The 5 Best Books to Get Kids Excited about Kindergarten

By Rebecca / August 8, 2017

Kindergarten has been an integral part of the U.S. elementary education system since its inception in 1837. Conceptualized by the educational philosopher, Friedrich Froebel, kindergarten became a locale in which children were recognized for their distinct individual needs and intellectual capacities.

Froebel was able to decisively determine through his exhaustive research that adolescent brain development grew at its greatest momentum up until the age of three. This finding subsequently led to his efforts in developing and retooling the early-childhood educational practices that existed at the time, with an emphasis being placed on the vast array of differing learning styles.

Froebel’s work has resulted in kindergarten classes and kindergarten teachers with targeted lesson plans today incorporating a wide spectrum of play-based activities that are child-centered and foster parent involvement. Through a multitude of activities such as music, games, and picture books, preschoolers are able to engage in activities that are pleasurable to their senses while also discovering how things operate and being able to assign meaning to those things.

In addition to making discoveries about the world around them, kindergarteners will develop their fine motor skills and spend significant amounts interfacing with their peers and learning valuable social skills.

Critically imperative to preschoolers and kindergarten kids is the introduction of cognitive-building tools in the form of books and other reading materials to get them reading - and enjoying reading - from a very young age. The experience gained from the incorporation of the early introduction of the library and reading leads to broader, richer vocabularies, and reinforces the relationship between reading and pleasure early on, which will, in turn, prove to be a boon for a child’s educational success.

It is fundamentally important for parents to be aware of the rapid connections being formed in their child’s brain every day for the first five years of their life. Up to 90% of connective brain developments occur by this young age and these connections form the essential building blocks and foundation for a child’s capacity to learn, experience, and grow on an intellectual level.

Books are an essential component and building block in a child’s intellectual foundation. A multitude of research dictates that children who are read to ultimately go on to become better adept at reading, building more extensive vocabularies, and succeeding in school from an early age. Providing literature-rich environments for children not only serves to help build their vocabularies and foster success in school but also provide extensive opportunities for children to discover their inner creative selves and learn to express their individuality in valuable ways.

As a starting point in many of the lessons that books teach children, the concept of determining importance is heavily stressed. Kindergarteners are encouraged to go above and beyond locating main ideas of texts and determining the importance or relevant value, which helps them to build valuable critical thinking skills for school and life.​

The Importance of Picture Books for Kindergarteners – At a Glance Chart​

Fun

​Entertaining

​Engrossing

​Rewarding

Provides literary experiences for kids that are entertaining and that they look forward to

Stimulation of visual senses via colorful images​

Provides interactive opportunities between parents and adults and children

Enables parents and adults to spend quality time with kids and discuss the pictures and words within stories

Reading comprehension is built through ongoing interactive reading experiences

Fosters dialogue and encourages children to voice their opinions and feeling

Assists in developing “story sense” skills

Through reading books, children are able to learn the different parts of a story, including the start, middle, and end and assign meaning to each part

Assists in conveying the concepts of cause and effect in an easy to understand fashion

Asking children prior to reading to look out for key words that convey a cause and effect relationship helps them build stronger reading skills for later

Provides a multi-sensory experience

Enables children to see, smell, and touch- encompasses all of the basic senses

Reinforces reading skills through repetition

Reading skills such as comprehension, phonemic awareness, and fluency are built through reading repetition

Develops language skills

Allows children to engage in practicing a wide range of language sounds and rhythm and rhyme

Catering to children’s love of art

Children love bright colors, drawing, and doodling. Reading from books that feature colorful illustrations provide additional enjoyment and inspiration for art-loving children

Effortlessly building understanding and reading comprehension through easy-to-understand basic illustrations

Illustrations provide assistance to children to determine and assign meaning to the story line

Featured below is a collection of titles geared towards kindergarten children that assist in helping them build reading comprehension, identifying main ideas, and determining importance. The titles have been carefully assessed for age-appropriateness, vocabulary, and illustrations, and are some of the most popular books used today by kindergarten educators. Read on below to learn more about these reading essentials that are found in classrooms everywhere.

kindergarten here i come book image

“Kindergarten Here I Come” is authored by D.J. Steinberg and Mark Chambers and is available in traditional text format as well as a Kindle edition. Geared towards children aged 3 to 5, “Kindergarten Here I Come” features vivid illustrations, bright colors, and an exciting storyline that will appeal to all children getting ready to make the transition to kindergarten.

The story centers around a young boy who is preparing to make the move from preschool to kindergarten. Throughout his excitement, he shares a dialogue with his enthusiastic mother, as they begin to prepare for his first day of kindergarten.

Young children will relate to the main character’s mounting excitement as he hurriedly prepares for school and ensures he has his new backpack, jacket, lunch, and school supplies.

Throughout the story, typical kindergarten milestones are described that serve to provide encouragement and motivation to incoming kindergarteners and the experiences they will face.

