Monday, July 25, 2016

8 Great Picture Books for New Kindergartners

My oldest will be starting kindergarten in a month. He describes himself as "a little nervous but mostly excited" about this upcoming change. I would describe myself as "mostly freaked out" that my baby is old enough for school.

He is full of questions about kindergarten: what will his teacher be like? what will his classroom look like? what will he do all day? will there be food? will there be games? what will he learn? will he make friends?

For those of you who have a new kindergartner who is brimming with questions, excitement, and/or nerves about school, here's a list of books to help prepare for the big day.


In The Pirate of Kindergarten (by George Ella Lyon), Ginny must wear an eye patch to correct double vision and becomes the pirate of her kindergarten class! This fun book could be especially helpful for kids who have any concerns about being different from the other children in their class.

My kids love the Little Critter books. In First Day of School (by Mercer Mayer), Little Critter is nervous about heading to school, and we get to see how he prepares and gets ready for his first day back!

Kids aren't the only ones nervous for their first day of school (as I am experiencing right now). In Dad's First Day (by Mike Wohnoutka), Dad is way more nervous than Oliver for the first day of school. Kids will love seeing that they aren't the only ones with nerves about school.

The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (by Deborah Lee Rose) is a fun twist on a rhyme your kids will probably recognize -- the twelve days of Christmas. In this version, the kindergartners are given a fun new activity in class each day.

For especially anxious kids, Wemberly Worried (by Kevin Henkes) would make a great pre-K read. Wemberly is nervous about everything to do with the start of school. This book is a great way to discuss your little one's worries and learn together how Wemberly fared on her first day!

Some kids' biggest concern for school is simply being away from mom. For those with separation anxiety, The Kissing Hand (by Audrey Penn) is a great read. A kiss from mom on Chester the raccoon's hand is the perfect way for him to remember her and feel comforted by her, even while he's at school.

With its fun rhyming sequence and silly ideas, Off to Kindergarten (by Tony Johnston) will have your little one laughing about their first day. Bill's list of items to bring to school on his first day grows longer and sillier as the book goes on!

The 'how do dinosaurs' books are always a hit at our house, so How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? (by Jane Yolen) is perfect for the big day! This funny book with its colorful cast of dinosaurs teaches kids about what is and isn't appropriate behavior in the classroom.


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