Preparing for Kindergarten Books

Preparing for Kindergarten Books

Story books are the perfect way to start conversations with young children about starting Kindergarten. The best books can help to reassure your child and allay any fears that they may have about starting school, as well as help to prepare them about what to expect at school. They are a great resource to add to your school readiness preparations! Starting Kindergarten is an exciting time, but it is also a time of big change, so these picture books will hopefully help to reduce the first-day-of-school jitters. 

The stories on this list will help you talk to your children about the questions that they might have about starting school.

These could include questions like: 

  • What will Kindergarten be like?
  • How will I make friends?
  • What if I miss my parents or carers?
  • What if I'm feeling scared?
  • Am I going to be ok?

Children's books can help to unpack new experiences and abstract concepts. They can help to build social-emotional skills, and provide positive messages about how to deal with new situations, separation anxiety and other big emotions or worries which can take different forms.

So, here is a list of books to read before (or on) a child's first day of school! 

First Day Jitters

by Julie Danneber

We've all experienced that familiar sensation in the pit of our stomachs when faced with a new environment or situation. In this story, the main character Sarah is feeling nervous about starting at a new school where she doesn't know anybody. To her surprise, she quickly befriends Mrs. Burton, who eases her jitters. She soon realises that school is a great place to be!


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


Your Name is a Song

Kindergarten Rocks!

by Katie Davis

Dexter is well-versed in all things kindergarten, thanks to his big sister Jessie, who has filled him in on every detail. As a result, Dexter isn't nervous at all about starting school! However, his faithful companion, Rufus the stuffed dog, is a different story. Rufus is absolutely terrified! Yet, as Dexter (or should we say Rufus) will soon discover, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of because Kindergarten is simply amazing! It's an adventure that will rock his world, with lots of exciting firsts! 


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


All Are Welcome

Off to Kindergarten

by Tony Johnston

Filled with worry about starting Kindergarten, a young boy decides to take precautionary measures by bringing along a whole lot of items: his beloved teddy bear, a stack of books, a vibrant set of paints and an easel, cookies to share with his new friends, and even a spare set of clothes. But once he starts to consider bringing along his sandbox and swing set, he realises that a truck would be necessary to transport all these possessions to school!  This simple rhyming story captures the fear and excitement that every child feels about starting school. Kids will laugh at the hyperbolic story, and celebrate as he takes a big step forward by leaving all his belongings behind as he catches the school bus on his first day. 


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


Wemberly Worried

by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worries about everything! Whether it is the fear of spilling her juice, shrinking in the bathtub, or even the unlikely scenario of snakes in the radiator, worry seems to follow her every moment of the day. But what she's most worried about is the first day of school. However, when Wemberly starts school, she meets a kindred spirit- a fellow worrywart in her class. Through this new friendship, Wemberly has a big realisation - maybe she has nothing to worry about after all! School is far too fun and captivating to be wasted on unnecessary worries!


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


The Kissing Hand

by Audrey Penn

In the depths of the forest, the time has come for school to start. However, Chester Raccoon is feeling very reluctant to join in. Sensing Chester's anxieties, Mrs. Raccoon reveals a treasured family secret known as the Kissing Hand. This special ritual is a reminder of her unwavering love, offering reassurance whenever Chester's world feels scary. Kindergarten teachers love reading this beautiful book on the first day of school, as it helps to comfort young learners who might be feeling some separation anxiety. 


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


Kindergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day

This is a super heartwarming book which follows a Kindergarten class as they create their very own Kindness Pledge on the first day of school. The main character, Leo, isn't reeling quite ready for all the kindergarten fun. He's also not sure how to talk about kindness, but he more than compensates for this through his genuine acts of kindness throughout the school day. This book is the perfect addition to your social-emotional learning library of books, and would be great to pull out at any stage throughout the school year for circle time or class discussions, as it encourages children to think about all the ways they can be kind and helpful in the classroom.  

Preparing for Kindergarten Books

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

by Joseph Slate

As the dawn of the new kindergarten year emerges, Miss Bindergarten is busy with preparations,  arranging the classroom to welcome her twenty-six new students. At the same time, a new day is unfolding as Adam Krupp wakes up, Brenda Heath brushes her teeth and Christopher Beaker searches for his lost sneaker. Miss Bindergarten adds the final flourishes to the classroom, just as the students start to arrive in their new classroom, ready to meet their new teacher. And with their arrival, a wave of excitement fills the air, signalling the beginning of an adventure-filled year ahead!


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


The Night Before Kindergarten

by Natasha Wing

This story is an adaptation of the classic poem 'The Night Before Christmas'. The long-awaited first day of school has finally arrived! We join the kids as they ready themselves for their kindergarten adventure. Excitement fills the air as they pack their school supplies, strike poses for photos, and get ready to say goodbye to their parents. They're a little bit nervous about the last part! But, as the day unfolds, they begin to realise that perhaps parting with Mum and Dad won't be as challenging as anticipated. Why? Because Kindergarten awaits them, promising endless fun, laughter, and new discoveries!


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


First Day of School

by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter finds himself experiencing nervous jitters on the first day of school. Before he can even step foot on the bus, he's got a lot to do: carefully selecting his outfit, finding his trusty backpack, packing his lunch, and saying goodbye to Mum. Kids will love following along in Little Critter's shoes as he prepares for the eventful day ahead. This interactive book includes little flaps which can be lifted to reveal surprises. Uncover the exciting adventures that await Little Critter as he embarks on his first day of school! At the end of the day, the jitters are well and truly gone!


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!

By Nancy Carlson

At long last, the first day of Kindergarten has arrived! Henry is super excited for all the fun that awaits - painting pictures, singing songs, and learning to count! But when he gets to school, he starts to feel a little uncertain. Maybe he's not ready for Kindergarten? However, Henry soon realises that the only thing he wasn't ready for was how enjoyable his time at school would be!


Preparing for Kindergarten Books


The King of Kindergarten

The Queen of Kindergarten

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma

Planet Kindergarten

Mae’s First Day of School

Kindergarten Here I Come

Looking for more?

Looking for more quality picture books to teach and model classroom expectations? Check out this comprehensive list of The Best Picture Books for First Year Teachers (+ Experienced Teachers too!)