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5 Must Have Books to Help Prepare Children for Preschool or Kindergarten


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Going to school for the first time is an exciting time in a child's life. New friends, new routines, and learning new things can be an adventure. While most littles are excited with anticipation about being a "big kid" and going to school, they may have questions about what school is going to be like. We've rounded up a few of our favorite children's books to help foster conversations about school for your budding Preschool or Kindergarten student. Happy reading!


Written by kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer affectionately known as the Tutu Teacher, comes a picture book about a class that creates a kindness pledge to ensure that their class is the kindest it can possibly be.


It's the first day of Kindergarten and Leo isn't at all ready. Leo is a quiet kid and would prefer to stay home. Over the summer, his new teacher, Ms. Perry sent a letter asking her students to think about how to show kindness in school. She explained that they would be making a kindness pledge, and each student should bring one way to show kindness on the first day.


As it turns out, Leo's classmates have lots of ideas about kindness: like raising your hand, never leaving anyone out, and apologizing if you hurt someone's feelings. At the end of the first day, Ms. Perry asks if anyone witnessed something they'd like her to add to the kindness pledge? Lots of hands shoot up in the air. Several classmates say they noticed Leo returning crayons to the box, holding the door for everyone, and helping a friend who fell. Leo smiles as he realizes he really does know a lot about kindness after all.


A story reassuringly told by Vera Ahiyya and brought to exuberant life by illustrator Joey Chou, this story about a classroom coming together to make a kindergarten into a KINDergarten is sure to calm the nerves--and offer inspiration--to new kindergartners and the adults in their lives.

Purchase: Bookshop



From the best-selling author of the hugely popular Kindergarten, Here I Come!, here's a guidebook in verse that shows children how to be kind in the new and exciting world of kindergarten.


Small enough to fit in a child's backpack, this collection of short poems--one to a page--spans the entire year of kindergarten, offering sweet and simple tips on how to be your best self--sharing your umbrella with a friend; taking turns on the swings, and inviting someone to join in a game. This is the perfect companion to DJ Steinberg's enormously successful Kindergarten, Here I Come!


Purchase: Bookshop




A heartwarming story about the new girl in school, and how she learns to appreciate her Korean name.


Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what happens when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious about fitting in. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she decides to choose an American name from a glass jar. But while Unhei thinks of being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, nothing feels right. With the help of a new friend, Unhei will learn that the best name is her own.


From acclaimed creator Yangsook Choi comes the bestselling classic about finding the courage to be yourself and being proud of your background.

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A confident little Black girl has a fantastic first day of school in this companion to the New York Times bestseller The King of Kindergarten.


MJ is more than ready for her first day of kindergarten! With her hair freshly braided and her mom's special tiara on her head, she knows she's going to rock kindergarten. But the tiara isn't just for show--it also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness, friendliness, and impressive soccer skills, too! Like The King of Kindergarten, this is the perfect book to reinforce back-to-school excitement and build confidence in the newest students.

Purchase: Bookshop




A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.


The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets. It sits and shines behind your head--like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!


Starting kindergarten is a big milestone--and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He's dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can't wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he's up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can't wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements--and then wake up to start another day.

Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes's empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton's illustrations exude joy.

Purchase: Bookshop



Your turn! Which books would you add to this list? Let us know.




VIDEO READ ALONG


Children's book author and illustrator, Yangsook Choi , conducts a special virtual reading and art demonstration around her book The Name Jar.





 

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