Today was a big day for our family. My youngest niece, Abigail Grace, started Kindergarten today! Now that might not seem like a big deal but let me tell you...it is! As a former Kindergarten teacher, I remember fondly all the 'first' days I have been able to be a part of ...watching parents following the school bus, the 'mob' in the front lobby, the tears, and of course so many pictures and videos! I have been fortunate to be able to be there for all six of my nieces' and nephew's 'first' day...and am a little sad that today was the last one!
Kindergarten is such an important year in a child's school career. Robert Fulghum was right...everything you really need to know you learn in Kindergarten! So, in honor of Abigail's 'first' day...and everyone else celebrating a 'first', here are a few of my favorite 'starting Kindergarten' books to get the year started!
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate (illustrated by Ashley Wolff) Perhaps "Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten"'s greatest accomplishment is that it really is a love letter to teachers everywhere. It shows just how hard they work, how much effort and joy goes into their jobs, and how much they care. Kids rarely get to see the behind-the-scenes toil and sweat that goes into their schooldays. "Miss Bindergarten" gives them that chance.
Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell Rockwell has produced a quiet, reassuring look at kindergarten routines. A little boy and his mother attend an open house, and he discovers all of the fascinating classroom centers and the activities that he will be doing in each one when September arrives. After finding a new friend and sharing cookies, he goes home contentedly with his mother, thinking that the school building doesn't look too big at all anymore, but seems "-just the right size for me!"
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (illustrated by Ruth Harper and Nancy Leak) Chester Raccoon doesn't want to go to school--he wants to stay home with his mother. She assures him that he'll love school--with its promise of new friends, new toys, and new books. Even better, she has a special secret that's been in the family for years--the Kissing Hand. This secret, she tells him, will make school seem as cozy as home. Audrey Penn has written a sweet, endearing story to help little ones face those scary feelings on their first days of separation.
The Ticky Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant (illustrated by Harvey Stevenson) A little girl worries about going to school for the first time and leaving her ticky-tacky doll that Grandmama made behind. The child is unable to eat or pay attention and her teachers and family are concerned. Only her observant grandmother is able to figure out what is wrong, and she devises the perfect solution: she sews a miniature version of the doll that fits into the corner of the little girl's book bag.
A VERY proud Auntie with the Kindergartner!
Read about some of the other picture books I loved using in Kindergarten here.