I’ve said it many times, but I really do have the fear about next September. H will turn 4 at the end of August and a week later will be starting school. I know deep down she’ll be fine, but that doesn’t stop the worry. One way I’m trying to get her (and me) used to it is by reading the right kind of books – where people have school experiences, so she can learn.
Actually, I say all this but every morning when we drive past her potential school she asks if she can go there yet, so maybe this is all about reassuring me. ANYWAY.
These are all books we love – and they’re all based around school… first up, an old favourite which we won when H painted a lovely picture of Martha Bunny, ‘Martha and the Bunny Brothers – I Love School’ by Clara Vulliamy. I’ve reviewed this in the past on one of my other blogs, but in a nutshell Martha is set for her first day at school and wants to get her bag ready – while her brothers stay at home and have their Happy Bunny Club (which you can join over at Clara’s website). It’s a really nice story and beautifully illustrated, and with another book to come in the Martha Bunny series soon, it’s perfect for preschoolers to get them used to the idea of going.
For the second book, it’s an old classic. When I found out that the Topsy & Tim books were being re-done and updated I rushed out and bought whatever I could – Topsy & Tim have done everything you could possibly need to read to your child to help them understand (chicken pox, itchy heads, gone to school…), so we have ‘Topsy & Tim Start School’ by Jean and Gareth Adamson. Topsy and Tim are a little bit modern these days too, with the new illustrations by Belinda Worsley.
Topsy & Tim start school, are a little bit scared but see lots of familiar faces, have some regular everyday things happen to them (as that’s generally what happens in a Topsy & Tim book) and there’s a minor upset which gets put right by the end (Tim couldn’t find his coat peg). That’s what I love the most about the Topsy & Tim books – they’re normal and don’t have crazy things which happen – they’re just like everyone you know. Of course there’s the little puzzle at the back of the book too!
‘Foxy – A Magical Tail’ by Emma Dodd is a lovely little book – Emily is starting school and is tucked up in bed worried she hasn’t got everything she needs. Luckily Foxy comes along with his magical tail, mis-hears everything she says she needs – for example, Emily asks for a pencil, but gets a penguin – a school bag, but gets a pirate flag and so on, until she finally worries about not being clever enough or that nobody will like her. The story has a happy ending, with Foxy letting her know she’ll make lots of friends, and amused H with the mis-hearing of Emily’s requests a lot.
Finally, our last school book is a different kind of school story, but helpful again. ‘Come to School Too Blue Kangaroo!’ by Emma Chichester Clark is about a little girl called Lily who is going to a new school (as are her friends) and they’re all a bit nervous. This is actually the eighth book in the Blue Kangaroo series, and though we’ve not come across them before now it’s not difficult to pick up what’s going on.
She takes along Blue Kangaroo, but accidentally leaves him at school overnight – and has to leave him there as school is closed. I suspect this kind of thing may happen to H at some point, so this is good preparation – and knowing that your toy will be just fine when you go back the following day.
What I like the most about these four books is how traditional they feel – proper classic stories and the kind which H really enjoys. Do you have any school related books you’d recommend? Let us know over at the Mum Friendly Group!
Martha & the Bunny Brothers – I Love School by Clara Vulliamy is published by HarperCollins Children’s books. ISBN 978-0-00-741916-6 RRP £10.99
Topsy & Tim Start School by Jean and Gareth Adamson is published by Ladybird books ISBN 978-1-40931-068-6 RRP £4.99
Foxy – A Magical Tail by Emma Dodd is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books ISBN 978-0-00-745597-3 RRP £6.99
Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo! by Emma Chichester Clark is published by HarperCollins Children’s books ISBN 978-0-00-725867-3 RRP £10.99
I received a copy of the last book for the purpose of review, all opinions are my own.