Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten Book Poster Image
Warm book guides preschoolers through kindergarten nerves.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows kindergarten routines, experience, and fears about starting kindergarten.

Positive Messages

Takes on kindergarten fears one at a time. Reinforces the pleasantness, acceptance, and positive experience of kindergarten through teachers, peers, and parental involvement in the transition. Stresses the importance of being prepared.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mom, teacher, and new friends all shown as warm, friendly, and inviting as part of the kindergarten experience.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten warmly reassures nervous preschoolers about various fears they may have about starting kindergarten. Monkey isn't sure he'll make new friends, like the snacks, or find the bathroom, but one by one his fears are assuaged as he realizes he's perfectly ready to transition to the experience. Perfect for 4-year-olds en route to big-kid school.

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What's the story?

Monkey is about to start kindergarten, but he's not sure he's ready. What if he forgets the alphabet? Or the snacks have peas in them? Or he doesn't make new friends? As his mom and family listen to his worries, Monkey goes through all his fears one by one until it's time for the big day, and he soon learns that preparation helps and his fears are unfounded.

Is it any good?

This gentle book has a simple premise and a simple message: Kindergarten is a big deal, but it's all going to be OK. Even the most prepared preschoolers have some anxiety about this new experience, and it's all covered in MONKEY: NOT READY FOR KINDERGARTEN: fear of not making friends, of not having a nice teacher, of not having familiar surroundings, of not knowing what you're supposed to know. But with the soft illustrations in colored pencil and goauche and simple, well-described fears, the book sets minds at ease by showing kids the way preparedness is as essential to new experiences as a positive outlook in a supportive environment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about starting kindergarten. What do you think it will be like?

  • Do you have worries about starting kindergarten that are the same as Monkey's? If not, how are they different?

  • Parents and older kids can share their memories of starting kindergarten.

Book details

Themes & Topics

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