Best Books to Discuss First Day of School Worries
"Where did you eat lunch?"
"How did you find your classroom?"
"Did you miss your mommy?"
These are just some of the sweet questions that my five year olds dictated to their older, wiser almost first grader pen pal a few weeks ago.
My twins are starting Kindergarten in September and even though they are eagerly crossing off days on the calendar to reach that big First Day, they have worries.
A lot of these worries will evaporate on the first day when they meet their teacher and learn the routines, but I want to help them feel confident walking out the door on that first day. One of the ways I'm helping them talk about their fears and concerns are with books.
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Wemberly is a champion worrier and starting school has given her even more worries than usual. This is just the sweetest book about worrying, new schools, and those perfect friends who make everything okay. One of my all time favorite books and perfect for the New School Year occassion.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
This is a classic and addresses that concern of leaving mom for the first time. My daughter adores this book and gives me a kiss to save on my hand every night before she goes to bed.
David Goes to School. by David Shannon
For a kid that worries about the rules of school this is the perfect book with brief text and lots of humor. Oh David.
I Hate English! by Ellen Levine
Mei Mei speaks Chinese and is a great student until her family moves to New York. In her new school everything is in English and she hates it. This book beautifully articulates the challenges of attending school in a new language and the struggle to hold onto yourself even as you adapt. A wonderful story for any English language learner starting school or changing to a new school.
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts
Kids are sometimes mean. This is an unfortunate reality of school but the smallest girl in the smallest grade has some thoughts about this. By far the most unique book I have read about Kindergarten and a testiment to the power of the very small.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
Another book about missing mama. It is aimed at the preschool audience, but I think Kindergarteners relate just as much. The raw emotion that burst off the page through the character of sweet Llama Llama is something to which every child can relate.
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
I'm admittably Kevin Henkes biased, but his characters and stories are just delightful. Lilly is a favorite and in this tale she brings her brand new purple plastic purse to school and causes all kinds of drama. My children both like to cart their little prized belongings with them everywhere so this one is helpful in explaining why sometimes that isn't the best idea.
Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson
Henry is ready for his first day of school in this book. While he gets ready and walks to school, his parents talk with him about what to expect. I think most fears about the First Day of School come from not knowing what to expect. This isn't exactly a guidebook, but it helps to fill in some of the mystery.
Kindergarten, Here I Come! by D. J. Steinberg
Another great books about what to expect in Kindergarten. This one is a collection of poems that breaks down the different parts of the day from loosing a tooth at lunch to getting to be the line leader. Big and small, this one covers the Kindergarten basics.
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