Summer vacation is nearing an end and parents an kids are gearing up for back-to-school time. Families will be headed to the stores for pencils, paper, and perhaps some new clothes or a computer. In the midst of all the preparation, feelings of anxiety can surface, especially in the youngest students. The Abilene Public Library has lots of great books that will help ease a few fears and might even bring a smile.
For the preschool crowd, the book What to Expect at Preschool by Heidi Murkoff is just what the doctor ordered. This colorful title shows the youngest readers around a typical preschool classroom. Emphasis is placed on the fun activities that take place in the class. Another great preschool offering is Ready, Set, Preschool! by Anna Hays. This title is a collection of simple stories, poems, and picture games that will help readers prepare for that all-important first day.
Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGee is a fun title for kids facing their fears about school. This story features a worried preschooler who fears she will be unable to go to Kindergarten unless she learns to tie her shoes (which is a major task)!
School anxiety strikes adults too. In It Happens to Everyone by Bernice Myers, both Michael and a new teacher get the jitters. Michael worries that his teacher will be horrible while the teacher worries that his students will not like him. With a little help from a mother and wife, both the newbies overcome their fears and head off for school.
There are great books that introduce the workers in schools, too. In The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray, a freshly baked gingerbread man sets off through the school in search of his classmates. He meets the coach, a teacher, the nurse, and eventually winds up visiting with the principal. She informs the misguided cookie that everyone has been looking for him and settles him back into his classroom.
A fun book that also shows the different parts of the school is Eric Litwin's Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes. Pete the Cat has become a favorite of kids and librarians alike. In this adventure, Pete wears his school shoes while visiting the library, the cafeteria, the playground, and more. A rocking song keeps the story moving along.
If your little scholar is facing a bus ride to school, there are several books that will be fun. Riding the School Bus with Mrs. Kramer by Alice Flanagan is a great introduction to the big yellow bus. Illustrated with photographs, the reader follows Mrs. Kramer, a safe and careful driver, as she gets the kids to school on time and returns them home at the end of the day. Another great bus book is Safety on the School Bus by Lucia Raatma. It gives kids practical tips on getting on and off the bus and staying safe while riding to school.
One final offering is Go Home, Mrs. Beekman by Ann Stampler. In this fun book, Emily is so nervous about starting school that she makes her another promise to stay with her forever. But after she settles in and finds a friend, she and her teacher have a hard time convincing Mrs. Beekman to stay home.
For facing first-day jitters, riding the bus, or learning about school workers, the Abilene Public Library has just the book to fit the bill. Check with the librarians for more great school titles, and have a great new school year!
Article Contributed by Marie Noe, Customer Services Manager at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library