This post is a part of a series to help you get your little one ready for their big first day of K!

Our family wouldn’t be the same without having read The Kissing Hand

by Audrey Penn. In the story the Mama Raccoon sends her nervous baby off to school with a magical kissing hand that won’t rub off to give him a sense of safety as he embarks on his first day. My daughters loved this idea and FIVE YEARS LATER, we still give kissing hands to this day. In fact, when I was suffering the effects of chemotherapy during my cancer treatment, they often gave me kissing hands as well. :)

My daughters on our stoop before heading out to their first day of Kindergarten

My daughter show me her “kissing had” as my daughters’ head out on their first day of Kindergarten.

So, for all the parents and kids out there facing the Big Step of sending their kids off to Kindergarten for the first time (or Preschool, or Transitional Kindergarten, or even “big kids” going to a new school), I’ve put together my list of favorite picture books about kindergarten to help ease the transition.

Top 5 Books to Ease the Transition to School

These books are great conversation starters to talk with your kids about the fears and worries about going to school:

Owl Babies
by Martin Waddell

Owl Babies: Candlewick Storybook Animations
Recommended Age: 1-3
Baby owls wake up and their mother is gone! This was one of the first books I ever read with my girls where the message carried on. We used this book as a reminder that “Momma owls always come back!”

I Love You All Day Long
by Francesca Rusackas

I Love You All Day Long
Recommended Age: 2 – 6
When I asked for a recommendation from my girls, this one was on the top on their list. Mommy pig reassures her little one about being away at preschool.

My Preschool
by Anne Rockwell

My Preschool
Recommended Age: 2-3
This book gives children entering preschool a good picture of what their day will be like. Colorful illustrations show your child the fun of preschool: storytime, playtime and making new friends.

The Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand
Recommended Age: 3-6
This is one of my all-time favorites! A mommy raccoon eases her baby raccoon’s worries about the first day by sending him to school with a kiss. Once you read this book, you will want to send your child to school with a “kissing hand” too.

Lunch Bunnies
by Kathryn Lasky

Lunch Bunnies
Recommended Age: 4-8
Claude has horrible nightmares, worrying about his first day of school. His fears are of course fueled by his older brother Jefferson who tells him about the “mystery goosh” served by the scary, hairy, lunchroom ladies in the cafeteria. This is a great story for talking about overcoming our fears. It is also a good lesson about how when we take on new challenges we often find unforeseen opportunities to make new friends.

What books are your family favorites? Post your recommendations below!

Related Reads:

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.


Bookworms, Happy & Healthy, K-readiness


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