Sammy’s Next Move (by Helen Maffini) is a wonderful story about a snail named Sammy who lives around the world with his parents. He is a ‘third culture kid’, TCK or global nomad. Read more about the book and its author here. Find the book’s Facebook fanpage here. Find Helen on Twitter.


“Sammy the snail is none too chuffed when his parents announce they are moving to Japan. He’s only just got used to living in Italy and he’s really going to miss his playmates, so the prospect of having to make new friends in yet another country is distressing and upsetting.

But thankfully young Sammy’s an accomplished traveller and when his mum reminds him about their previous postings and how much he’s enjoyed living in different countries, he warms to the idea of moving again.

Sammy’s Next Move is written by seasoned expat and mother of two Helen Maffini and tells the story of what it feels like to be a Third Culture Kid, in a way that children will identify with.

It’s a simple tale, engagingly written and very nicely illustrated and at less than 20 pages long, it’s ideal bedtime reading for children and their parents.

With two pages of tips and project ideas for parents of TCKs, this is the perfect little book for any expat child about to embark on a new adventure.”

– Shelley Antscherl is a journalist, expat and mother of four living in British Columbia. She is a book reviewer for, writer for various publications and is author of DISPARATE HUISVROUW blog for BC Local News.


Sammy’s Next Move is a wonderful book that children – who have moved with their families repeatedly – can relate to.

Sammy is a handsome snail who has just been told that he’s moving to a different part of the world… again. He feels sad to be leaving the new friends he has made, but his parents take the time to explain to Sammy how much he ends up enjoying the moves and making new friends wherever he goes.  Author Helen Maffini touches on the various emotions that children may feel when a family moves to a brand new place. My favorite aspect of Sammy’s story is the different activities Sammy’s parents do with him to prepare him for the moves: making foods associated to where they’re going, researching the countries via the Internet, and reminiscing about the fun Sammy’s had in the past and how he can continue to have fun wherever they go.

The illustrations by Mike Swaim are a nice change of pace from the newer children’s books I’ve read lately. The drawings are reminiscent of drawings I remember in children’s books as a child – no digital imaging here! Each picture pays attention to the details, and the colors are vivid and appealing.

For ‘third culture’ families, this book is a terrific resource to explain cross-cultural moving to children. After the story, Maffini includes tips for parents on how to help children cope with a move to another country. The book is appropriate enough for elementary school students to read and comprehend, but it would also make for a nice family read-aloud.”

– Olivia (Georgia) (customer review on Amazon)


“I bought this book for my seven- (soon to be eight-) year-old daughter, when we recently moved from Australia to the US. I had been searching for ages for suitable literature pitched at her age group. This book proved to be ideal! It is sensitively written, and captured my daughter’s attention immediately. The author obviously understands what it is like to move from country to country and the concerns that worry children, and the book not only understands but turns these worries into positives. My daughter attends an international school where her class is full of Third Culture Kids, and consequently we lent the book to my daughter’s class teacher, who loved it and read it to the whole class, thus promoting a discussion on what it means to be a TCK. I wish this kind of book had been around when I was a child, moving to different countries every few years. It certainly would have helped with those transition worries. An excellent book for your TCK, if your child knows a TCK, or just to introduce your child to world travel.”

– Becky Sinnatt (customer review on Amazon)

Click here for more 5-star reviews of Sammy’s Next Move.


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