As adults, we deal with so many stressful issues in our livesfrom
finding and keeping a job to making ends meet financiallythat
we tend to underestimate the experiences that may make a child
anxious. Children need help with dealing with new experiences,
and, as newbies, they have a lot of firsts.
The first day of school is a humdinger. Its a huge
event in both of your lives. You have the responsibility to
prepare them for this important milestone. Reading books on
the subject to your soon-to-be kindergartener is an ideal
way to provide reassurance.
Take Countdown to Kindergarten by Allison McGhee.
Ten days before school starts, the black-haired moppet in
the brightly colored, appealing illustrations drawn by Harry
Bliss, an award-winning cartoonist and cover artist for The
New Yorker, realizes I am in Big Trouble.
Shes heard from a first-grader that there are a lot
of rules at school and one is that you must know how to tie
your shoes. If she doesnt learn in ten days, shes
afraid shell have to wear a sign that reads Velcro
Girl. Panic sets in, but everything works out in the
end. The irreverent text and illustrations are enjoyable for
both the beginning student and parents.
Luminescent oil paintings and sparkling simple rhymes are
hallmarks of David Kirks Little Miss Spider books.
This one, Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School,
ninth in the series, deals with the fear children face about
the first day at school.
Little Miss Spider, an appealing big-eyed insect, is having
trouble mastering her new lessons. She found she lacked
talent/for hiding in trees,/for chirping like crickets/or
humming like bees. But her wise principal knew she had
a talent for the greatest gift of all.
Some childrens books strike a chord with parents, too.
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes addresses the issue
of incessant and unconstructive worries and anxiety. Wemberly,
a cute little mouse child carrying a stuffed bunny, worries
about everything, the crack in the living room wall, the noise
the radiators make, her doll Petal.
And more than anything, she worries about the start of school.
What if they make fun of my name? What if I cant
find the bathroom? What if I hate the snack? What if I have
to cry? These are all legitimate concerns that your
kindergartener may have on her mind, too.
Making friends at school is a worry. Valeri Gorbachev addresses
the subject in her book, Chicken Chickens Go to School.
The friendly and charming illustrations depict a world of
animals living in a human world.
Mrs. Heron the teacher assures Mother Hens two chicks
that they will make friends quickly. The first experiences
of the chicken students dont bear that out until the
very end when they find out that it takes a little time to
be friends with Rabbit, Beaver and Frog.
Check out these titles at any Springfield-Greene County Library
or ask a librarian for more books on the subject.