My oldest is going to kindergarten this year, and she was feeling pretty anxious about it, which I can’t blame her. On top of the normal nerves about a new teacher, new classroom, and new classmates, she is also very aware of Covid-19. Basically, for two weeks she was a bundle of nerves and didn’t want to go to school.
So what did we do? We checked out a bunch of books about kindergarten, of course! (No worries, we also had a lot of discussion about what school would look like and such). My girl loves to read, and books have actually helped her through a few social and emotional behaviors that we encountered during preschool. So here are a few of the books that we found at our local library that I found particularly helpful:
Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell
Note: My daughter loves Clifford books, so this was an automatic grab.
Description: Emily Elizabeth is starting Kindergarten and she’s a little nervous. Then the teacher sends a note that says each child can bring something from home to make the transition a little easier. But the teacher didn’t bet on a child bringing something–or someone–as big as Clifford!
Kindergarten Kids: Riddles, Rebuses, Wiggles, Giggles, And More by Stephanie Calmenson
Note: We had a good time with how interactive these poems were.
Description: Cheerful rhymes, bright colors, and friendly children energize the pages of this action-packed collection of poems about kindergarten days.
Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
Note: My daughter could relate to how stressed the main character was as she counted down to the first day of school.
Description: It’s just ten days before kindergarten, and this little girl has heard all there is to know–from a first grader–about what it’s going to be like. You can’t bring your cat, you can’t bring a stuffed animal, and the number one rule? You can’t ask anyone for help. Ever. So what do you do when your shoes come untied, if you’re the only one in the class who doesn’t know how to tie them up again?
Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Note: Loved the space exploration theme that was woven in to the normal first day of kindergarten activities.
Description: This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of this strange new world. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!
The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes
Note: This book had a fun medieval royalty twist to the first day of kindergarten.
Description: Starting kindergarten is a big milestone–and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements–and then wake up to start another day.
Lili Macaroni by Nicole Testa
Note: This one had me crying because I hate the thought of kids being mean to other kids, but it’s such an important read before heading off to school.
Description: Lili Macaroni exactly who she is. That is, until she starts kindergarten. Her classmates tease her, and she has never felt such unhappiness before. It makes her want to erase herself and draw a brand new Lili. But does she really want to erase her hair that’s just like Mom’s? Her eyes just like Grandma’s? Her Grandpa’s infectious laugh? With her parents’ help, she creates a butterfly to wear at her collar, and when she explains the butterfly to her classmates, Lili discovers she has begun a powerful conversation, and that everyone has some trouble to be carried away on butterfly wings.
On the First Day of Kindergarten by Tish Rabe
Note: This was a great introduction to the type of fun and activities kids will have on the first few days of kindergarten, but it is also a counting book.
Description: On the first day of kindergarten, there’s so much to do! From making new friends to jumping rope in gym to riding the bus to school, there are lots of exciting firsts to look forward to. Even though saying good-bye to Mom and Dad is hard, when the school bus pulls up, it’s time to begin kindergarten fun.