Book Reviews: School Readiness Kindergarten

Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for School?
Author: Barney Saltzberg
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: It's time for school. Is Cornelius P. Mud up? SURE HE IS! He has even made his bed, put on his clothes, and eaten his breakfast. But this is Cornelius, so things are not always what they seem. Despite the clowning around, he makes his way through his morning routine and out to the bus stop, where readers - especially those who loved Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? - are in for a big surprise.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: At the beginning of the year I really look forward to working with kindergartners. It's a whole new world as a student and being in a classroom all day long. Just getting up in the morning and getting to school might be a challenge. And wouldn't you know it, I found a good one on morning routine! After I read through this one I knew exactly how I wanted to use it. I want to tell them GOOD JOB for getting to school! GOOD JOB for following mom and dad's directions! GOOD JOB for getting ready to be a student! This is a neat way to introduce responsibility, following directions, and completing tasks. Hey, in my opinion they did that the moment they got out of bed and got going! This will be a quick read but I found it enjoyable and relatable for kids. I'm also looking forward to adding this to my parent recommendations for incoming kindergarten kiddos who are having difficulty getting to school. Maybe this could help!

It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel
Author: Jamie Lee Curtis
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: Learning not to hit? Having to wait your turn? Sitting still? It's definitely hard to be five, but Jamie Lee Curtis's encouraging text and Laura Cornell's illustrations make the struggles of self-control a little bit easier, and a lot more fun!

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a book some of our kindergarten teachers use along with a writing and art project. Over the years I've noticed the cute drawings up on the walls and the cover of It's Hard to be Five sitting on their bookshelves. Soooo, of course I finally had to pick it up and see what all the fuss is about. And now I totally get it! This book is ADORABLE and validates all the five year olds!

It's hard to be five.

Just yelled at my brother.
My mind says do one thing.
My mouth says another.

It's fun to be five!
Big changes are here!
My body's my car,
and I'm licensed to steer.

This would be wonderful to read not only in the beginning of the year but also the end. Sort of a - WOW. Look at how far you've come! You've been learning responsibility, friendship, how to be a student, dealing with challenges, and accomplishing them. I know it's important to have academic success but it's also important to recognize the aspects of the social and emotional growth kids go through. Try this one out, I think you'll like it! Oh, and here is a link for lesson plan ideas.


  1. Great suggestions, thanks! I NEED to make a trip to the library and I hope they have these!!


  2. I am just sitting down to do my first day planning and I am so happy to have your site as a resource! I am definitely using them (and I just ordered Panda Kindergarten!) for the first week of school!
    Thanks for the suggestions and for having such a great site! Is it weird to say we should meet for coffee sometime??

  3. Are you ready for school looks so cute. I always have parents asking for ways to help their morning routine- I always suggest timers, and schedules and all that but this book might be perfect to suggest!

  4. @Sneaker Teacher, I am looking forward to using Panda Kindergarten this year to help kids feel more at "home" at school. i bought a bunch of panda stuff animals that I'll loan out to kindies this year to help with any transition issues. Now I just need me a panda puppet! And I'm always game for a starbucks!

    @Kelly It's a really concrete book that I can see as another helpful tool to getting kids out the door and being responsible. Oh, and it's cute!

  5. Just borrowed It's Hard to be Five and read it to our kindergartens! They really loved it! Thanks for the suggestions!!


  6. @ambplay It's a good one! And it is hard to be five!