35 Books That Will Help Ease Kid’s Worries for Kindergarten

The first day of kindergarten comes with lots of exciting firsts and also some big emotions. Picture books are an excellent way to start conversations with young children about beginning kindergarten. The best ones can reassure them, ease any fears about starting school and help them understand what to expect.

These books are a valuable addition to your school readiness toolkit! Starting Kindergarten is an exciting yet significant change, and these picture books can help definitely help reduce the first-day-of-school jitters.

The stories in this collection will facilitate discussions with children about any questions they might have about starting school.

These might be questions such as:

  • What will Kindergarten be like?
  • How will I make friends?
  • What if I miss my parents?
  • What if I’m feeling scared?
  • Am I going to be okay?

Children’s books can help explain new experiences and abstract concepts about this exciting time. They can build social-emotional skills and provide positive messages about handling new situations, separation anxiety and other big emotions or worries.

preparing for kindergarten books

Here are the 35 Best Books for Preparing for Kindergarten:

1. First Day Jitters by: Julie Danneberg

Sarah is nervous about starting a new school and doesn’t want to go. However, there’s a surprising twist that reveals that even teachers get the first-day jitters.

2. Kindergarten Here I Come by: D.J. Steinberg

This book is a collection of cheerful poems that capture the excitement, nervousness, and new experiences of starting kindergarten.

3. Mae’s First Day of School by: Kate Berube

Mae is scared about starting school and climbs a tree to avoid it. With some encouragement from her mom and new friends, she discovers that school can be fun.

4. The Kissing Hand by: Audrey Penn

Chester Raccoon is nervous about going to school, but his mother gives him a kiss on his hand to remind him that her love is always with him. This one is a classic for teachers to read on the first day of kindergarten!

kindergarten class list of books

5. The Night Before Kindergarten by: Natasha Wing

This story follows a group of children as they prepare for their first day of kindergarten, capturing their excitement and anxieties

6. Planet Kindergarten by: Sue Ganz-Schmitt

A boy imagines his first day of kindergarten as an exciting space mission, turning a potentially scary day into a magical adventure.

7. Lena’s Shoes are Nervous by: Keith Calabrese and Juana Medina

Lena is excited about school, but her shoes are nervous. By talking to her shoes, she learns that being brave means facing your fears.

8. The Queen of Kindergarten by: Derrick Barnes

MJ starts kindergarten feeling like royalty, complete with a crown, and learns about leadership and kindness on her first day.

first day of school jitters

9. The King of Kindergarten by: Derrick Barnes

A young boy sets off for his first day of kindergarten with confidence, ready to take on his new role as “king” of the classroom.

10. Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by: Nancy Carlson

Henry is both excited and nervous about starting kindergarten, but he soon discovers how much he loves it.

11. First Day of School by: Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is anxious about his first day of school, but he finds out it’s not as scary as he thought and makes new friends.

12. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by: Joseph Slate

Miss Bindergarten prepares her classroom for a new group of students, introducing each one alphabetically as they get ready for the first day.

miss bindergarten gets ready for kindergarten

13. Kindergarten: Where Kindness Matters Everyday by: Vera Ahiyya

This book highlights the importance of kindness in kindergarten through various scenarios, showing how small acts can make a big difference.

14. Wemberly Worried by: Kevin Henkes

Wemberly, a mouse who worries about everything, finds that she’s not alone in her fears at school and makes a new friend.

15. Off to Kindergarten by: Tony Johnston

A boy excitedly prepares for his first day of kindergarten, packing way too much stuff, but learns what he really needs is already within him.

16. All Are Welcome by: Alexandra Penfold

This book celebrates diversity and inclusion, showing children from different backgrounds coming together to learn and play in a welcoming school.

the pigeon has to go to school

17. Kindergarten Rocks by: Katie Davis

Dexter is excited about starting kindergarten, but his stuffed dog, Rufus, is a little nervous. Through Dexter’s enthusiasm and experiences, Rufus learns that kindergarten rocks!

18. Your Name is a Song by: Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

A young girl learns to embrace the beauty and music in her unique name with the help of her mother, empowering her to confidently face her first day of school.

19. I’m Your Bus by: Marilyn Singer

This cheerful, rhyming story follows a friendly school bus as it picks up children for school, highlighting the excitement and routine of riding the bus.

20. Dad’s First Day by: Mike Wohnoutka

Oliver is ready for his first day of kindergarten, but his dad is not. This sweet and humorous story showcases the roles reversing as Oliver reassures his anxious dad.

lots of exciting firsts in kindergarten

21. On the First Day of Kindergarten by: Tish Rabe

This charming, rhyming book walks children through the first twelve days of kindergarten, celebrating new experiences and the fun of learning.

22. Butterflies on the First Day of School by: Annie Silvestro

Rosie is nervous about starting school, but when she starts making new friends, the butterflies in her stomach turn into excitement.

23. Hello School by: Priscilla Burris

This colorful and engaging book introduces young children to the various activities and friendly faces they will encounter on their first day of school.

24. David Goes to School by: David Shannon

David’s antics and mischief in school highlight important lessons about following rules and being respectful in a humorous and relatable way.

the night before kindergarten

25. I Love You All Day Long by: Francesca Rusackas

Owen the piglet is worried about being apart from his mom, but she reassures him that her love is with him all day long, even while he’s at school.

26. KINDergarten by: Vera Ahiyya

This inspiring book teaches young children the importance of kindness in kindergarten through simple, relatable scenarios and vibrant illustrations.

27. How to Be Kind in Kindergarten by: DJ Steinberg

This collection of poems provides young readers with practical and easy-to-understand tips on how to be kind and considerate in kindergarten.

28. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School by: Mo Willems

The beloved Pigeon faces the inevitable—school! This humorous book addresses common fears with a light-hearted touch that children will love.

mae's first day

29. How to Be Confident in Kindergarten by: DJ Steinberg

Through cheerful poems and illustrations, this book offers young children tips and encouragement to build their confidence as they start kindergarten.

30. Let’s Be Friends/ Seamos Amigos by: René Colato Laínez

This bilingual book celebrates friendship and cultural diversity, showing how children can form meaningful connections despite language barriers.

31. Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School! by: Christina Geist

A playful story where kids tell the grown-ups that school is just for them, highlighting the fun and excitement of the school day from a child’s perspective.

32. The World Needs More Purple Schools by: Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart

A fun and inspiring book that encourages children to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in their schools, promoting kindness and teamwork.

33. This is How We Get Ready by: DK

This informative book guides children through the daily routines of getting ready for school, making the process fun and easy to understand.

first day nerves kndergarten

34. The Name Jar by: Yangsook Choi

Unhei, a new student from Korea, worries about fitting in and decides to choose an American name, but her classmates help her see the beauty in her unique name.

35. I’m Going to Kindergarten! by: Andrea Posner-Sanchez

This brightly illustrated book follows a young girl as she prepares for and experiences her first day of kindergarten, highlighting all the new and exciting activities she encounters.

More Kindergarten Readiness Activities:

Back to School Activities for the First Day of Kindergarten

Back to School Morning Tubs for Kindergarten

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