies Adventure Series,” big sissy can’t wait to show her little sissy all the fun things to do, whether it is swimming, hiking or dancing. Through the travels of these loving sisters, your child is sure to get excited about the traveling they will do themselves as well as the lasting memories that come with quality family time.
In this three-part series, the set of young siblings explores different terrains, from the beach to the mountains to a different country. Each book is complete with lessons, adventure and what it takes to be an amazing brother or sister. The set includes “Sissies at the Sea,” “Sissies in the Mountains” and “Sissies go to Mexico,” and is best suited for children four years and younger.
“Amelia Bedelia” Chapter Book Series (4-Book Box Set)
by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril
The world was first introduced to Amelia Bedelia in a series of picture books in 1963 through author Peggy Parish. Since then Peggy’s nephew, Herman Parish, has revived the fan-favorite character in the Amelia Bedelia series of short, fast-paced chapter books. Great for readers of the Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones series, Amelia Bedelia is a young girl that gets herself into an array of situations that forces her to problem-solve and find suitable solutions. Along the way, Amelia makes a host of new friends that are presented to the reader through black-and-white illustrations throughout the books.
This four-book boxed set includes the first chapter books in the series: “Amelia Bedelia Means Business,” “Amelia Bedelia Unleashed,” “Amelia Bedelia Road Trip!” and “Amelia Bedelia Goes Wild!” Designed for children ages 6 to 8, the Amelia Bedelia Series is a great start for children who are venturing into reading on their own for the first time.
“If Not You, Then Who?” (4-Book Series)
by David Pridham and Emberli Pridham, illustrated by Anyu Rouaux
One of the main questions we are asked as children is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While children still have so much time to decide, and likely will change their minds a few times, the “If Not You, Then Who?” collection shows kids just how many possibilities there are. Not only does it introduce different potential careers, it also emphasizes certain hobbies and passions that can help children have a beneficial impact on their surrounding communities.
This four-book series aims to teach children how their own interests and passions can materialize into useful inventions. “The Inventor in the Pink Pajamas” tells a story of how Brooke, one of the main characters, overcomes her fear of presenting in front of her classmates while “Noah’s Treehouse” explores the joy felt after completing a passion project. “Let The Games Begin!” offers lessons of inclusivity as Noah and Brooke design a new sport enjoyable for everyone while “We’re Going Green!” teaches children the importance of taking care of their community. Through these different journeys taken by Brooke and Noah, readers from all backgrounds learn that no dream is too big and no dreamer is too small to succeed.
“Bad Kitty” Chapter Book Series
by Nick Bruel
Another option for readers who are first starting to tackle books on their own is the “Bad Kitty” series of chapter books. Kitty, the main character, is a housecat who continues to wreak havoc around her owner’s house when she is in a bad mood, which is nearly all the time. The recognizable black cat with a white chest has many dislikes, from baths to birthdays to family members. Over the course of the series, Kitty learns that many of the things she despises can actually be enjoyable experiences. As she opens her mind to new encounters, she teaches the reader that optimism and open-mindedness are key when tackling new adventures.
This set includes seven of Nick Bruel’s “Bad Kitty” chapter books, such as the favorites “Bad Kitty Gets a Bath,” “Happy Birthday Bad Kitty” and “Bad Kitty Vs. Uncle Murray.” The box also includes an interactive journal for readers called “Bad Kitty Keep Your Paws Off My Journal,” where they can answer questions about their own adventures.
“Don’t Let the Pigeon” Series
by Mo Willems
“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” is a children’s title recognized by readers around the world. In this Caldecott-Medal picture book, a bus driver takes a break and asks the reader not to let a specific pigeon drive his bus. While the driver provides the reader with a list of reasons about why the pigeon shouldn’t be allowed to drive, the pigeon tells the reader about all his qualifications. This contrast leads the reader to make decisions based on moral responsibilities while also exploring the art of persuasion presented by the pigeon.
Mo Willems’ series includes six books: “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!,” “Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late,” “The Pigeon Needs a Bath,” “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!,” “The Duckling Gets a Cookie!” and “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy.” Each of these books explores the responsibility of keeping promises, the power of persuasion and the value of being held accountable while also making the reader laugh.