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Book Picks for Starting Kindergarten

It’s hard to think about going back to school when it feels like summer just started. However, if your child is starting school for the first time, they might have some questions or worries about these changes. Will I have friends, are my new teachers nice, will the work be hard, what time will lunch be, how long is recess, where are the bathrooms? These are common questions and there are many books written by empathetic children’s authors that could help your child feel their concerns are understood.

Here are a few book suggestions to help ease jitters and help kids prepare for the big day.

Kindergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by Vera Ahiyya, pictures by Joey Chou
Leo doesn’t feel quite ready for his first day of kindergarten, but ends up having a great day when he makes a kindness pledge and discovers he knows a lot about being kind to others.

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Instilled with confidence by his parents, a young boy has a great first day of kindergarten.

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Instilled with confidence by her parents, a young girl has a great first day of kindergarten.

Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Brown
Kindergarten is just a week away and Monkey is not ready, but with help and encouragement from family and friends, he begins to get excited.

Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell
Clifford joins Emily Elizabeth for her first day of kindergarten! Emily Elizabeth is nervous about making new friends and missing home. But with Clifford by her side in class to sing songs and play games, Emily Elizabeth learns how much fun kindergarten can be!

Lena’s Shoes are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese and Juana Medina
Lena is excited about starting kindergarten but her favorite shoes are not until, with the help of her father and a very special headband, she convinces the shoes–and herself–to be brave.

Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
A child imagines going off to Kindergarten as journey to another planet.

The Best Seat in Kindergarten by Katharine Kenah, pictures by Abby Carter
On Sam’s first day of kindergarten, Ms. Tate, the teacher, takes the class on a nature walk, and at the end, everyone shows off what they have found.

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin, art by James Dean
Pete the cat wears his school shoes when visiting the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and more while singing his special song.

The Best Thing About Kindergarten by Jennifer Lloyd, illustrated by Qin Leng
It’s graduation day, and Mrs. Appleby’s class tries to answer the question “What’s the best thing about kindergarten?” Mrs. Appleby has a secret answer of her own.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

Kindergarten Diary by Antoinette Portis
Annalina’s diary entries reflect her feelings and experiences as she goes from being afraid to go to kindergarten to loving it during her first month of school.

Super Saurus Saves Kindergarten by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Ned Young
Arnold, who is nervous about his first day of kindergarten, transforms himself into Super Saurus to face what turns out to be not so frightening, after all.

Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by
Daniel Jennewein
Although kindergarten provides unique challenges for a young buffalo, one who follows the rules and tries his best will get along fine.

On the Night Before Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells
The night before he starts kindergarten Milo’s dreams are full of worry, but after a fun first day of school, Milo decides that he likes kindergarten!

The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems
The pigeon must go to school, but frets about math, learning the alphabet, heavy backpacks, and what the teacher and other birds will think of him.

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Julie Durrell
When a group of children prepares for and experiences the first day of kindergarten, the parents are the ones who have trouble adjusting.

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen
Explains how young dinosaurs should behave during a typical school day.

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum
A five-year-old boy, ready and eager on his first day at “the big kids’ school,” must calm his very worried mother.