When Miss AJ starts kindergarten in a month, I’m going to hold on to you. My favorite picture books will help your child get used to big school like they are helping mine. You all know that I think books are great for teaching kids about new things, so I’m going to share some of our favorite ones with you today.
Great Starting School Picture Books
First Day by Andrew Daddo. ABC Books, 2003
We all love this book! In the beginning, both the kids and the parents may have a hard time with it. All of the things kids need to do each day before school are talked about in the book. It also makes sure kids know that their parents will be back – “the best thing about waving goodbye is that the next wave will be hello.”
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child. Candlewick Press, 2005
The Charlie and Lola show has been a favorite of ours for a long time now. She was nervous about starting school because she never eats more than 10 biscuits at a time and doesn’t need to know how to count backward from 10. There will be lots of fun and she’ll make new friends, Charlie tells her. Her first day, she does indeed make a very important friend.
The Things I Love About School by Trace Moroney. Five Mile Press, 2009
Many of Trace Moroney’s books are in our home. They come from her “The Things I Love About” series, as well as from her “Feelings” series. People who go to school enjoy learning new things and trying new things, as well as playing and making new friends. Trace talks about these and other things in her book The Things I Love About School. “I wonder what I’ll learn tomorrow.” I love going to school!
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Tanglewood Press, 2003
This is my favorite of the stories we told about how we went to school. Chester Racoon is afraid that he won’t be able to play with his toys and do the things he likes to do at home when he goes to school. His mother tells him that he will love school when he starts, and then she tells him a secret. She tells him about The Kissing Hand. I think this book is just as good for the moms who are afraid they will be sad when they miss their child as it is for the kids.
Going to School by Anna Civardi. Usborne Publishing, 2005
Starting school is a big deal for both of them. We get to spend the first day of school with them. Children will enjoy many of the things they will do in a play-based, first-years program through this simple story. It starts with the twins getting up and getting dressed, then moves on to meeting the teacher and having Mom stay for a little while. Then, there is a lot of play and making things.
Starting School by Janet and Allen Ahlberg. Penguin Books, 2013
The book Starting School is written in the same way that Ahlberg does, and it answers a lot of the questions that young kids have. It follows a group of kids as they go through their first term.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate. Dutton Books, 1996
In the audio version of this story, both of my daughters love it. I think it’s because the text has a lovely rhythm that makes it easy for them to follow. Kindergarteners are also getting ready for their first day of school.
Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman. HarperCollins, 2014
It is Chu’s first time going to school. They should be nice to him, too. No, they won’t. What will happen at this new school? Chu will also sneeze.
Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee. Voyager Books, 2006
There are many rules at school. Suppose you can’t tie your shoes. As a rule, too. Before school starts, Countdown to Kindergarten looks at the fears of a little girl who is about to start kindergarten in the 10 days before school starts. She might not be able to tie her shoes.
That Book Woman by Heather Henson
These are fictional stories that are linked to real-life events. That Book Woman is one of them. They rode horses through the Appalachian Mountains as a traveling library in the 1930s, giving people books. In this story, Cal doesn’t understand why “that book woman” keeps coming by. Cal doesn’t read, and he doesn’t want to read. When his sister learns to read and “that book woman” fights through a snow storm to bring new books, he sees the power of a book. My favorite thing about the book is that it shows that not all kids have books and how important they can be.
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr Seuss
This is a school book like no other, because it was written by Dr. Seuss, who is an author like no other. As soon as the big test comes, everyone at Diffendoofer School is nervous and stressed except for Miss Bonkers. She doesn’t care. If you work hard and do your best, you can forget the rest. Before a big test, this is a great book to read.
Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest
Mr. George Baker is a great story about a little boy named Henry and his neighbor, Mr. George, who is 100 years old. The story is told from Henry’s point of view as he and his friend wait for the school bus. They both go to school so they can learn how to read, which is a very important message. I love the poetic descriptions in this book, as well as the great message that you are never too old to learn new things.
More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby
Books about Booker T. Washington’s childhood are called More Than Anything Else. This story is about how he used to be. When his mother gives him an alphabet book, the door to reading opens for him. A good story for older kids to show how important and hard it is for some people to be able to learn. In our country, everyone can go to school for free.