Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Top Ten Back to School Books

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

With children  across the country returning to school this week, we wanted to share a few of our favorite school books for kids. These titles are great at introducing little ones to classroom etiquette, making friends, learning important lessons and more. Whether your child is beginning preschool, kindergarten or returning to elementary school, these titles are great for inspiring a fun new school year!

Want more info on any of these titles? Simply click the book image to read our full book review.

Which of these books is your or your child’s favorite? Which haven’t you read but would love to read in the future? Did we miss your favorite back to school book? Let us know in a blog comment below!

_______________________________________________________________________


How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen - This is another charming book in the Yolen/Teague dinosaur series. How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? It has a lot of funny “how not to act” examples that your child will enjoy. Finally at the end, the dinosaur learns how to behave at school and gets a reward. The dinosaurs on each page are drawn using vibrant colors and a lot of movement. The font is also large, which makes the text readable and not overwhelming. It is full of jaunty rhymes, making it an absolute joy to read aloud.

 _______________________________________________________________________

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate - With two important preschool lessons - learning the alphabet and preparing for the first day of school - wrapped up with rhyming text and a collection of adorable animal characters, this is a must-have book for any young child. The 26 letters of the alphabet are represented by a wide assortment of mammals, reptiles and an amphibian, such as Tommy the Tiger, Adam the Alligator, and Fran the Frog. As the book progresses through the alphabet, the animals wake up, get ready for school, ride the bus and finally enter the classroom, all beautifully illustrated in detailed drawings. Interspersed throughout the class introductions are two-page spreads of Miss Bindergarten, a kind-looking border collie, preparing the classroom for the first day of school.

 _______________________________________________________________________

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney - This book from Anna Dewdney’s Llama series is a great way to help prepare your child for all the new experiences that come with their first day of school; “Meet new faces. Hear new names. See new places. Watch new games.” Rhyming couplets and some repetition create a steady reading cadence that helps your child follow along. The large pictures are bursting with color and show adorable baby animals doing things your child will be familiar with, such as playing with blocks, coloring, listening to a story, and having snack time.

 _______________________________________________________________________

Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson - This charming and realistic story about a young mouse’s excitement with a touch of nervousness about the first day of school is a great book for soon-to-be kindergartners. Kids will fall in love with the adorable mouse and will likely find his enthusiasm to be contagious. The illustrations feature vibrant colors that help evoke a sense of playfulness and fun, especially in the classroom scenes.

 _______________________________________________________________________

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - This sweet story about a young raccoon nervous to leave behind his mother and everything familiar to start school will hit home with many preschoolers who are anxious about their first day of school. Children will adore the raccoon, which is drawn with wonderfully expressive eyes, as well as the other woodland creatures, including a deer, a skunk and some rabbits. Kids will love discovering little details, such as the raccoon is a nocturnal animal, so he goes to school at night and that the raccoon’s new friend is a skunk. The story is succinctly told and the book is the perfect length for young children.

 _______________________________________________________________________

D.W.’s Guide to Preschool by Marc Brown - Arthur’s little sister, D.W., has some great tips for any readers preparing to go to preschool for the first time. D.W. addresses some of the common fears children have when beginning preschool, like saying goodbye to their parents. The story highlights the positives of school, like a class pet, making friends and having a nice teacher. The pages are filled to the edges with fun and busy scenes; you can even make a game out of finding the Tibble twins on each page and seeing what kind of trouble they’re getting in to! The fun cartoon animals are drawn and water-colored with bright welcoming shades.

 _______________________________________________________________________

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes - Kevin Henkes’ Chrysanthemum is a story filled with a lot of love. The story follows a little mouse girl named Chrysanthemum to her first day of school where everyone makes fun of her name. The book contains beautiful illustrations that are made from watercolor paints outlined in black pen, and they capture the sweetness of the story. The story stresses a message about being yourself and not worrying about what others think or say about you. Your child will certainly relate to these issues as they begin to interact with their peers.

 _______________________________________________________________________

Ella the Elegant Elephant by Carmela D’Amico - With an excellent storyline and beautiful illustrations, Ella The Elegant Elephantis a definite winner. It is also is the recipient of the Pacific Northwest Regional Book Award. The story follows Ella who feels very different at her new school because of her big, orange hat. The book also focuses on bullying and leaves you with the message that no matter how you’re treated, the best idea is always to be nice to everyone.

