Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some Books to Quell Those First Day of School Jitters

The first day of school is always a little anxiety producing, even when it's highly anticipated. For young children entering kindergarten, the unknown can make it even more intimidating. Luckily, there are quite a few books out there to read ahead of time to help prepare your new student for the big day.

Countdown to Kindergarten

Written by: Alison McGhee
Illustrated by: Harry Bliss
Recommended Ages: 4-7

It's ten days until the first day of kindergarten, and the little girl in Countdown to Kindergarten is in "Big Trouble." For everyone knows that the number one rule in kindergarten is that you must know how to tie your own shoes (and you're not allowed to ask for help). So as each day passes by and the first day gets closer and closer, the little girl tries everything possible to get out of going. She tries losing her shoes, then her shoelaces and nothing works. Alas, the big day arrives, and wouldn't you know it, she discovers that she's not the only one who doesn't know how to tie her own shoes. In fact, only three kids in the entire kindergarten know how to tie their own shoes. And furthermore, the teacher is willing to teach them how to do it. Countdown to Kindergarten is a witty book with fun illustrations that should help allay some of those first day fears.

What Did You Do Today?: The First Day of School

Written by: Toby Forward
Illustrated by: Carol Thompson
Recommended Ages: 4-7

This delightful book is told in the voice of a child going to school for the first time. On one side of the page he describes his day, and on the opposite page you see his mother going through her day at work. Their lives parallel each other in ways that are really quite sweet. For instance, when he says, "After lunch I was sleepy, but there was lots more to do," you see a picture of him sitting next to his teacher in front of a book yawning. On the opposite page is a picture of his mother at her desk, stifling a yawn. Their days are remarkably similar in their content, which should be a comfort to young children reading this book. What Did You Do Today? is a reassuring read to kids as it shows a child going through a typical school day.

Wemberly Worried

Written and Illustrated by: Kevin Henkes
Recommended Ages: 4-8

If you have a kid who worries a lot, then Wemberley Worried may be just the right book. Wemberley is a mouse who worries about, well, pretty much everything. She worries in the morning, in the evening and all day in between. Most of all, she is worried about the first day of school.
"What if the teacher is mean?
What if the room smells bad?
What if they make fun of my name?
What if I can't find the bathroom?
What if I hate the snack?
What if I have to cry?"
When she finally gets to school, the teacher Mrs. Peachum introduces her to a kindred spirit, who is also wearing stripes and holding a doll. The two girls play together, and even though Wemberley continued to worry, it was no more than usual ("and sometimes even less").

Keisha Ann Can!

Written and Illustrated by: Daniel Kirk
Recommended Ages: 4-7

This upbeat book has a great cadence and rhythm to it, making it a perfect read-aloud. Keisha Ann is a delightful character ready to tackle any and all projects. It's a brightly colored book that shows a classroom filled with children of all different ethnicities, and Keisha Ann's smiling face is center stage. It ends on a positive note by asking the question:
"Who can learn and work, and play, and make her dreams come true?
Keisha Ann can do these things, and YOU can do them, too!"

These are just a few of the many good books out there. You should also check out:
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
The Night Before Kindergarten
First Day Jitters
The Kissing Hand
Billy and the Big New School

Bus Stop, Bus Go

Best of luck to you and your child as you both embark on this exciting new adventure!


Infant Bibliophile said...

Thanks for the cute (and well timed) suggestions! I'm not sure if I haven't visited your blog before, or had just forgotten it was here, but in any case, I'm happy to be (re)discovering it. :)

Robin Gaphni said...

Welcome! I'm glad you (re)discovered The Book Nosher. Please keep stopping by!

shelf-employed said...

Keisha Ann Canis one of my favorite Kindergarten books because it’s so upbeat. The Kissing Hand is another great Kindergarten title that is often requested by teachers and moms at my library. I’ve never seen What Did You Do Today?, but I love the premise. Great timely post.