I Don’t Want to Go To School! by Stephanie Blake is a funny little book that deals with the big issue of not wanting to go to school. The little bunny Simon in this book doesn’t want to go even though his parents are supportive and try to make him feel confident about going.
Maisy Goes to Preschool: A Maisy First Experiences Book, by Lucy Cousins is not groundbreaking , it’s text is very formulaic but that doesn’t matter to most young readers who are being introduced to preschool for the first time. The book covers all the basics and one thing that really stood out was the page showing Maisy and other students in the potty. The reason I liked this was that for many children a big step at the same time as starting preschool is potty training. The bright colors absolutely thrilled my toddler.
First Day Jitters, by Julie Danneberg has a special spot in my heart. It’s a book about not wanting to go to a new school, the first day is always the hardest and it’s easier to just stay in bed! The beauty of this book isn’t just the recognition of the anxiety about the first day but in the end the twist is that it’s the teacher who has the jitters not a student.
First Year Letters, by Julie Danneberg is a really great book about a new , eager teacher and her loyal class. The mishaps include runaway pets, falling buffalo, visits from the fire department not once but twice, and more every day things like barf. If you have a child like mine that thinks barf is funny, they will love it.
Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis. The book is about a little boy heading off to kindergarten with a big sister who is there to answer his questions and remind him that kindergarten rocks. It addresses many of the worries that kids have and one page has a bunch written out in the illustrations.
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, by James Dean is a special school book for our family. At my son’s kindergarten orientation the teacher read this to her class and the prospective students and it’s been a favorite ever since. The book follows Pete who is a cool cat with rockin’ shoes. He heads to school and while he isn’t exactly sure of how things works he doesn’t worry, he just goes with the flow. There is no way you will be able to red this book without smiling, it’s so chill and relaxed and plain fun.
Miss Mingo and the First Day of School, by Jamie Harper is a delightful book. Miss Mingo is a flamingo and teacher who wants to know about her students on the first day of school. She starts the exercise by sharing some fun facts about being a flamingo , like why she is pink, and before you know it the whole class of different animals are sharing. This book not only shows kids that it’s okay to share about themselves but it is full of fun facts about animals in the fine print.
Kindergarten Countdown, by Anna Jane Hays is a cute book about a little girl who is crazy excited about the first day of kindergarten. The rhyming text is silly but it still manages to address some of the issues that all kids face wen transitioning to something new. On each page there are items to count along with the countdown of days leading up to the first day of school.
Wemberly Worried, by Kevin Henkes This book is about a little mouse who is about as anxious as possible. She worries about everything, and it makes her family worried too. This is a fantastic book to read before starting anything new! The way the author illustrates both through words and pictures the intensity of her feelings really creates compassion in the reader for this little mouse.
Russell’s Secret, by Johanna Hurwitz made you laugh. It’s a story about a little boy who doesn’t want to go to school he wants to stay at home like his baby sister. So his mom treats him like a baby until he can’t take it anymore. She is never mean, she is never belittling just frank and firm.
Off To Kindergarten, by Tony Johnston is a book about a little boy who is cool about going to Kindergarten as long as he can take everything but the kitchen sink with him.
On the Way to Kindergarten, by Virgina Kroll was so much better than you would have judged by the cover. It’s a cute look back at how children grow and develop and how with each year of age they can do more. So as a secondary lesson we talked about how everyone does things at their own pace.
Follow the Line to School, by Laura Ljungkvist is a really neat book. Think of this book as a tour through an elementary school and on each page there are things for the readers to find. The graphic design of this whole book is simply amazing. The beauty of the book is great but it’s also so useful for a curious kid who gets reassured by knowing as much as they can about the unknown. This book covers so many things about a school and how you send your day when you go to one. I am eager to read the author/illustrator’s other works.
The Pirate of Kindergarten , by George Ella Lyon is a really cute book. This is the story of Ginny who doesn’t know that the way she things is a little different than the other kids in her class. She is teased, her teacher reprimands her for squinting but it’s not until she has an eye screening that the nurse figures out she has double vision. Ginny is given a patch and that too could be a source of humiliation but she is proud to be a pirate! Great and unexpectedly tender look at being different at school.
Little School, by Beth Norling makes me miss teaching. It’s a simply written but detailed look at preschool and all the things waiting to explore in the classroom. Readers follow a class of four year olds as they navigate their day learning, playing, creating and some crying.
