Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing

Parental polls are in agreement that the best books for 4 year olds are entertaining, educational, and relatable – kids want to feel that they’re being understood with whatever is happening in their lives. Natasha Wing understands the need for children to feel understood; a fact that is proven in her tale entitled “The Night Before Kindergarten.” The beginning is engaging with the following opening lines…

“Twas’ the night before Kindergarten,
And as they prepared,
kids were excited,
And a little bit scared.”

The nights leading up to the first day of school are stressful – particularly when it’s a child’s first time being away from their parents in an educational environment. Not all kids go to preschool! With the first few lines in Wing’s story, parents will be able to see how this tale could help their child cope with the first day of Kindergarten. And children will be immediately drawn into the process of what to expect from the perspective of an eager (but nervous) little girl as she makes the same preparations. From packing school supplies to kissing Mom and Dad goodbye, all the bases of the first day of Kindergarten are covered in this amusing rhyme.

The book is soothing for parents and kids, offering them both a glimmer of hope in a day that’s sure to be nerve-wracking and stressful. This tale also offers a life lesson, discussing change and the importance of transition. Kids (and adults) will experience the same feelings of nervousness throughout their lifetime – whether it begins in Kindergarten or Preschool. However, this tale teaches that all of those moments will have hopeful outcomes that lead to happiness and comfort. Wing tries to instill the fact that “nothing is as bad as it seems” when life boils down to new situations and the unknown of first-time experiences.

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