September 6, 2010
Twas the Night Before Kindergarten
It's official. My firstborn is starting kindergarten tomorrow. She diligently filled in all the stars in her Kindergarten countdown chart, and now we are on the eve of her school career.
She's excited, of course. I, on the other hand, am a nervous wreck and in complete denial that five years have passed so quickly. We visited her new school - a local public elementary school - on Friday, and I'm confident that her teacher is capable, her class size is small, and she'll be well cared for. There's nothing left to do but pack up her backpack, lay out tomorrow's clothes, charge the camera, and read this:
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
While I wouldn't pick this as the best starting-school-book, I think it makes a nice addition to that genre. Many of the rhymes are forced or awkward and the illustrations are so-so, but I really appreciated several aspects of the story.
It begins on the night before Kindergarten and follows the children's preparations. Then there's the morning hustle and finally we arrive at school. The book makes a point of leaving teddy bears and blankies at home, and points out that the room looked different from how the children imagined it might. It even mentions how it differed from day care (and when was the last time you heard a kids book acknowledge day care?). The kids quickly settle into the new environment and make friends, but the parents have a harder time letting go. They continue to watch their children from the doorway until the teacher lets everyone have one more goodbye hug. The roll reversal at the end is cute and might help some children overcome their own pre-kindergarten jitters. We'll see if it helps my own!