The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten Book Poster Image
Kindergarten jitters flipped in cute story of mom at school.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows the setting, rules, routines, and activities common to kindergarten (and some preschools).

Positive Messages

Don't worry, you'll get the hang of a new place with its own rules and routines, even though you may makes some mistakes at the beginning when you're unfamiliar with how things are done there. As the understanding teacher kindly says, "Sometimes it takes a while to get comfortable with something new."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The little girl's a positive role model for her mom, being kind but firm as she points out how she's breaking the rules. The teacher's warm, understanding, and patient, and reassures the little girl that her mom will get it eventually, but it may take a little time.

Violence & Scariness

The mom slams the scissors down on the table during Craft Time when she gets frustrated.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten turns the tables on the usual first-day-of-school scenario, where the parent or teacher assures the kid it'll be OK and the kid learns the classroom routines. Here, a little girl senses her mom is sad "that I was growing up and starting to have adventures without her," so she invites her to spend a day in her class. When the mom does everything wrong -- butts in line, shouts out answers, tracks mud across the floor, uses her outdoor voice in the library, etc., her daughter gently mentors her in the appropriate behavior, and Mom finally gets the hang of it.

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What's the story?

A little girl invites her mom to spend a day with her in kindergarten and then must repeatedly reprimand her as Mom stumbles though the class activities and routines. "Don't worry," the girl tells her. "Everyone makes mistakes at first. You'll be fine if you just watch me and do what I do." Mom has to learn how to mind her manners, wait her turn, pay attention, clean up, raise her hand rather than shout out answers, use her indoor voice in the library, ask permission before going to the bathroom, return to class without dawdling, control her anger, etc. In the end she gets it down, but decides to to stick to something she's already good at: being a mom.

Is it any good?

It’s a fresh take on the kindergarten jitters: Instead of a kid having to learn the classroom rules from a teacher, here a well-behaved kindergartner shows her clueless mom how it's done. Kids will enjoy the power shift as the story subtly touches on the common fears, emotions, and mishaps kids may experience on a first day of school -- and the relief that comes with knowing what the pros know. Mike Lowery's cartoon-like illustrations add the right amount of humor to keep situations familiar and the laughs coming.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about school. Why are there so many rules? Would you like your mom or dad to be in your class for a whole day? How do you think they'd do?

  • What's fun about books about school?

  • What's hard about doing something for the first time? How do you feel when you have to start a new school or a new grade and meet a new teacher and new kids?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Picture books and books about school

Themes & Topics

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