We are smack dab in the middle of summer but some of my dear friends' children start kindergarten in the next week or two. Will, Hannah, Aiden and Maddie all are making the big leap to Kindergarten. Kindergarten is such a milestone because it signals the beginning of the "school years" which seems miles away from "toddlerhood" or even the pre-school years.
Anyway, I was thinking about some great books that I read to Grace last year in anticpation of kindergarten and that we'll read again to get ready for first grade. As most of you know, I love children's literature and try to find a picture book to fit every occasion. Here are a few we really enjoy.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
This book is really fun because it addresses the nervousness that many children (and adults) feel in new situations. The story follows Sarah as she protests going to school on the first day. She gives every reason or excuse in the world for not going but is cajoled and forced to get dressed, eat breakfast and get in the car. When she finally makes it to the classroom it is revealed that she is actually the teacher! The illustrations are fun and the surprise ending makes it really stand out.
Mr. Ouchy's First Day by B.G. Hennessy
This book is told from the point of view of the teacher and how he is nervous and excited about the first day. I think this book helps to give children some perspective about teachers and that they have a life outside of school. It's really a simple text and the pictures are lively and engaging.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
This is a classic book that I think speaks to the parents as much as the child. Chester Racoon doesn't want to go to school. He wants to stay home with his mom. His mom tells him that she has a family secret, The Kissing Hand. The kissing hand is a simple gesture that makes Chester and his mom feel better.
There are many, many more books out there that explore starting school. What are some of your favorites?