Off to Kindergarten

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Off to Kindergarten Book Poster Image
Playful rhyming story for jittery new students.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Young boy conquers his nerves about going to kindergarten.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that most kids will enjoy this light and silly little book, especially if they are headed off to kindergarten.

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What's the story?

From his teddy bear to his sand box, Bill gathers almost everything he owns as he gets ready for his first day in kindergarten. He thinks he needs to take it all with him until his mother convinces him otherwise.

Is it any good?

Primary colors, flat-faced cartoons, and playful rhymes create a book that kids will enjoy, especially if they are in the early school years. It won't take long for kids to see the silliness in everything Bill wants to pack up and take with him to kindergarten.

With easy, sometimes goofy language, Tony Johnston has written a very supportive book in which she subtly, but clearly, presents a positive message that may help first-time students get out the door. Without dwelling on the negative feelings, or jitters, that some kids experience, she shows Bill going around his house and yard, packing up all of his belongings. He seems happy and no one interferes, until the very end, when his mom assures him that the teacher will take care of everything.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to go to school for the first time, either before their child starts off or even after they have adjusted. Together they can see the silliness of all the things the boy thinks he will need for the first day. Why did the boy want to take all those things with him? What do you think he should take? Why did he change his mind? What do you like to take with you when you are going someplace new?

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