|Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net|
My kids will be heading back to school in two days. My older two are wishing that summer vacation could last a bit longer, but my youngest, Benjamin, can't wait! He will be starting Kindergarten, something he's been looking forward to all summer long. In honor of all those who are beginning school for the very first time this year -- those who are excited, and those who are a little worried -- here are some great picture books all about school:
The Kissing Hand, written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak, 1993... This sweet story is appropriate for any situation where a child will be separated from his/her parent, especially for the first time -- Kindergarten, preschool, starting day care, etc. With a special gesture, Mother Raccoon reassures her little one, Chester, that no matter where he goes, her love goes with him.
If You Take a Mouse to School, written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, 2002... If you take a mouse to school, you can bet that silly things will happen! My own kids have always loved the bright, fun pictures of the mouse attending school, attempting science experiments, building a mouse house out of blocks, writing his own book, and more.
First Day, Hooray!, written and illustrated by Nancy Podar, 2000... First day jitters and excitement are not only for students, but also for teachers, principals, bus drivers, and janitors, too! This book shows how each person prepares for the start of school, the worries each of them have, and then how each person reacts when the big day finally arrives.
Countdown to Kindergarten, written by Alison McGhee, and illustrated by Harry Bliss, 2006... The little girl in this book is very nervous about starting school, thinking she'll be expected to tie her own shoes. She attempts to get rid of her shoelaces in many different ways, including hiding them in a haystack and trying to feed them to her pet cat! When Kindergarten finally begins, she learns that she is not the only one who doesn't know how to tie her shoes, and that her teacher is more than willing to help out. The humorous pictures and the little girl's imaginative solutions to her shoelace troubles made my own Kindergartner (and his mom) giggle!
David Goes to School, written and illustrated by David Shannon, 1999... All of the David books (No, David!, Oh, David!, David Gets in Trouble, etc.) crack me up! (My kids find them hilarious, as well.) David's a trouble-maker, yes, but mostly he's just a little boy who is still learning the rules of the world. In this book he learns what's expected of him in school, and after a long day (for David and his teacher!), he finally is able to redeem himself and earn a gold star.
Miss Mingo and the First Day of School, written and illustrated by Jamie Harper, 2006... Miss Mingo teaches her students (and the readers) that every one of them is special and unique. With a flamingo for a teacher, the book is of course fictional, yet fun, interesting facts about several animals and insects are sprinkled throughout the story. In the end, Miss Mingo's students learn to appreciate and respect each other's differences -- always a good lesson, in my opinion!
My Kindergarten, written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, 2004... This book follows a Kindergarten class through the school year, teaching the alphabet, numbers, the seasons, poems, songs, and much more along the way.
On the Way to Kindergarten, written by Virginia Kroll and illustrated by Elisabeth Schlossberg, 2006... Every year since he was born, Bear has grown and learned new things. Now five, he's "a baby no more", and all ready for Kindergarten!
Wemberly Worried, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, 2000... Wemberly worries about everything, big and little. Then she has something new to worry about -- starting school. Luckily, her teacher understands. Miss Peachum introduces Wemberly to Jewel, who also worries. Together, the two become friends and learn that school's not so scary after all. A comforting book with a gentle message (and wonderful illustrations, too), I recommend this for any young children who are nervous about starting something new.
Wow! School!, written and illustrated by Robert Neubecker, 2007... Ben and I both love the colorful, detailed illustrations in this book, along with the simple message that new things can be exciting and fun!
The following books are geared more toward older students, up to about 3rd grade, though my Kindergartner certainly enjoyed them as well:
Lunch Money and Other Poems About School (1998) and Almost Late to School and More School Poems (2003), both written by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Paul Meisel... These two books are filled with amusing poems about school, including "Pledge", "Book Report", "Who Needs School?", "Science Fair Project", "Word Problem", and more.
|"Outside/Inside" from Lunch Money|
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, with help from Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith, 1998... Begun by Dr. Seuss before he passed away, this book was later completed by poet Jack Prelutsky and artist Lane Smith. An ode to creative teaching, and being "different-er than the rest", this book is a treat for teachers and students alike. I remember reading it to my daughter Emmalie when she was only four or so -- she loved it, and requested it over and over again, until we both had large portions of it memorized! I recently read it to Ben, and he enjoyed it just as much!
Wishing you all a happy back-to-school day, and a wonderful year filled with the joys of learning! :)