It feels like it can’t be possible but walk into any store and you’ll see the shelves beginning to fill up with shiny new school supplies. Some children (and let’s face it, some adults) look forward to a new school year with anticipation and excitement. There are always the others, however, that face September with nervous tummies and tears. The Library has a wonderful collection of books to help even the littlest of scholars prepare and it’s never too early to start.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, written by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, is full of delightful animal characters about to begin kindergarten. As each character prepares for their first day, the reader also observes Miss Bindergarten ready her classroom for the students. The story includes plenty of rhymes, adorable animals of differing temperaments and abilities, and a chance to practice the alphabet. If your child enjoys this book, there are several other books in the series to try out.
Fans of Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs books will want to get their hands on How Do Dinosaurs Go To School. Your child can follow along as the author describes the many ways a dinosaur could travel to school, as well as all the different ways the dinosaur could behave. Will the dinosaurs stomp and roar and make a mess, or will they find a different way to make it through the day?
Continuing with the dinosaur theme, Dinosaur Starts School is written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrated by Deborah Allwright. The illustrations are bright and colourful, and the story is comforting. A little boy gives his dinosaurs all the reassurances needed to make it through the first day of school. Your child might identify with the nervous dino and will hopefully feel a bit more confident by the end of the book.
A fuzzy little bear who is certain he will not have a good time at school is the star of Not This Bear by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Lorna Hussey. Despite Mama’s reassurances, Bear is certain he will not like school. He’s reluctant to give up his jacket, and his first act is to paint a picture of himself with his Mama. As the story progresses, Bear begins to try new things and eventually makes a friend. This tale is gentle and soft, with a happy ending.
What to choose if your child is very nervous, and you’ve already read the stories about how much fun kindergarten can be? You may want to start with Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. Wemberly is a worrier. She worries about parties, and noises, and especially about her doll Petal. School is, of course, the most worrisome of all. Wemberly shares all the fears that are likely running through your child’s head, but with the help of a kind teacher as well as a new (also nervous) friend, Wemberly might just find a way to enjoy herself.
No back to school list would be complete without The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn with illustrations by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak. Little Chester Racoon desperately wants to stay home with his mother. His mother lists all the wonderful things he will do at school and then shares her important secret, one that was passed down from her mother. Pick this book up today to see what’s so special about The Kissing Hand.
Hopefully some of these suggestions will assist your child with the transition to their exciting new adventures in school. As always, feel free to ask our Library staff for more suggestions. We’re always happy to help!
Jana O’Flaherty – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!