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Back to School Reads

August 29, 2009

LlamaMamaWith about a half of a year of blog-writing under my belt, I’ve already learned that some posts are read quietly and some produce a bit of chatter.  The last post on back to school and what our little bambinos think and feel produced the latter.  It also led to discussions about how to help prepare children, particularly with literature. One of the items alwasy on my August to-do list but never fully executed, is a bibliography of back to school literature.  A few have asked for recommendations, so I’ve once again started that list and share it below.

(Keep in mind that even if school started or starts soon, it’s often helpful to read this type of story before and after the start of school – anytime during the first six weeks of settling in to a school routine!)

1.        Llama, llama Misses Mama – Strange new teacher. Strange new toys.  Lots of kids and lots of noise!  What would Llama like to do?
Llama Llama feels so new. 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. Will Mama Llama come back?  Of course she will. But before she does, the other children show Llama Llama how much fun school can be!

2. Wemberly Worried – Wemberly worries about everything, especially the impending first day of school. However, when that day arrives, her worries are lightened, and she even finds a friend with whom she has a lot in common.

3. Hands as Warm as Toast – Hands as Warm as Toast is a heartwarming story that any teacher, parent, or student can make a connection to and kids love!  The little girl in the story does not want to leave the side of her mother to go to school on the first day, so her teacher, who has cold hands, comes up with a job for Libby.  The teacher’s magic touch and way with Libby make school a place Libby wants to be a part of.

4. The Kissing Hand – School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called The Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s classic that touches the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, going to camp

5.  First Day Hooray! – This book stands out from others in that it shows how everyone gets ready for the first day of school: students, teachers, bus drivers, principals and janitors. Nancy Poydar, a former elementary teacher, eases fears by showing that, even though you’re nervous, even though you have ‘school dreams’ the night before, everything is ready and turns out fine.

6. First Day Jitters – As this delightful and light-hearted book about the  first day jitters we all get! The first day in a new school has Sarah Jane Hartwell ducking for the covers and trying to stay put. Mr. Hartwell tries to ease her nerves with calm reassurance and wise advice.  But Sarah Jane is convinced that staying home in bed is the answer to her general fears about a new school: she doesn’t know anyone, no one will like her, it’s just too hard and besides, she hates school.  The ending twist will have five and six year olds roaring with laughter!

7. Giggle Wiggle Wake Up – Sammy’s Monday morning routine comes to life in this rhyming text.  Nancy White Carlstrom fills the pages are full of joyful noises as Sammy excitedly gets ready for school, and the fun continues once he arrives with the other children. Parents may want to use the book as a springboard for creating a special First-Day-of-School morning plan with their own children.

Please don’t forget to share the survey site with friends, new connections at school and of course, complete it yourself before the survey closes on September 15th.  Those who include an email address will also be eligible for a $50 American Express gift card drawing!

One Comment leave one →
  1. olivia leone permalink
    August 31, 2009 1:41 pm

    The Kissing Hand is the book of choice at my youngest daughter’s school. Each family traces their hand, cuts it out and pastes it to a piece of paper along with a family photo at orientation. During school if a child misses home, he/she can open the book, turn to his/her family page and touch hands with each family member.

    For bedtime reading though, our family is partial to Llama, Llama Misses Mama.

    Great list!

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