Friday, September 4, 2009

New to School? great books for little kids

School has started around the US, and I wanted to share some books that are great for little kids who are new to school - especially preschoolers and kindergartners.
Does a Panda Go to School?
by Fred Ehrlich, M.D.
pictures by Emily Bolam
part of the Early Experiences series
NJ: Blue Apple Books, 2003.
ages 2 - 5
Who goes to school? Does a Panda? Does an ostrich? Does a chimpanzee? These silly questions will definitely make your little one laugh. We loved the simple, funny question-and-answer format comparing people to animals. It helped ease my kindergartner's fears about going to school. Best of all, it helps young ones see the things that they can do: make new friends, put their jacket in a cubby, sit still and listen to a story. Bolam's bright, engaging cartoons illustrate the silliness of the animals and the familiarity of school scenes. Perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners.
Keisha Ann Can!
by Daniel Kirk
NY: GP Putnam's Sons, 2008.
ages 3 - 6
Keisha Ann is a little girl that just radiates happiness and positive attitude. As she bounces through her day at school, she shows readers what she can do at school. We loved the bright, cheerful pictures, the rhyme and rhythm, and especially the message that we Keisha Ann can do these things and we can too. Here's the beginning of the book:
Who can catch the school bus for the early-morning ride?
Who can wait in line until it's time to go inside?
Who can sit in front because she's teacher's biggest fan?
Who can stand to say the pledge?
This is a great book to read at this time of year, talking with your child about what they do at school. Do they take a bus or ride in a car? Do they wait in line to go inside? When we make connections to what we read - comparing our experiences - we become more engaged as readers. Talking with your children about books like this will help them see that books are part of their lives, reflect their experiences. Keisha Ann Can! is a great book to read to preschoolers and kindergartners. It's also a nice, easy book for 1st graders to read by themselves.

Thanks to PBS Booklights for the Keisha Ann Can! recommendation. PBS is a wonderful resource for parents wanting to learn more about raising readers. These review copies came from our public library. You can find them at your local public library or on Amazon.

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