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The Night Before Kindergarten
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The Night Before Kindergarten

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  820 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
'Twas the night before kindergarten,
and as they prepared,

kids were excited,
and a little bit scared.

It's the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying goodbye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won't be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is! C
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 9th 2001 by Grosset & Dunlap (first published July 1st 2001)
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I read this as the anticipatory set for an expository writing activity that will see my fourth graders paired with a kindergartener for an activity.

This book follows the pattern of Clement Clarke Moore's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". Interestingly, my students did not pick up on that nor did they recognize the poem once it was pointed out to them. Sigh . . .

This is a typical book of the anxiety of going off to school for the first time. Of course, most students these days have been in pr
Sep 11, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it
This book is quite cute and would be a great book to read to your students on the first day of school. It talks about getting ready for school and all the wonderful routines students will go through every night to prepare for school the following day. It would even be a great book for parents to read their children to calm their worries about entering school. This book talks about picking out school supplies, your favorite outfit and making your lunch for school. It is quite a great book, howeve ...more
Kiera Turner
Jun 19, 2014 Kiera Turner rated it it was amazing
This book reminds me of when I was in elementary school and the night before the first day of school I was so excited that I couldn't even sleep! I think this would be a great book to include in a Kindergarten classroom teachers welcome packet because every child feels this way on the first day of school. This book could also be used in rhyming word lessons because there were tons of rhyming words!
Tymia Woods
Jun 30, 2015 Tymia Woods rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
When I read this book I thought about all of my first days of school in my early years. I was as excited as all of the children in the book. I remember how I would pick out my clothes the night before and get my backpack and everything ready also. It was really funny and interesting the parents were more anxious than the children. My mother was not like that however.
May 02, 2015 Devan rated it it was amazing
A girl is excited for her first day or kindergarten, but also nervous. But once she gets to school she has lots of fun and forgets about being nervous. The parents however are extremely sad and stick around extra long.
This book is something that would be great for parents and children to read together. The story shows how the children may be nervous, but that they will have lots of fun and quickly make friends. But the story also shows that the parents will be just as worried to
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
Illustrated by Julie Durrell
Grosset and Dunlap 2001
With the start of the school year quickly approaching, teachers and parents are looking for good first day of school books. The Night before Kindergarten fits that bill. Written as a sort of parody of Night before Christmas but with a school theme the story goes through the feelings and anxieties that both the parents and children are having as they begin Kindergarten.
This is a good book and the pict
Gina Diloreto
Apr 12, 2014 Gina Diloreto rated it really liked it
Wing, N. "The night before kindergarten". (2001). New York: Grosset & Dunlap.

This book is a play on the rhyming pattern of "Twas the Night Before Christmas". It tells a tale of what a child might be thinking on the night before they start Kindergarten. I think it could be useful in helping to alleviate a pre-schooler's anxiety about starting school, by showing them what they can likely expect will happen when they get there. It goes step by step through a typical day. I really liked that by
Oct 18, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing
Toward the end of the last year of preschool we start to read books about going to kindergarten and The Night Before Kindergarten starts with the familiar rhyme and takes the children through getting ready and going to school the first day. We offer several stories so that the children are not limited to one picture of going to kindergarten but to help them get excited about their new adventure when school starts the next school year. The Night Before Kindergarten is great when it shows the pare ...more
Shannon Brasher
The Night Before Kindergarten takes the classic poem, the Night Before Christmas and changes around the words to make it appropriate for a child who is headed to kindergarten for the first time. This would be a fun book to send home with students before school starts to introduce them to the big changes ahead as they transition into kindergarten. What I liked most about this book is it recognizes how when a child starts school it is just as hard for the parents as it is the children. I would rec ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Tc rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindergarten
This book is written to be similar to "The Night before Christmas", which could be used to compare and contrast. Teachers could suggest this book to parents in a welcome letter sent out to students before the first day. It would be great for discussion with new students about how they prepared for the first day, but also to be read with the entire group (including teary parents) on the first day as a way to include everyone and start the year off right.
Shakeema Gabriel
Jun 26, 2014 Shakeema Gabriel rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book for the first day of kindergarten. The way the book started off reminded me of the night before Christmas. Children can relate to this book and Christmas in a sense . I thought it was cute that in the end the parents were the ones who were sad. This book shows different emotions from being nervous, sad, happy, and etc. When reading this book you can talk about the first day of school, first day jitters, emotions, and etc. It is an awesome book and should be in a kinderg ...more
Bethany Clark
Sep 19, 2014 Bethany Clark rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to get to read this to my little man on September 1st! He loved it and I think it made him feel better about school and meeting new friends. It's such a great ice breaker to how young children are feeling on the night before they enter school for the first time alone which has to be terrifying when you think about it!

Great read for anyone with small children heading off to their first ever day of school!
Melissa Alani
Aug 28, 2012 Melissa Alani rated it really liked it
I will always have the memory of reading, 'The Night Before Kindergarten' to my daughter before her first big day of school! She was overly excited with each turn of the page, by relating to the character in the book.

