Can’t believe summer is already over. Where did the time go? Maybe I can find a rift in the space-time continuum, to blast us back to the start of summer. Until I can find that anomaly, I have a new kindergarten book which I think you will love. I have also included my Top Ten Books for New Kindergarteners that I first posted last summer. Enjoy!
Title: Planet Kindergarten
Author: Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Illustrator: Shane Prigmore
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2014
Book Type: Fiction
Themes: School, Space
Synopsis (from Amazon):
This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of this strange new world. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!
Why I Like This Book:
I had not planned to fall in love with this book. I mean come on another “first day at kindergarten” book. Just stop by your favorite bookstore or library and the display shelves are filled with classic and modern back to school titles. Boy was I wrong.
This is a clever, fun, adventurous book for anyone of any age that loves outer space. So maybe that is the key for me, I loved outer space as a kid and still do. Kids will love the funny storytelling and the bright, bold pictures. Older readers and adults will love the hilarious wordplay and how the text plays off the art. There are also some subtle jokes in there which I loved.
Take a look at how the author has described a bunch of high-energy kids not being able to sit still with a reference to gravity working differently here. Brilliant!
“I try to get used to the new atmosphere, but it’s not like home. For one thing, gravity works differently here. We have to try hard to stay in our seats. And our hands go up a lot.”
Some of my other favorite lines
“We arrive at the base camp, then orbit while we look for a place to dock.” – What fun way to describe looking for a parking spot.
“We’re aliens from many galaxies on Planet Kindergarten.” — What an excellent way to describe diversity!
Aside from the clever wordplay which I could go on and on about, the book does cover the basic concerns of all new kindergarteners – saying good-bye to your parents, new classroom, experiences on the playground, return home, and of course excitement for the next day.
This is a far-out book, one which any space-loving cadet will have a blast with.
TOP 10 Books for New Kindergarteners
Below are a list of books that address many of the first-day concerns that both kids and adults might have. Some are funny, some are heartfelt, some have a bit of both. Enjoy!
Kindergarten Diary by Antoinette Portis
Follow Annabelle’s ups and downs of the first month of Kindergarten. Vibrant artwork and humorous text are sure to get any child excited.
Excerpt – Me and Zoe played at recess today. Zoe likes socks. She always wears something pink. She let me use her extra jump rope. It’s pink.
Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten by Audrey Vernick and Daniel Jennewein
A funny, engaging, clever take on the do’s and dont’s of kindergarten. Loved the immersion of the buffalo in the story from hoove-painting to no grazing at recess, layered with the messages of sharing, friendship, and respect.
Excerpt – Okay, maybe your buffalo can’t cut – yet! But maybe most kids aren’t the state animal of Oklahoma. Or pictured on old nickels. Everyone’s special in his or her own way. That’s the kind of thing you learn in kindergarten.
The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus and Mike Lowery
A laugh out loud sure to please any child in this role-reversal story where the patient understanding daughter guides her mom through a day of Kindergarten.
Excerpt – She was so excited that she completely forgot her manners and tried to BARGE in at the front of the line. “I’m sorry, Mom, but you need to go to the back of the line,” I said. “Otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of us.”
Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis
Dexter is ready for kindergarten and not scared at all, thanks to his big sister Jessie. But Dexter’s stuffed dog Rufus has about a bazillion worries. Dexter and Rufus both soon realize that kindergarten rocks.
Excerpt – When Jes went to kindergarten, she wasn’t big like she is now. “I was a shrimp like you. (Jessie)” She wrote like me. And she drew like me, too. Only not as good.
Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten by Hyewon Yum
Witness the topsy-turvey emotions for parents and children about the first day of kindergarten. Changes in the art color and size help convey the emotions being felt by mother and son. A confidence builder for all who read it that everything will be a-okay.
Excerpt – Mom doesn’t look happy. “We don’t know anyone here. I miss your old teachers and your friends.(mom)” “I like to make new friends, Mom, and you’ll make new friends, too, in no time.(son)”
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love
Kids will relate to Sarah’s nervousness about the first day at a new school, and they will love the surprise ending and in knowing that everyone gets the jitters.
Excerpt – “No, I’m not. I don’t want to start over again. I hate my new school,” Sarah said. She tunneled down to the end of her bed.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. harper, and Nancy M. Leak
A classic heartwarming story about separation anxiety and the power of magical kisses.
Excerpt – Mrs. Raccoon took Chester by the hand and nuzzled him on the ear. “Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do,” she told him gently. “Even if they seem strange and scary at first. But you will love school once you start.”
First Day of School by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell
Follow along as a group of friends recap how they’ve grown and get ready for the first day of school. A fun book for all kids, great way to start a discussion about your family’s back-to-school rituals.
Excerpt – Michiko jumped down when she saw us. “I’ve got new bouncy shoes!” Michiko said. “My shoes were too small. Now I can wiggle my toes.”
The Best Thing About Kindergarten by Jennifer Lloyd and Qin Leng
On kindergarten graduation day, Mrs. Appleby has one last final question “What is the best thing about kindergarten?” Her students have different answers ranging from calendar time, imagination time, to recess. But readers will keep flipping the pages to find Mrs. Appleby’s secret special answer.
Excerpt – “It’s calendar time!” cried Tabitha. “You are so good at saying the days of the week,” replied Mrs. Appleby, “but calendar time is not the best thing about kindergarten.”
Kindergarten, Here I Come by D.J. Steinberg and Mark Chambers
Through rhyming verses, experience kindergarten milestones such as first day jitters, field trips, friendships, show-n-tell and much more. Kids will enjoy the silly verses and lively illustrations.
Excerpt – Crisscross Applesauce – Crisscross applesauce, that’s the way we sit. Not feet-out sauerkraut. Not cottage cheese on your knees. Not bottoms-up coffee cup. Not blueberry jelly on your belly. But crisscross applesauce, that’s the way we sit.