First-Day Jitters: Getting Kids Excited to Start Preschool

Books for Your Little Jitterbug

"Books that describe what happens at school, as well as validate a child's feelings, can help quell jitters," says Tannen. They provide your child with a sort of dry run of school in the comfort of home, where he feels safe. Here are several titles recommended by Tannen and The Bank Street College of Education's Committee on Children's Books:

  • When Will Sarah Come? by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, photos by Nina Crews (Greenwillow, 1999). A preschool boy waits for his big sister to return from school so they can play together.
  • Oh My Baby, Little One by Kathi Appelt, Jane Dyer (Harcourt Brace, 2000). A mother bird describes her work day to her preschooler, showing him that even though she is at work and he's at school, they still love each other.
  • Don't Go! by Janet Breskin Zalben (Clarion, 2000). Daniel, a young elephant, is starting school. His mom packs his bag and Daniel's stuffed dog, and they experience the ritual of the first day of school together. The book includes a checklist for the first day.
  • Owen by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, 1993). Owen loves his baby blanket, fondly named Fuzzy. But kindergarten is coming up, and his parents wonder if Fuzzy should go along. Ultimately, Owen's mother finds the perfect plan to keep everyone happy and secure.

Copyright © 2008 Meredith Corporation. Used with permission from the August 2005 issue of American Baby magazine, the September 2007 issue of Parents magazine and the August 2004 issue of Parents magazine.

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