The Last Day of Kindergarten

Common Sense Media says

Realistic school tale can help kids deal with transitions.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers look at the rituals, feelings, excitement, and fear surrounding the last day of school.

Positive messages

The Last Day of Kindergarten offers positives messages about change and new experiences.

Positive role models

Characters are simple but very relatable and realistic. Kids are sad and somewhat fearful but also excited; parents and extended family are present and engaged; and teachers are positive mentors who offer guidance.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Last Day of Kindergarten is a book about endings and beginnings that may help quell young kids' fears about transitions.

What's the story?

It's the last day of kindergarten -- time to reflect on all the fun things that happened in the previous year, from new crayons and new friends to first lessons and lost teeth. But just because it's a sad day doesn't mean there isn't plenty to get excited about, including graduation, a whole summer, and a new year in first grade.

Is it any good?


Although most books about transitions talk about the firsts, THE LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN tackles the lasts: the last time you'll ever sit in a circle with your kindergarten friends, for example, and the last time you'll hear a story from Mrs. Popinski. Vibrant mixed-media images sweetly render the big firsts and lasts of the first year of school.

It's a bittersweet moment in any child's life, but what parents may find refreshing here is the way the book respectfully acknowledges the memories but then redirects fears and sad feelings toward excitement about the future. Here, kids worrying about a new school or the end of the year can find reassurance, validation, and all sorts of reasons to get excited about what's next.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their own transitions. What big changes have happened in your family recently? How did you feel? How did you deal with things?

  • Some changes are scary -- such as going to a new school -- but also exciting. What's your favorite thing about a new school year? What's your least favorite thing?

  • What helps you feel less afraid when you do something new? 

Book details

Author:Nancy Loewen
Illustrator:Sachiko Yoshikawa
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Two Lions
Publication date:February 1, 2011
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 5
Read aloud:3 - 5
Available on:Hardback, Kindle

This review of The Last Day of Kindergarten was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide