My middle child is starting kindergarten this fall, and I find myself even more nostalgic for yesteryear than I was when my first son had his inaugural day at “big school.” Something about the second one going means that they really aren’t babies anymore. Luckily, I’ve got an almost-three-year-old at home to keep me young (or remind me of how old I am!). These fun books will get your kindergarten-bound child excited for his first big year at elementary school, and assuage any fears he or she might have. After all, while all the years of school are special, there’s something extra-special about that first magical year of kindergarten, where all things about school are new.
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The Junie B. Jones Series, by Barbara Park
The Junie B. Jones series is a must-read for any rising kindergartner. Always funny and definitely entertaining, Junie B. will make every kid laugh out loud as they hear about her antics at school. From what pet she will bring on pet day (in Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy) to whether or not her class will win Field Day (in Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day), her every day school tales never disappoint.
The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Julie Durrell
Set to the tune of “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” this rhyming picture book by Natasha Wing is an upbeat view of what happens on the first day of school. Kids will enjoy hearing this book as a sing-a-long and will be encouraged about what to expect on that very first day, when everyone has the back-to-school jitters.
Curious George’s First Day of School, by Margret & H.A. Rey
Who else can get your kids excited about school like Curious George? If a little monkey can do it, they can too! George is invited to be a special helper, and he can’t wait. Unfortunately, George might make a little bit of a mess, but nothing that can’t be cleaned up with help from all the kids in the class. Sure to please, this book is good for any young elementary grade, not just kindergarten.
Kindergarten, Here I Come!, by D.J. Steinberg and Mark Chambers
From recess, to nap time, to all-important lunch, everything in a kindergartner’s school day is covered in this delightful picture book. Kids will learn about best friends, class pets, and celebrating the 100th day of school, and will no doubt be excited by all the fun events and activities they will experience in kindergarten.
Planet Kindergarten, by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Shane Prigmore
Mission accepted: Kindergarten. With captivating illustrations and an imaginative storyline, Planet Kindergarten is a must-have for any child about to start school, especially for those enamored with space. Kids and parents alike will enjoy reading this one, which compares mission control to the principal’s office and base camp to school! Super fun and encouraging to boot. Get kids ready to blast off this fall!
Miss Bindergarten Plans a Circus with Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff
All about an animal school, with the teacher as a dog and the students as animals ranging from a cat to a beaver to an elephant, the Miss Bindergarten books by Joseph Slate are lively stories set to keep kids excited about school (even if it’s just with human kids). Written in alphabetical order with each animal in class named with a different letter in the alphabet, Franny the Frog to Tommy the Tiger, kids will be introduced to their ABCs, as well as to colors.
What are some of your child’s favorite books about kindergarten?