Starting Kindergarten and Preschool Books
A reader asked me to help her round out her list of books for incoming Preschoolers. I searched, and there are not tons of them. I decided to combine this with entering Kindergarten because in September, my youngest child will start Kindergarten. I feel that you can use the books somewhat interchangeably and that books that your child enjoys will be a more important factor than whether the book aligns exactly with his or her school entry point.
With regard to my youngest entering Kindergarten, I’m not that sad about that. I’m sadder that he is elongating and losing his baby chubbiness in his face and legs. I made the mistake with my middle child thinking that she’s been to elementary school so much as a tag-along that she’d have no anxiety or transition issues. But a transition to a new grade or school, not matter how small, is still difficult for children. It’s helpful to visit the new school as often as possible. Play with kids that will be at the same school if you can. And read, read, read to your child books about starting school. The familiarity of routines and activities of the new school will take a lot of the anxiety away. So, while my youngest has been visiting his elementary school for 5 years so far, we’ll take it one step at a time and read these books over and over to ensure a smooth landing in September. And a few play dates with new friends is also on the books!
p.s. I also have a post on Getting Kids Ready for Kindergarten Activities with great advice from an Occupational Therapist and Has Kindergarten Changed or Are Kids Smarter from Harvard Education Letter.
Your buffalo is growing up. He plays with friends. He shares his toys. He’s smart! But is he ready for kindergarten? (And is kindergarten ready for him?)
Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? is a hilarious look at first-day-of-school jitters from author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Daniel Jennewein.
Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum
It’s a child’s first day of kindergarten, but who is worried about all the new people and the different things he’ll meet–the child? No! The mother. In a refreshing reversal of roles, the child takes it upon himself to comfort and reassure his mother that everything will be fine, she’ll get used to him going to big-kid school, and yes, he is ready for the first day of kindergarten. Utterly charming in its simplicity, Yum playfully uses size and color to reveal emotions of this milestone beginning.
10. Mama Don’t Go by Rosemary Wells
Yoko has trouble separating from her mother during the first week of school, but her new friend Timothy helps her to understand that mothers “just keep coming back!”
9. Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell
At first, everything seems so big and overwhelming, but after going over the routines of Kindergarten it feels just right to the little boy in the story. A sweet and gentle depiction of the routines of Kindergarten.
8. Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come by Nancy Carlson
Henry the mouse is so excited about starting kindergarten .. .that is, until he walks through the door to class. But as he recognizes all the things he talked about and made a new friend, he realizes that Kindergarten is going to be fun!
7. My First Day at School by Ruth Wickens
My kids liked this book because it’s a pop-up book and it talks about the first day of preschool with a little boy learning about all the wonderful options of fun things to do at preschool as well as the routines. My kids liked to read this book well into preschool just to compare what is the same and what is different about their preschool.
6. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Ashley Wolff
A glimpse about what the teacher does to get her classroom ready for the kids in her class! It’s not all nicely set up and attractive to kids by accident!
5 Sumi’s First Day of School Everby Soyung Pak.
Sumi doesn’t speak English and today is her very first day of school ever. Will it go well?
4. D.W.’s Guide to Preschool by Marc Brown
D.W. is an old-hand at preschool and is reassuring about how much fun it is!
3. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Wemberly is a worrywart and she is especially worried about starting school. It turns out that her teacher is really nice and encourages her to make a new friend who is very similar to Wemberly.
2. I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
Lola thinks she is “too absolutely small for school” because she is a little nervous about starting school. Or is it Soren Lorenson, her invisible friend, who is nervous? But all is well when she makes a new friend the first day. Lola is her usual delightful and funny self!
1. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
The sweetest story ever about the magic of kisses to help with separation anxiety!
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