The Kissing Hand, by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite . Chester is a raccoon who like most of us doesn’t like change. In his case it’s starting school. He wants to stay home with his mama and play with the friends he already has instead of going to school away from her and his friends. So his mama explains to him the magic of the kissing hand . The real magic is the message that we have to do things that scare us sometimes but that the love of our family is always with us to help us through. Go get this book.
Kindergarten Diary, by Antoinette Portis is a cute look at the first month of kindergarten and how quickly something potentially scary and unknown becomes comfortable and familiar. The illustrations are hilariously cute and it was such an enjoyable book to read and talk about with my son.
Zip, Zip…Homework, by Nancy Poydar is a book about telling the truth at home and school. Violet is so eager to get homework because it makes her feel big and important, she even gets a special new bag for it. Things go haywire when she can’t remember which pocket she put her homework in, and she lies about having finished it. I
My Preschool, by Anne Rockwell is another spot on book by an author we love. Simple and to the point but somehow the author manages to hit all the most important parts of preschool like separation anxiety, conflict resolution and taking turns.
Welcome to Kindergarten, by Anne Rockwell is a great book for kids that have never been to school before and are heading to kindergarten. The book does a great job of explaining all the things learning centers , routines and basic activities that are common in a kindergarten class through the eyes of a little boy attending a kindergarten orientation. He goes from being unsure to much more at ease in his future environment. The reason I said I thought it would be a good book for kids unfamiliar with preschool is that while reading this to my son he said ” I already know all this !” a handful of times before asking to grab another from our pile of books.
Helping Hand Books: Emily’s First Day of School, by Sarah Duchess of York is a a timely book for the coming months when many children of varying ages will be entering school for the first time . Although the book doesn’t specifically tell us Emily’s age she seems to be entering kindergarten since there are older children at her school , but this book will work with any child entering school or even going to a new school.
Frankie Stein Starts School, by Lola M. Schaefer is a Halloween themed look at school and being different . Frankie Stein is the son of Frankenstein and unlike all the other kids at his ( night) school he isn’t scary at all. They tease him and he stands up for himself but then he just goes about trying to fit in by being just like the other kids and not like himself.
David Goes To School by David Shannon is always a hit with kids. David is again up to no good even if his heart is in the right place. This time David is making poor choices at school from cutting in the cafeteria line to writing on a desk. David books are usually loved or hated and I am in the love camp because they are such awesome tools to use examples of bad behavior to talk about and teach good behavior. Kids love to live vicariously through naughty characters and David is also really funny so get ready for some giggles too.
I Love School! by Philemon Sturges is a great simple book. He manages to cover all the things that happen at school from the start to the end of the day in an easy rhyming text.
Elizabeti’s School, by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen is a wonderful book for elementary aged kids. The story is about a little girl in Africa who is excited about getting ready to go to school for the first time. Children are lucky to get a chance to go to school and without being preachy at all this book gets that message through to readers. The other thing that it gets through so beautifully is that while school systems are obviously different that family life and people are not all that different even on a far away continent.
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler is the original book in the very popular Black Lagoon series. The imaginative story is all about a boy’s worries that his teacher is going to be a terrible child eating monster. . I do not suggest reading this to very sensitive kids or ones that really are very nervous about school. It’s humor may not be reassuring, but kids comfortable with school will find it hilarious.
Mr. President Goes to School by Rick Walton is such a cute book that we really enjoyed. The book is not so much about school as it is about how complicated adult problems can get and you can imagine how big they get for the President of The United States. The story follows Mr. President as he escapes his duties trying to make peces between to Eastern European leaders and heads back to his old kindergarten class to remember what it’s all about. Of course he ends up going back and using all the things he learned in kindergarten to make peace between the two leaders.
It’s Time for School with Tallulah by Nancy Wolff is a bright and funny book that goes through a whole school day in detail. The illustrations are whimsical and we both loved them, and the humor was awesome too.
Jake Starts Schoolby Micheal Wright is such a great book that has just the right amount of sarcasm for the adults reading it and a great message and humor for the kids too. Jake is a little scared about his first day at school so he decides to hold on to his parents and not let go. The day wears on and his parents patience is wearing thin as they do everything stuck together including recess… but a great teacher finally gets Jake to connect with a book and become her helper and finally he lets go of him poor aching parents.
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? by Jane Yolen is a book about how children and dinosaurs should behave at school . This is part of the author’s wildly popular series that are cute and kids enjoy them but are very repetitive for parents. If you have read one in the series you can imagine what this one is like. That said kids love repetition, they love being able to predict what’s coming next so this book is worth a look especially if children are eager to figure out what they can and can’t do at school.