Back to School Reading for Kindergarteners
Maria MacKeign, who signed her comment as a worried mama, asked me this:
“I read somewhere that you wrote books on children being afraid of the dark, bullying or things like that? I am having trouble finding your books to buy. My daughter is 4 and she just started Kindergarten this past week. I’m hoping to read some good books on things like that to better prepare her for school etc. thank you for your time!”
My bio is the somewhere that she read that: “Anna writes to promote healing in children, whether it is taming a fear of the dark, confronting the unknown, discovering how to make new friends, or facing a difficult truth.”
When I wrote my bio, my agent and I were shopping this sweet little chapter book, written by me with 2nd and 3rd graders in mind. The story was a joy to write. Although many editors felt the writing was strong we were unable to sell it because the consensus was there wasn’t a market for that book. And my writing style seemed more appropriate for older readers. I now concentrate on writing for teens. My first book called Learning Not To Drown will be published by Atheneum in 2014. I can’t recommend it to Maria for her little one because it is wholly inappropriate for a kindergartener.
Since I’m writing for teens, I read a lot of teen novels and I also read a lot of picture books to my children. I am certainly not an expert on books for kindergarteners, but I will play librarian and recommend a couple of reads about school that will hopefully help Maria’s little one make a better transition in.
A picture book that I love is How Do Dinosaurs Go To School by Jane Yolen and Illustrated by Mark Teague. Fun to read and beautiful illustrations. For an early chapter book, there is the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus about a sassy kindergartener. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus deals with the fear of starting school, especially riding the bus.
Those are two off the top of my head. I know that there are a ton more. A local librarian and/or someone at your local independent bookstore will be much more helpful!
Have some suggestions for back to school reads for a kindergartener? Please leave them in the comments below. Thanks!