Back-to-school reads

School is back in session! Certainly, you heard the collective “whoops” of mothers the country-round. And, for those who spent long evenings outside riding bikes and jumping in lakes, it’s time to hit the books! Here’s to the 2010-2011 school year and my favorite BTS reads.

… Newness and nerves: The Night Before First Grade’s sing-song quality tracks to the classic “Night Before Christmas,” but with a modern-day, relatable story about lunches, making friends, teachers and good-byes. ( Don’t be surprised if your kiddo makes his own lunch after reading this story!) This is one of many in her “The Night Before” series that covers every imaginable holiday, plus first school days (by grade) and my fave – summer!

… Fitting in and making friends: Miss. Mingo and the First Day of School is a darling story about being yourself and how each child is uniquely special. Miss. Mingo – the flamingo teacher – helps the animal students in her class overcome their shyness on the first day of school by encouraging them to share something unique about themselves. This is our family’s favorite BTS read.

… Saying good-bye: The Kissing Hand is certainly a classic first-day read, known to incite sobs from the most hardened mother. Chester the raccoon is afraid to go to school and be without his mom for the night (he’s nocturnal, after all). Chester’s Mom kisses the center of his paw and tells him if he should feel frightened or scared or lonely, he should simply hold his paw up to his face, and he will feel her love. Do not (I repeat: do NOT) read this story without Kleenex.

… Keeping it light: My School’s a Zoo! is a super silly story about a little boy who awakes to find his home and school transformed after having attended a field trip to the zoo the day before. Warning!! You will go around rhyming for the next 24 hours (and annoying everyone in your wake) after enjoying the tops-turvy menagerie of animal shenanigans. Get ready for some misbehaving fun and lots of giggles.

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