Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kindergarten ROCKS!

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 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 (Miss Bindergarten Books)
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 KindergartenWelcome 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

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 DollThe 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.


  1. LOVE IT! So glad she had her Auntie there with her! I have new favorite to start the year - I know just what you need, another book! :) It's non-fiction (my favorite) and SUPER adorable.

  2. Matthew thanks for the heads up on this one...will definitely check it out!

  3. Wonderful day for your family but a sad one for you :( Great blog-we have read them all but the Ticky Tacky Doll. We also enjoyed the book Kindergarten Rocks! Getting ready for the big day ourselves!

  4. My daughter starts kindergarten next week. She loves reading the back-to-school books. Her favorites include "Chrysanthemum" by Henkes and "Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten" by Vernick. She also enjoyed the cute wordless picture book, "School" by Emily Arnold McCully because she could make up her own story and she has a little brother that is staying behind.

  5. I came across your blog, so excited because of the title of this post, thinking your daughter had been helped by (and hopefully liked!) my book, Kindergarten Rocks! I hope you'll read it to her! Looks like our virtual paths cross a lot, since I follow a lot of the same blogs you do! Have a great school year!

  6. Susan, I've been trying to get back to this post and comment. (Commenting from my phone isn't always as easy as it should be!) I enjoyed reading about your last "kindergarten first day" with Abigail. I love the way you tied so many great K books to this wonderful event. You are quite the aunt! Have you read the new "Pirate of Kindergarten" by George Ella Lyon? You might want to check it out.

  7. Kindergarten is a big deal! My step son started himself this year and so far is loving it.