The first day of school is right around the corner and there’s a good chance there are still a few empty slots on that summer reading log that has to be turned in. I’ve rounded up some of our favorite back to school reads to get little ones in the groove. All of these can be found in the Val-Net library system. Visit your local library branch to check any out, order from other libraries or place on hold.
“The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn:
This sweet read is about a small raccoon named Chester who is scared about going to school. To help her little Chester feel better and less lonely during the day away from her, his mother shares a secret called The Kissing Hand. She kisses his hand in the middle of his palm and tells him to touch it to his cheek to feel her warmth when he gets lonely. Some editions of this book (like the one shown) come with kiss stickers so your little one can get a kiss from you and keep it all day long. This is the perfect bedtime story to read the night before school.
“First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg
Sarah doesn’t want to go to school even though Mr. Hartwell tells her she will make friends and have fun. She imagines a crazy classroom with naughty students but eventually she gets out of bed, has breakfast and finally ends up at school. When she’s introduced to the class by the principal, readers get a laugh. Everyone has first day jitters, not just students and this silly book is a fun reminder. Have an older child read it in the car on the way to school to start the day with a laugh.
“Wemberly Worried” by Kevin Henkes
Wemberly is a mouse who happens to also be a worrywart. She worries about everything, night and day. When school starts, it’s no surprise that Wemberly’s worries are in overdrive. Her teacher introduces Wemberly to Jewel, a friend who worries as much as she does. Henkes reminds us that it’s normal to worry and we aren’t the only ones who do. If you have a very shy, anxious and worrying little thing of your own, read this book throughout the week before school starts to let him or her know they are not alone.
“David Goes to School” by David Shannon
David Shannon knows how to get the attention of children with his brightly colored and hilarious illustrations. “No, David!” introduced us to David, a little boy who is quite naughty. “David Goes to School” lets us in on his school day which doesn’t disappoint. David is naughty and loud and even though his behavior is just awful, it’s awfully funny too. But, at the end of the day, David tries to make things right by staying behind and helping clean up. A great book for rambunctious kiddos, opening up a discussion on behavior and reminding them good choices are also an option.
“Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity” by Mo Willems
Mo Willems has done it again in his sequel to “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale.” Trixie is excited to bring her beloved Knuffle Bunny (a stuffed animal) to show and tell. Imagine her disgust and surprise when she spots a classmate named Sonja with the exact same doll. An argument begins and eventually both bunnies are taken away by the teacher and returned at the end of the day. In the middle of the night, Trixie realizes she’s been given the wrong Knuffle Bunny and begins a long adventure to retrieve hers and give Sonja back the imposter. At the end Trixie gets her best bunny back and gains a best friend. The illustrations are superimposed on NYC photographs making for an interesting and fun book for children of all ages.
Prasil is a Clarkston mom of six. She enjoys adventures with her kids, white chocolate Americanos, Bravo programming, and happy hour. She can be reached via email at email@example.com or via cell phone at 208-571-2377.