Posted March 10, 2014 by in Book Lists

5 Preschool Books to Prepare Your Child

Try to think way back for a moment to when you were a child. Think back to some upcoming event, challenge or situation you may have been anxious about. While there may have been many things that helped settle your nerves, chances are that in at least one of those situations, you had a beloved story that lent you a bit of hope, encouragement and courage.

We are all programmed to identify with a good story — particularly if it is highly relevant to an event that’s going on in our lives at the time we read it. This doesn’t happen at some magic age, either; even toddlers and small children identify with characters and plots in books. That’s part of what makes books such wondrous learning tools.

Best Preschool Books to Prepare Your Child

photo credit: ajari via photopin cc

Photo credit: ajari via photopin cc

From learning to use the potty to understanding the importance of sharing, books abound to help parents guide and teach their children. When a child reaches the milestone of preschool, there are a number of excellent books available that can help them get ready for the experience. Here are a few picks:

Wow! School! by Robert Neubecker — This book is the third in Neubecker’s Wow! series, and is absolutely engaging for preschool-aged children. Bright colors, bold illustrations and minimal wording make the book one that young children can sink their teeth into and really understand.

Its age-appropriateness cannot be understated, because it really reaches kids on their level in terms of cognitive and language skills. Kids have fun exploring the illustrations, learning what they might expect on their first day, and becoming familiar with typical classroom objects and experiences. If you add no other book to your emerging preschooler’s reading list, make sure you add this one.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg — This is an excellent book for preschool children, even if it is primarily targeted toward kids who are starting over at a new school. The feelings and anxieties are the same for kids in either situation.

Young readers follow Sara as she hides under her covers in an attempt to avoid school, through to a delightful surprise ending that is sure to have your child excited about trying out this new experience. Beautiful illustrations and child-appropriate humor make the story that much more engaging and delightful.

Little School by Beth Norling — What better way to get a clear understanding of what preschool is like than by following the experiences of 20 different kids in the same boat? This book is primarily designed to teach little ones what preschool is like from drop-off to pick-up, but it’s also got some great language learning opportunities with age-appropriate vocabulary words.

Kids get to explore everything from respecting the teacher to getting in the groove with bathroom breaks in this beautifully illustrated adventure. With activities to try and answers to all the little questions adults may not always think about, Little School is sure to encourage even the most hesitant preschooler.

Sam and Gram and the First Day of School by Dianne L. Blomberg —Whether your child is entering a traditional preschool or you’ve made a decision in favor of an education system like that of Montessori schools, this book is a must-read for both parents and kids. It is somewhat unique in that it offers a special section just for parents full of tips for helping kids face the big day with confidence.

Like most other starting-school books, this one follows a child on his first day of school and documents the experience. Where it differs, however, is in its focus on the many emotions a child might go through rather than just on the excitement of how great school itself can be.

This helps kids to understand that it’s OK to feel whatever they’re feeling, and provides reassurance that they are not alone in their emotions. Finally, you’ll find plenty of jewels that teach kids how to handle those emotions in a healthy manner, broken down in terms they can understand and apply.

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney — As unfortunate as it may be, bullying can happen even as young as preschool, and this list would be incomplete without a good resource for preparing young children to deal with it. This invaluable book is written in mesmerizing sing-song rhyme and follows a loveable collection of animal characters.

Llama Llama experiences the emotional turmoil of being a bully victim, but also learns how to handle the experience in the proper way. Kids learn some of the reasons why a bully may act that way in the first place, as well as when it’s appropriate to forgive and give someone another chance.


Whether your child is excited about starting preschool or has some reservations, there’s a book out there made for the situation. Don’t forget that your local library is a wonderful resource for obtaining all types of books, and your librarian may be able to help you find one that focuses on a special situation we may not have covered here. Take advantage of the resources available, and your child is bound to have a glorious first day of preschool.

Courtney Gordner