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10 Books Perfect for New Kindergarteners

Starting Kindergarten can be a daunting and scary event for many children. Books are a wonderful way to help children adjust to these new situations. Ease anxieties and fears by reading a few of these books before the school year begins. No matter what your kiddo’s fear is, one of these books has an answer.


The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing

 The Night Before KindergartenWing captures the excitement and anticipation of the night before the first day of school. Details about how kids pack up their school supplies, lay out their clothes, and then bound off for school the next morning are right on target. The children run around their new classroom and explore, leaving the teacher to find the parents are the ones shedding a tear or two!

Why we love it: The Night Before Kindergarten helps get kids excited about school, while acknowledging the emotions that parents experience as well.p>

Kindergarten Rocks!, by Katie Davis

 Kindergarten RocksDexter is getting ready for Kindergarten, and although he’s not scared, his stuffed dog, Rufus, is. Dexter’s sister, Jessie, offers help and advice about Kindergarten. As Dexter begins his first day of school, he quickly relaxes once he sees a familiar face and has a great time playing and learning.

Why we love it: It accurately cues in to the concerns of kids beginning Kindergarten and offers helpful advice and encouragement.


Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee

 Countdown to KindergartenIn this fun book, a little girl talks about “the rules” of Kindergarten, which are essentially her fears. The biggest rule is that she needs to be able to tie her shoes by herself, with no help. As she desperately tries to learn how to tie her shoes, her worry increases as school creeps closer and she is not achieving her goal. What a relief when school starts and she sees other kids in her class don’t know how to tie shoes, either!

Why we love it: The book shows kids that they don’t have to know everything before starting school.


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate

 Miss Bindergarten In this cute book, teacher Miss Bindergarten gets her classroom ready for the first day of Kindergarten. Filled with lots of rhyming and plenty of cute characters that make up her students, kids will enjoy seeing what sort of preparation goes into starting up the school year.

Why we love it: It’s whimsical, filled with great illustrations, and takes a lighthearted approach to Kindergarten.


First Day Jitters, by Julie Danneberg

 First Day JittersWe all get them, young and old alike. This books covers the jittery feelings of starting a new school year and going to a new school. Kids will identify with Sarah, who doesn’t want to go to school and is scared about the new people. And of course, they will be surprised to learn that Sarah is actually a teacher and not a student!

Why we love it: It shows kids that they might not be the only scared person on the first day of school.


The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn

 The Kissing HandMany kiddos worry about being away from Mom or Dad when school begins and The Kissing Hand helps alleviate those worries. Chester has to start school and is sad that he won’t be with his mother. She shows him that she is with him, even when she’s further away, by giving him a kiss to carry in his hand.

Why we love it: It helps us explain to our children that we will love them no matter where we, or they, are.


Welcome to Kindergarten, by Anne Rockwell

 Welcome To KindergartenTim attends the open house for Kindergarten at his school that helps get the students acquainted with the classroom and one another. On the way, Tim tells his mom that everything will be too big and scary for him. Once there, he sees all the fun he will have and explores the art area, science area, and more. Naturally, he realizes that everything is just perfect for him.

Why we love it: The book breaks down the classroom and explains to kids what they can expect.


Wemberly Worried, by Kevin Henkes

 Wemberly WorriedIt’s not unusual for kids about to start school to be extremely anxious. In this book, Henkes articulates most of the fears that young children may have about starting Kindergarten. Will I have friends? What if the teacher is mean? What if the room smells bad? Of course, Wemberly learns quickly that her worries weren’t necessary and has a great time at school.

Why we love it: Henkes assures his readers that it’s ok to worry, but that most of those worries will go away once they start school.


Lookout Kindergarten, Here I Come, by Nancy Carlson


 Lookout Kindergarten Here I ComeMeet Henry, a little mouse who is excited to start Kindergarten. He just knows it will be great, that is, until he sees his new classroom. His confidence falters a bit upon entering his new environment and he suddenly wants to go home. Luckily, he makes a new friend and settles in after a short time.

Why we love it: Some kids don’t worry about Kindergarten until they set foot inside school. This book is for them!


The Berenstain Bears Go to School, by Stan Berenstain

 The Berenstain Bears Go to SchoolSister Bear is about to start Kindergarten and is rather reluctant to go. Mama Bear brings her to school so Sister can meet her teacher and get a feel for the classroom. When the first day arrives, Sister is dragged off by Brother Bear. It’s not long before Sister is the one dragging Brother to the bus each day! Perfect for young kids who may be resisting the idea of Kindergarten!

Why we love it: Stan and Jan Berenstain hit the mark again when explaining what school is about, from first day fears and how to help other new friends adjust.


Michele Johansen is a writer in Bellevue, WA. She is the co-creator of the Ruby Slipper Guide, a website that lists activities and events for families living east of Seattle and blog that delves into the foils of parenting.

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