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Reading About School: 13 Books for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners

Our Start Early experts share back-to-school books to help ease your child’s transition into preschool and kindergarten.

June 12, 2023
  • Early Learning and Care
  • Family Engagement
  • Blog
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School clothes? ✔ New backpack? ✔ School supplies? ✔ Explaining to your child what the transition to school will be like… no? Starting preschool and kindergarten can be an exciting yet stressful time for children. New school, new teachers, new classmates—everything is different. It’s important to give your child a frame of reference to help ease the transition into preschool and kindergarten. Reading books with your child about going to school is a great way to give them an idea of what to expect on that first day.

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Making the transition into preschool and kindergarten is a big step and a big change in a young child’s life. Explaining what it might be like is critical in helping them feel secure. Reading books on the subject at storytime gives parents the opportunity to enhance their child’s understanding by providing illustrated examples of what their new school will be like and helping make learning fun.

Back-to-School Books for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners

Here’s a list of books recommended by the experienced staff and teachers of Educare Chicago. From books on how children around the world get to school, to first-day jitters, to classics that have stood the test of time, you are bound to find one, or more, that will be a wonderful tool to explain this milestone to your child. So get out there and start reading!

  1. Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
    It’s Llama Llama’s first day of preschool! And Llama Llama’s mama makes sure he’s ready. They meet the teachers. See the other children. Look at all the books and games. But then it’s time for Mama to leave. And suddenly Llama Llama isn’t so excited anymore.
  2. My Preschool by Anne Rockwell
    Join a happy little boy during a day at preschool, from cheerful hellos in circle time, to painting colorful pictures and playing at the water table before snack time. The best part of saying goodbye at the end of the day is that the little boy knows he will come back tomorrow.
  3. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
    It’s the first day of kindergarten and Miss Bindergarten is hard at work getting the classroom ready for her 26 new students. Miss Bindergarten puts the finishing touches on the room just in time, and the students arrive. Now the fun can begin!
  4. Kindergarten Kids by Ellen Senisi
    This cheerful photo essay shows 21 kids in a kindergarten class on a typical day. Girls and boys play with everything from computers to blocks; they learn the alphabet and how to follow rules; they dress up, say the pledge of allegiance, listen to stories, and make music and art together. Sometimes they even have a bad day.
  5. Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
    Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying goodbye to mom and dad. But maybe it won’t be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is.
  6. Kindergarten ABC by Jacqueline Rogers
    Each and every day celebrates a letter of the alphabet with a fun-filled classroom scene.
  7. Who Will Go to School Today? by Karl Ruhmann
    Sam decides to send his toy monkey Timbo to kindergarten in his place, but after telling Timbo about his school friends and what his day is really like, he realizes he wants to go himself.
  8. Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
    Froggy’s mother knows that everyone is nervous on the first day of school. Froggy’s exuberant antics, complete with sound effects, will delight his many fans and reassure them that school can be fun.
  9. Otto Goes to School by Todd Par
    Otto goes to school for the first time, where he makes new friends and learns how to wag his tail without knocking things over.
  10. This is the Way We Go to School: A Book about Children Around the World by Edith Baer
    With fun-filled rhymes and colorful illustrations, children will discover just how much fun getting to school can be.
  11. Going to School by Sally Hewitt
    Children learn what it is like to go to school in other countries.
  12. Seven Little Mice Go to School by Haruo Yamashita
    It’s time for seven little mice to start school! And it’s up to Mother Mouse to get them there.
  13. Chicken Chickens Go to School by Valeri Gorbachev
    It’s the first day of school for the little chickens and they are a little scared. How a wise teacher helps the chickens overcome their fears and win some wonderful new friends is a heartwarming story that will reassure youngsters experiencing their own first-day jitters.

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