 _______________________________________________________________________

It’s Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel by Jamie Lee Curtis - This exuberant and entertaining book discusses the specific challenges of being five years old. The story talks about all the anxieties and struggles of starting school, having to be quiet, and having younger siblings. Curtis talks about all of the great rewards that come from being older. Your five year old will love the cadence and rhymes within the text as you read together. Also, they will observe a lot of situations that are similar to their own lives.

_______________________________________________________________________

Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall - This story is a great introduction to discussing consideration and how to treat adults – particularly teachers – with your child. The students take advantage of Miss Nelson’s kindness and decide to misbehave in her class, showing her no respect. One day, Miss Nelson was suddenly replaced with a substitute teacher who suspiciously resembles the Wicked Witch of the West. The substitute had a large nose, a mole on her chin, and an ugly black dress. Even the substitute’s name – Miss Swamp – is unpleasant! Miss Swamp’s hard-nosed rules help the students realize how good they had it with Miss Nelson and they regret not showing her more consideration and respect.

______________________________________________________________________

Did we pick your favorite Back to School book? Did we miss a great title?

Tell us in a blog comment for a chance to win a $25 gift card for children’s books. One lucky winner will be randomly selected on October 1, 2012 and notified via email. Good luck!

 

Fond Memories of Kindergarten

Monday, September 5th, 2011

When I was in kindergarten, I remember saying, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a kindergarten teacher.” I loved the reading, painting and playing with friends so much that I never wanted to leave. At five years old, I figured that being a kindergarten teacher meant that I would get to do all my favorite things all day as an adult too. What a perfect plan!

Of course, I didn’t realize at the time that there was a lot more involved in being a teacher than just the fun things. There were 25 children to watch at one time too! Working as a nanny, I’ve discovered that watching just one child at a time can be challenging. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have an entire roomful of children.

But I do get to relive my favorite childhood activities through working with children. I try to incorporate story time, arts and crafts and simple playtime into the daily routine. I guess in a way, I fulfilled my kindergarten plan.

One of my favorite books to read with then-3-year-old Sylvia was Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten. Although Sylvia was only getting ready to start preschool, many of the same concepts apply. Getting ready for school, saying good bye to Mom and Dad for the day, playing with new friends and learning are all highlighted in the animal-filled book. For me, it brought back all the great memories of kindergarten.

–Abby

A Hand to Hold in Kindergarten

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

I remember only snippets of my first day of kindergarten. I’m sure I was in a frilly dress, because my mom was still choosing my outfits. I’m also sure I entered the room holding my best friend Sarah’s hand. (She is still my best friend 25 years later, by the way.) We were in Mrs. McKatherine’s afternoon class and not sure what to think when our moms left us there.

I bet we never let go of each other’s hands the whole time. Honestly, I don’t remember what we learned that day, who we met or what we played, but I do remember recess. It was a sunny afternoon and we stuck close to the classroom doors, playing in the large yellow circle painted on the asphalt behind the school. It seemed like forever before one of our moms picked us up (I don’t remember whose mom came), but as soon as I saw our ride home, I felt a little better about the day.

Each day we were dropped off, our comfort level grew. We knew our moms would be back for us in a few hours and we loved our teacher and new friends. By the end of the school year, we had the school thing figured out and were excited to start going to school all day as first graders. As luck would have it, we ended up with the same teacher and entered the school in the fall hand-in-hand.

Although school still seems like a long way away for my little bun in the oven, I’m sure it will sneak up before I’m actually ready to send my little one off. I’m curious to hear from mom’s out there how they prepared their little ones for preschool or kindergarten. Or, if you’ve decided to home school, how did you reach that decisions? How have you found the experience thus far?

–Audra

Photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr

Preparing for Preschool

Monday, August 8th, 2011

I began nannying Lux in September 2008, which was the same time that she began preschool. Three days a week, I would pick her up from class and drive home for nap time. Throughout the ten-minute car ride, she would share all her school-time adventures with me. Not only did she proudly show me her latest artwork and excitedly sing new songs, but she would tell me all about the new friends that she made. There was never a day that she wasn’t happy after preschool.

