Starting school elicits a range of feelings–I’m going to recommend a few books I really like, but please spend time exploring all the kindergarten books in our collection so you can find one that matches your kindergartener (and you!).
Tracing a full kindergarten year, this book introduces all the parts of kindergarten–from learning numbers, to finding a best friend, to a classroom map, to dancing, to Valentine’s Day. Families will want to return to this book again and again. I love its warm, enthusiastic, whimsical tone and illustrations–as usual Rosemary Wells hits the perfect note. If you had to get just one book, this is the one I would recommend.
A classic in of the ‘kindergarten’ genre, this features Chester Raccoon. He’s scared about kindergarten, so his mom teaches him about the kissing hand–she kisses his palm so he always has her love with him. It’s a sweet concept and I love the fact that Chester’s school takes place at night (since raccoons are nocturnal). Although I personally find the book kind of drippy, it is genuinely beloved by lots of people and worth taking a look at.
A joyful take on one aspect of kindergarten: other kids to play with. Tom (a panda bear) is continually disappointed that his parents aren’t available to play spaceship, astronaut, princess or googly monster. He heads to kindergarten and finds it just as much fun as he imagined. I like this book a lot–although I do not like that the mom stays home and does laundry, cooks and washes windows while the dad goes to work and to sign papers and make phone calls.
On a different note, The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon, is a great slice-of-life story about a girl whose terrible eyesight is discovered while she tries to learn to read, cut out bunny ears and navigate the reading circle. She eventually gets glasses and an eye patch–becoming ‘The Pirate of Kindergarten.’ As someone who wears glasses, I like the way it reassures kids with bad eyes and provokes empathy in kids with good eyesight, while providing a glimpse of kindergarten activities. It’s not really about starting kindergarten, but I recommend it wholeheartedly.
So, add to my (obviously subjective) list. What worked for your family?