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By Barbara Bietz

The first day of school can cause jitters for any child, whether starting preschool, kindergarten, moving up to first grade, or just beginning a new class at the end of a long summer. There are many Book Gifts ages that deal with this common childhood struggle.


MISS BINDERGARTEN GETS READY FOR KINDERGARTEN by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff. The title of this book alone will put a smile on any kid's face. As Miss Bindergarten gets ready for school, so do each of the children, in alphabetical order. It's a wonderful way for children to see all that goes into setting up a classroom, and to recognize that all the kids in the class are preparing for their first day of school. The illustrations are absolutely adorable, and each animal character is unique. Kids will no doubt ask to hear this rhyming story over and over again.
TIMOTHY GOES TO SCHOOL by Rosemary Wells. This classic is a back-to-school favorite. This little book brilliantly portrays the typical social interactions that occur in the classroom. Timothy faces the classroom "know-it-all," and tries his best to fit in. Just as he is about to give up on success in school, he meets Violet, who becomes his true-blue friend. The story flows with humor and bouncy language. The illustrations are adorable, and will hold the attention of even the youngest readers. Through Timothy's experiences, even the biggest school uncertainties become surmountable.

FIRST DAY JITTERS by Julie Dannenberg and Judith Dufour Love. This book adds a new twist the age-old struggle with "the first day of school blues." Sarah Jane Hartwell does not want to go to school. After much prodding, she is finally dropped off at school amidst the crowd of children. The real magic occurs at the end of the book when readers are surprised to discover that Sarah Jane is a teacher! Both funny and warm, kids will delight in this unexpected twist.

MY FIRST DAY AT PRESCHOOL (My First Day Productions, 2004) is a video. While it may not be as cozy to curl up with a video, this award winning video one is worth watching, especially with the younger set. This charmer features Buddy Bear, who makes his way through pre-school while introducing young viewers to all the experiences they can expect when they start school. Catchy songs increase the appeal, as do the presence of real kids at the school.

There are so many books about the first day of school, you'll be sure to find one that your kids will love.

About Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz is a writer from Oak Park, California. Her favorite pastime is reading children's books. Barbara enjoys writing for adults and children. Her work has appeared in numerous publications.

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