Here is a tip that I recommend. If you are reading this to bring excitement for your little ones first day of kindergarten; write down your child's name and the date you read it to them. Once your child has out-grown the book, tuck it away in a safe place for years to come. Then wh
Aug 21, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
My daughter was given this book at Meet the Teacher night, just days before school started. Without reading it beforehand, I read it to her. The once gung-ho attitude turned into shear panic. It actually CAUSED her anxiety instead of easing it, since she had very little prior to hearing the story. Might be good for some kids, but not mine.
Asalyn Holliday
Like The Kissing Hand I think this book is good for the first day of school or to read at home the night before. Every child feels differently on their first day of school and I think that is something that is very important to recognize as a teacher so that we are able to honor and respect the feelings of our students.
Jun 28, 2014 Sabeen added it
Shelves: bedtime, rhymes
Great illustrations! i think it is a great book for parents to read to their children who are about to start school because the illustrations are great and how a school is set up. The child can learn a lot from the illustrations.
May 09, 2014 Kinsley rated it really liked it
How cute is this book? Read to the rhyming pattern of Twas the Night Before Christmas. It takes you through the steps of prepping for your first day of Kindergarten bit by bit and shows just how much fun school is going to be!
Rashanda Ravenel
Jul 14, 2014 Rashanda Ravenel rated it really liked it
The classroom in the book is very detailed. The room is colorful with a music station, toys, blankets, multicultural images. It displays the parents being involved in classroom activities and shows close community ties. It is a great way to ease emotions going into the first day of school. It would be a great book for students, teachers, and parents.
Aug 05, 2015 Tanya rated it really liked it
It's that time again. School is going to start next week but the kids won't be in the library for at least two. Trying to find good first day books for the Kinders. I enjoyed the rhymes in this book.
Aug 30, 2014 Jordan rated it did not like it
Would have been great until the end where it talks about the parents crying. It hadn't even occurred to my rising kindergartener that moms and dads might be sad! Thanks for adding to her anxiety!!!
Monchel Jones
Feb 28, 2012 Monchel Jones rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this poem book, "The Night Before Kindergarten", it was about children actually preparing themselves for kindergarten which was the next morning. The poem begins on the night before kindergarten with children and parents getting ready for the big day. Then the day arrives and we see children and parents as they prepare, and arrive at school. The age range would be pre-k through kindergarten. The artistic element that caught my eye was the lines which showed different movement An ...more
Avery Maxwell
Jan 16, 2013 Avery Maxwell rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I enjoyed this book because it was a lovely reminder of the classic tale, The Night Before Christmas. It was relatable to how children must feel on their very first day of school and perhaps all the first days of the grades that follow. They illustrations were very detailed but large enough for kids to see and understand. My book also came with stickers that allows kids to participate more in the story by placing stickers on the pages to make up their own illustrations. I thought that the book c ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
This was a really cute book and written in rhyme to "The Night Before Christmas." This would be so fun to read the night before a son or daughter starts kindergarten, but can also be used on the first day of kindergarten with your class, or maybe even toward the end of the Pre-K year. Children can talk about the things they will do in Kindergarten and the various activities they take part in to prepare for what Kindergarten can be like. It could also be good to talk with students about their fir ...more
Pamela (slytherpuff)
Sep 06, 2013 Pamela (slytherpuff) rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted at Bettering Me Up.

Boy Child starts Kindergarten tomorrow.

I am not prepared.
I am not sure how I'll react on Tuesday.
(That's a lie. I know I will be a blubbering mess.)

This book is perfectly suited for parents and kids. The parents are the nervous ones. The kids are excited!

We've been reading this book for two weeks and both kids demand it at least once a day.

Highly recommended for new Kindergarteners and their emotional parents.
Jen Kahl
Jul 11, 2013 Jen Kahl rated it really liked it
I loved this book!! It would be a great one for parents to read to their children the night before they begin kindergarten or for their teacher to read on the first day of school. The pictures were wonderfully illustrated, and the book paralleled the classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas". It talked about how much fun the kids would have at school, all the supplies they would need for their art projects, and how their parents were the ones who cried when they went to their classroom. I would ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Paula rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I read this at our Meet the teacher night and it was a huge success.
Julia Jasztal
Jan 11, 2013 Julia Jasztal rated it it was amazing
(Mommy's review from 3/23/11)

I disagree with the reviewer who said this can only be used right before a child enters kindergarten. This is such a fun read that I think a kid would enjoy it even after entering kindergarten - maybe even more so then since they'll know about the things written about in the book.
I think it'd be perfect for just before kindergarten but that doesn't make it unperfect for other times.
Julia has a fun time with it and has since read it once more with me and once more wit
Ashley Cain
Sep 01, 2014 Ashley Cain rated it really liked it
Good for the first day of kindergarten.
Good rhyming, good for new kindergarteners
Kristine Hansen
Jul 13, 2014 Kristine Hansen rated it it was ok
Using the familiar rhyme scheme from "The Night Before Christmas" we look at what it's like to go to kindergarten for the first time. Illustrations are fun but nothing really unique or special. Storyline felt a little bit...blah. I think it would have been more fun to set up the teacher more in the Santa Claus role (continuing the parallels to outside of the rhyme scheme and opening alone).

It's not a bad book to use to introduce your kids to the concept of going to school for the first time, bu
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Why am I a writer? When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a teacher. I’d line up my stuffed animals in front of a board and teach them the alphabet and how to count. In high school I wanted to be a tennis player. I was on the tennis team, and played at our neighborhood tennis club. Then in college I thought digging dinosaur bones would be a cool job. It wasn’t until I was working at my own public ...more
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