A basic staple in every kindergarten room and household with young children, “Kindergarten, Here I Come” is a classic that will resonate will parents and children alike.

the night before kindergarten book image

The Night Before Kindergarten centers around the first day of kindergarten. Have your children join the other kids as they get ready for their first day by gathering school supplies, getting their backpacks readied and posing for pictures as they say goodbye to mom and dad.

This cheery colorful book illustrates just how fun kindergarten really is and shows your child the multitude of enjoyable experiences that they will be looking forward to as they make their foray into traditional education.

miss bindergarten book image

This book also centers around the first day of kindergarten. Miss Bindergarten is working hard to get ready for her upcoming class featuring 26 brand new kindergarteners.

As Miss Bindergarten gets ready for her class, children are shown throughout the story getting ready for their first day with her as their teacher.

Adam Krupp wakes up joyfully excited for his first day, while Brenda Heath brushes her teeth in anticipation. Christopher Beaker searches for his lost sneaker. While Miss Bindergarten finishes decorating her classroom just in the nick of time as students start to file in.

This book is wonderful to showcase the process of getting ready for kindergarten, not only from a child’s perspective but also from the viewpoint of a teacher.

Note: The New York Times Book Review described this book as “Multifaceted and appealing” and can be enjoyed at home and at school.

the twelve days of christmas book image

This adaptation of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” gives parents and children a familiar look at the kindergarten transition. Going through the 2nd of Kindergarten (Christmas) all the way up until the 12th, this familiar wording engages children as they read about the new friends they will make in Kindergarten and the activities they will engage in such as jumping rope, making art, and playing at recess.

The experience of saying goodbye to Mom and Dad is illustrated as kids make their way to their first journeys on the school bus where they are taken to be the school to be met with their awaiting parents again at the end of the day.

This is a fantastic book that delves into the experience of transportation to school and alleviates the fear a child might face at having to say goodbye to their parents for the day by reinforcing the fact that their parents will be there to pick them up at the end of the day.

Authored by Tish Rabe, this vivid children’s book is just one of her many 160 titles for children available today.

kindergarten rocks book image

Kindergarten Rocks centers on main character Dexter who seemingly already knows all the ins and outs when it comes to kindergarten. Dex proclaims his knowledge is a result of being informed by his big sister Jessie, and he is not scared at all.

However, Dex’s stuffed dog Rufus is scared - only until he finds out that kindergarten actually rocks!

i can read book image

The I Can Read Series featuring Pete the Cat is authored by New York Times bestselling author James Dean. This series helps kids learn reading through phonics and brightly illustrated images that are engaging and fun to look at.

Assessed and approved by many phonics experts, the I Can Read, Pete the Cat series showcases repetitive examples of common words and differing vowels sounds.

Phonics is of particular importance in how they teach children the phonemic relationship between letters and their correlating sounds. A child who has mastered phonics and phonemes will find reading, spelling, and writing easier to master at grade-level and future grade levels.

This series is an excellent way to teach kids to master reading while rocking out to the lovable and enthusiastic Pete the Cat.

As mentioned early on, kindergarten is a distinctive place where children will make discoveries about the world around them, develop their fine motor skills, and spend time interfacing with peers and learning valuable social skills. Within the basic framework of integral kindergarten elements are the incorporation of cognitive building tools in the form of books and reading that serve to teach children myriad concepts.

Books and interactive reading experiences provide children with a wealth of opportunities to develop broader, richer vocabularies, to reinforce the relationship between reading and pleasure early on in life, and to strengthen the foundation for a child’s assured future academic success.

Many parents make the mistake of not completely understanding the fast pace at which their toddler’s brain is making connections every day. The rapid connections formed in a toddler’s brain are occurring constantly for up to the first five years of their lives, with up to 90% of connective brain tissue having been formed by that time.

It is imperative that parents do not underestimate the rapid growth of their child’s brain and take advantage of this singularly unique time in their child’s life to put into practice and reinforce basic reading skills and fine motor skills. The development of these two skills will not only assist children in succeeding at kindergarten but also help them ensure academic success in future grades.

Books also serve to widen a child’s horizons and to broaden their perspectives. Books take children to places they have never before envisioned or imagined, to discovering people, places, and things they never knew existed, and to teaching lessons about life and morality that were previously unfamiliar. Books encompass a wide variety of subject material like the ones listed above and many more that can be used to enrich a child’s viewpoint and expressive qualities.

It should also be noted that children who are exposed to reading and books at a young age develop into people who enjoy books and reading and see it as a pleasurable activity and not one that is cumbersome and boring. Starting reading early on and practicing interactive reading between parent and child is among the best things a parent can do for their child to ensure a lifelong love of reading, academic success, and the growth of strong fine motor skills.

Parents and children can read together before bed, at activity time, or after dinner. Whether reading time is scheduled or unscheduled, the time you share together with your child in these interactive experiences will reward the both of you in countless ways.​