Fast forward almost two years and Sylvia, another 3-year-old who I nannied, was getting ready to start preschool in the fall. We spent the beginning of the summer discussing this momentous event and preparing for the fun adventures that awaited her in the coming months. I knew from my experience with Lux that Sylvia would enjoy her time in school as well. While Lux tended to be shy among people she didn’t know, Sylvia was already an aspiring social butterfly. She talked to other kids at the park and library and I figured that she would have no trouble making new friends.

Yet starting any new chapter in your life is always filled with a little bit of nerves and apprehension so I wanted to get her excited about the activities of preschool too. Luckily, I was able to find a few great books that introduced her to the wonderful world of preschool, complete with art projects, learning and play time. Here are a few of our favorites:

Llama Llama Misses Mama - Anna Dewdney

Age: 3 Year-olds | Format: Hardcover | Price: $16.99

An excerpt from Why We Chose This Book:

This book from Anna Dewdney’s Llama series is a great way to help prepare your child for all the new experiences that come with their first day of school; “Meet new faces. Hear new names. See new places. Watch new games.” Rhyming couplets and some repetition create a steady reading cadence that helps your child follow along. The large pictures are bursting with color and show adorable baby animals doing things your child will be familiar with, such as playing with blocks, coloring, listening to a story, and having snack time.

Age: 5 Year-olds | Format: Hardcover | Price: $16.99

An excerpt from Why We Chose This Book:

With two important preschool lessons - learning the alphabet and preparing for the first day of school - wrapped up with rhyming text and a collection of adorable animal characters, this is a must-have book for any young child. The 26 letters of the alphabet are represented by a wide assortment of mammals, reptiles and an amphibian, such as Tommy the Tiger, Adam the Alligator, and Fran the Frog. As the book progresses through the alphabet, the animals wake up, get ready for school, ride the bus and finally enter the classroom, all beautifully illustrated in detailed drawings. Interspersed throughout the class introductions are two-page spreads of Miss Bindergarten, a kind-looking border collie, preparing the classroom for the first day of school.

The Kissing Hand – Audrey Penn

Age: 4 Year-olds | Format: Hardcover | Price: $16.95

An excerpt from Why We Chose This Book:

This sweet story about a young raccoon nervous to leave behind his mother and everything familiar to start school will hit home with many preschoolers who are anxious about their first day of school. Children will adore the raccoon, which is drawn with wonderfully expressive eyes, as well as the other woodland creatures, including a deer, a skunk and some rabbits. Kids will love discovering little details, such as the raccoon is a nocturnal animal, so he goes to school at night and that the raccoon’s new friend is a skunk. The story is succinctly told and the book is the perfect length for young children.

–Abby

Top photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks/Flickr

Make New Friends But Keep the Old

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

While I only officially met Emma once while I nannied three-year-old Lux two years ago, I knew a lot about her. After all, she was Lux’s best friend. The pair met when Emma was living next door, however, by the time that I started working with Lux, Emma had moved over a half-hour drive away. That might as well have been halfway across the world to a 3-year-old! They would still occasionally get together on the weekends but it was a far cry from the time that they had spent together before. To make the separation easier, Lux kept a photograph of her and Emma on her dresser and pointed out many times to me over my nine months with her, “That’s my best friend, Emma!”

Shortly after I began babysitting Lux, she started preschool three mornings a week. After the first week or so, Lux’s shyness began to wear away and soon she started talking about all her new friends at school. There was Ella and Stella and an assortment of other names without the “ella.” I’d hear stories about how all the girls got together to build a “bad boy trap” at play time. I’m still not 100% sure what that was but it didn’t seem to cause any harm.

Lux’s 4th birthday was in May and she was finally able to combine both worlds. Emma joined with Ella and Stella and the rest of the preschool gang for Lux’s birthday party and I, finally, got to meet Emma.

Looking for a great book to help preschoolers adjust to school and make friends? Try Miss Bindergarten gets Ready for Kindergarten or Llama, Llama, Misses Mama.

–Abby

Top photo courtesy of Roebot/Flickr.com

Photo does not reflect any of the girls mentioned in the blog.

Subscribe to the Little One Books Blog:

E-mail E-mail »     RSS RSS »

Search our Blog:

Archives

  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • Writers


  • Categories