This Is The Way We Go To School by Laine Falk

This Is the Way We Go To School

A Scholastic News Nonfiction Reader

Laine Falk


Ok, so I decided to put in a nonfiction book into this roundup.  And this nonfiction book isn’t so much a story as talking about how kids get to school in different places.  However, I think that in the lead up to school it’s fun to talk about other things than just that first day.  Learning about how other kids get to school could be really interesting for you little! I know that I really liked geography growing up (my dad and I played a game as I got older about naming states….), so this is just something different.  


This book is exactly what it says: it talks about different ways to get to school and how children in different countries get to school.  Most of the modes of transport will probably be at least a little familiar (bikes, cars, walking).  But some might not be (boats, donkeys, snowmobiles!).  Plus, as a former social studies teacher, introducing nonfiction books into your little’s life in an easy way is a good idea! Lots of older kids get turned off by nonfiction books because they associate them with textbooks.  Nonfiction books can be just as interesting as fiction!


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Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish

IMG_0065Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

By: Herman Parish

I was at the bookstore for another purpose and saw this book and it brought me back to my youth. I LOVED Amelia Bedelia – I read her books a cajillion times and so I had to pick up this book and see if it was any good. Yes, yes it is. I really like this book because Amelia Bedelia isn’t scared, worried, frightened, about going to school she just goes and is excited to go.

The story lives up to an Amelia Bedelia story. It is just as goofy and silly as it could possibly be. She takes everything the teacher says literally and at one point ends up gluing herself to her seat!  This book is light hearted and fun and that is what makes it a wonderful story for your little getting ready for school. Now boy littles may not be as excited by this book as it does give off that girly vibe but hey its worth a try because it is just so silly you can’t help but love it!

IMG_0067This is less of an activity and more of a discussion that this book lends itself to really well. The book is chock a block full of metaphors and little figures of speech. Have a conversation with your little about what the Teacher says and what she really means by the figure of speech or metaphor. Try and come up with some metaphors with your little – ones they may have heard before and talk about why people say them instead of just being literal. I always think that metaphors and figures of speech make language more colorful and fun than just being literal all the time – who wants to be boring!

I hope you enjoy this book with your little! If your little loved this goofyness of Amelia Bedelia and is ready for easy chapter books (either you reading them or them reading on their own) check out the Amelia Bedelia series – they are a blast!

I’m Not Ready! by Jonathan Allen

I’m Not Ready!

Jonathan Allen

I was introduced to Baby Owl and Owly in I’m Not Scared! which I thought was pretty adorable.  When I sat down to read more Baby Owl and Owly stories, I saw this one about the first day of preschool and thought “oh, this was me!”

I’m Not Ready! has Baby Owl doing anything and everything to delay his first day of preschool! His constant refrain is “I’m not ready!” when his mom keeps trying to hurry him along so he can be on time for the first day of school.  

I remember elementary school and not wanting to go back to school AT ALL.  I would do anything to not go that first day, so I totally sympathize with Baby Owl.  I can understand his pain and can even still feel it!

There is a nice surprise at the end, with Baby Owl again saying “I’m not ready!” but this time it will make you laugh 🙂


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My Preschool by Anne Rockwell and Kindergarten Diary by Antoinette Portis

Kindergarten Diary

Antoinette Portis

My Preschool

Anne Rockwell


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!


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand

Now this is a must read for those starting school this year or those going back to school. I always read this book to my class of littles during the first week of school. There is just no way around this book during this time.

The story is about a little raccoon who is worried about going to school and the momma raccoon shares a family secret about the kissing hand. The kissing hand is the littles hand where his momma kisses it – that kiss cannot and will never rub off. So when the little is scared or nervous or unsure about something they can look at their hand and know their momma (or pappa) is with them.

Let me tell you I have caught many a littles in my classroom looking at their hand throughout that first week of school, checking to make sure the kiss is still there, getting that little bit of extra courage to go play with a new friend. I have also had to convince littles that they still have to wash their hands, even though their kiss is there but not to worry because it doesn’t come off with water.

If you have a little that is super nervous about going to school this is the book for you – read it and read it and read it, and on that first day of school give your little the biggest kiss on the hand your heart can handle – you might need one from them too!

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