It’s back to school time for students all across the United States and along with the backpacks, pencils and new school clothes some new first graders may also have first day jitters. Even though this is the second year of school for most first graders there are big differences between their old kindergarten class and their new first grade class. There will be harder work to do and less playtime, a longer school day and more homework at night. All of these can contribute to the anxiety your first grader might be feeling. A great way to help calm first day of first grade jitters is to read a few books about starting first grade.To help busy parents chose which books books about starting first grade to read here is a list of my top five books about the first day of school and what to expect in first grade.
Top Five Books About Starting First Grade
The Night Before First Grade written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Deborah Zemke
Written in the same style as the famous Night Before Christmas poem by Clement C. Moore this rhyming book about first grade is sure to be popular with young readers. The book follows a new first grader, Penny as she prepares for first grade and faces some challenges once the first day actually arrives. Readers will identify with Penny’s fears and cheer as she overcomes them to have a great first day of first grade. The illustrations are bright and fun to look at and will appeal to children and adults.
First Grade Stinks written by Mary Ann Rodman and illustrated by Beth Spiegel
On the first day of first grade Haley discovers that first grade is not the warm fuzzy place her old kindergarten class was. For starters there is only one recess, no sharing time and the the teacher does not finish the book she was reading to the class. After each difference between first grade and kindergarten that Haley discovers she mutters ,”First grade stinks!” After Haley has a meltdown due to all of the changes her teacher calms Haley and helps her to see all the great things that first grade has to offer. Haley then realizes that maybe first grade isn’t such a bad place after all. First Grade Stinks is a great book for parents to read to help their children cope with the differences between kindergarten and first grade and to show them what some of the positive things that will happen in first grade are.
Off To First Gradewritten by Louise Borden and illustrated by Joan Rankin
This well written, beautifully illustrated book follows a class of first grade students from home to school and touches upon the different ways students get to school either by bus, car, walking Each child’s name begins with a different letter of the alphabet and as they are each introduced during the course of the story the reader learns a little about each one and how each student feels about the first day of first grade. The text is concise and easy to read and the printing is done in a large font that is easy to see. The illustrations are beautifully done in soft colors and depict a lot of action on the page which helps keep your child’s interest. Off To First Grade is a must read for any soon to be first grader and a book parents and children will enjoy reading together over and over again.
First Grade Jitters written by Robert Quakenbush and illustrated by Jan Nascimbene
In this funny and touching book a soon to be first grader worries about all the things that can happen in first grade, his friends won’t be in his class anymore, he won’t understand his teacher, he will have to already know how to ready etc. His parents ask him whats wrong but he won’t admit his fears. When he learns from a friend that there is nothing to be afraid of he jumps for joy and exclaims, “My jitters are gone!”. The illustrations in First Grade Jitters are well done and entertaining and the text is easy to read. This is a great book to help child share their fears about starting first grade.
Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books written and illustrated by Diane Degroat
In Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books a hedgehog named Gilbert is excited and apprehensive about starting first grade. He worries that that the teacher will be mean and that he might get into trouble for not eating all his lunch. When he arrives at school things take a turn for the worse as his friend deserts him for a new friend, he sits at the wrong desk and no one sits by him at lunch time. New first graders will be able to relate with Gilbert’s fears and embarrassment and will be comforted as he overcomes them to have a good first day in first grade and learns that not everyone is good at everything. Children will enjoy looking at the beautiful and detailed water color illustrations in this book and parents will enjoy reading the well written and witty text.
All of these books about the first day of first grade are available online from Amazon www.amazon.com .
Most of them are available as less expensive used copies for parents on a budget.