The Last Day of Kindergarten

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
The Last Day of Kindergarten Book Poster Image
Realistic school tale can help kids deal with transitions.

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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
Language

What 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.

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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?

When reading this heartfelt book, kids worrying about a new school or the end of the year will find reassurance, validation, and all sorts of reasons to get excited about what's next. 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.

Talk to your kids 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

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