I know it’s cliché, but I can’t believe my baby is starting kindergarten. I think we’re both excited and nervous, so, of course, we are going to read some books in preparation for that scary first day. Here are a few new picture books that I plan to share with my little girl.
It doesn’t get more welcoming than the beginning of Ready and Waiting for You:
“Come in. Come in.
Come in through this door.
Are you new?”
Open the fold to reveal the refrain from your bus driver “We’re ready and waiting for you.” Every step of the way, new students are guided along with smiling faces and gentle help. The colorful torn-paper illustrations create a child-like quality that add to the sense that school is a kid-friendly place full of interesting things and smiling faces. It radiates optimism, which may be just what your new student needs on the first day. (9780802853554. August 2013. Gr. PS-K)
What might help you to feel less nervous on your first day? Oliver knows just what he needs: an alligator. Hey, things might get rough. And they do. Right when he gets to school a lady who is not his mom talks to him, so he tells his alligator what to do. “Munch, munch!” he says. An the alligator eats the lady. Soon the alligator has taken care of all the scary stuff at school from the friendly students to the brightly colored decorations. Of course, once all that stuff is gone school is kind of boring. All the fun seems to be inside his alligator’s stomach where the kids are laughing and playing. So Oliver decides to join them. Oliver and his Alligator is a quirky story of how imagination can help us be less afraid. (9781423174370. June 2013. Gr. PS-K)
We get all sorts of well-intentioned advice when we are starting something new, and in You’re Wearing That to School?! By Lynn Plourde, Penelope gets some new to school tips from her friend Tiny. He tells her not to wear her usual clothes, not to bring anything unusual for lunch, and not to bring anything too baby-ish for show and tell. He tells her the important thing is to fit in with everyone else. Penelope, however, has her own ideas, and she sticks with them. Fitting in might work for Tiny, but she makes standing out work for her. This is a charming book for a new school year that will reassure kids that they can be themselves. Don’t miss the Tips for a Hippo Happy First Day of School at the end of the book! (9781423155102. June 2013. Gr. PS-3)
I have a few more choices in this post from 2011, but I’m curious about your starting school choices. What are your favorite books to share with new kindergarteners? Share your picks in the comments or tweet us @MackinBooks!