These two books are similar in theme, which is why I have them on the same review! One is better for littles going into preschool (guess which one!!) and one is better for a little bit older young people going into elementary school. But read both if you want! They both deal with the feelings surrounding the start of school well!
My Preschool talks about what a regular day in preschool is like for the main character. Rockewell covers everything—from tears in the morning, to playing with friends, to music and circle time, to snack time, to tantrums, all the way to pick up. Plus more. Really, this is a pretty good book of describing what could happen in preschool.
I like this book because it would be good for someone who is going to school for the first time and is really anxious about it. I know that I like to know what my day is going to look like–when I will be able to eat, what I will be doing, who I will be doing it with. Little kids are the same! This book will calm any anxiety about that not knowing because it is so thorough in going through a typical day! (Now, I realize that not every preschool is going to do exactly the same things, but the ideas will all be similar… so don’t worry too much).
Kindergarten Diary is similar in that the main character is talking about her life at school. Portis does it in a diary style and the diary lasts a month. We see all the emotions that come along with going to elementary school for the first time (will the big kids be mean? will my teacher be mean?), as well as some of the day to day stuff (show and tell! handwriting!). This book also has lots of focus on friendships, which I loooooove.
I actually really loved Kindergarten Diary, probably because of the way it was written! The diary entries seemed like a regular kindergartner describing their day. I also really liked all the imaginative play that happened in the book. Portis does a lot with imagination (read her book Not A Stick!) and you can tell that here. The kindergartners swing over alligator infested jungles on the monkey bars one day and into outer space on those same monkey bars the next day. The illustrations are also so much fun!