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The Night Before First Grade
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The Night Before First Grade

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  546 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
It's the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to startthe year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore's classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as well as the “heroine” of the story—and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own backto- school jitters.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 21st 2005 by Grosset & Dunlap
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Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Read this book to my son before school started this year. Great book to prepare children for grade one.
The Bougie Twins
Love the little "twist" at the end!
Melissa Goembel
The night before first grade. Penny is excited about first grade. She is preparing to see her friend Jenny and cannot wait! Then when she gets to school, they have split the first grade. This causes her friend and her to be separated. Penny and Jenny both meet new friends. She sees Jenny at lunch who has also made a new friend. Their new friends are twins. Everyone is happy and friends.

This would be a good book to read like at the end of kindergarten, or the first day of first grade. It talks about what the girl in the book did to get prepared for first grade. Then it shows her first day of school and how they had to split the classes and she is not with her best friend anymore. This makes her a little upset, because I know when you are that young, you want to see your friends in school. In the end, she makes a new friend with a girl in her class and then she realizes somethin ...more
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it
As part of a project for a college course on children's literature, a group of us visited an elementary school and read this book to a small group of first-graders, who seemed to enjoy it very much. They also enjoyed discussing it afterward, and I really think that they, having just begun the first grade themselves, were able to identify with the characters. The book, which is part homage to and part parody of Clement C. Moore's famous poem, tells of some students who begin first grade and make ...more
Cute story that took a spin off of "The Night Before Christmas" and told about a little girl getting ready for first grade. When she gets to school, she realizes that her best friend is in another class but she makes another friend in her class. Very cute story that can relieve many nerves about first grade and a new start to the year.
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Perfect book for explaining to little ones that they might not be in the same class room with their friends from kindergarten, but assures them that they will still see them around school and will also make new friends.
Hailey Henley
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-6-10
Most kids get scared for their first day of school after being home all summer but this book can be used to help put children at ease. Two girls are starting first grade together and they are vest friends. When they get to school they realize that they are now in separate classrooms and they sadly won't be together all day anymore. But in their new classrooms they make more friends to introduce to each other. When it comes lunch time they both introduce each other too their new friends making a ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The story is about our main character Penny who, just started first grade. Penny is excited to start first grade she, packs her lunch, her backpack, and sets her clothes out for the day. Most, of all she excited to be with her friend Jen. Finally, it is the first day she rides the bus next to Jen, but once penny and jen get to school they realize they are in different classes. A new girl is in Penny’s class, and they both have so much in common and become friends. Finally, it is lunch and jen ha ...more
Magdalena Bailon
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the book, The Night Before First Grade, there was a girl named Penny. Penny was going to start first grade with her best friend Jenny. Since it was the first day of first grade, Penny got everything ready for her first day the day before. It was finally the first day of school and Penny and Jenny were so excited. They were both going to be in the same class, but then something unexpected happened.
My overall impression of the book was that I like it. I like how it showed what happened to Pen
Juliana Lee
The night before a new school year is always exciting, especially when you've planned everything with your best friend. But when you get to school and find out there's been a change in class lists and that you and your best friend will be separated, you're not sure it'll be as great as you imagined. The silver lining is that you get a chance to make a new friend... and find out that your best friend made a new friend too... and that the two new friends you've made are twins! Aren't school friend ...more
Annabel Rodriguez
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meg McGregor
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story is based on the poetic style of The Night Before Christmas.

It brought back many happy memories for me; as a student, as a parent, and as a teacher!

I think this is my favorite part!

"That night, I was nestled
all snug in my bed
while visions of jungle
gyms danced in my head."

I so look forward to taking my grandchild to school, one day.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kristen Dutkiewicz
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
With the end of another Kindergarten year approaching, I read this to my class, and they loved it! Cute illustrations and realistic depictions of what a possible first day might be like.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
It didn't follow the feel of "The Night Before Christmas" as so many of her other books did, but I still liked it okay. It would be a good first day of first grade read aloud.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good read for a girl who is going into first grade!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute back to school story for first graders. Would be fun to read aloud.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book because I liked the part when Penny made new friends. I did not like this book because I do not like taking the bus.
Anne Lutomia
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting book that can help prepare first graders for school and making friends too. The illustrations make the reading fast and interesting.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-tristan
**Rated by my son**
Paige Green
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Night Before First Grade, by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Deborah Zemke, tells the story of a little girl named Penny who is starting first grade. The night before she gets all her belongings together. Things like her backpack and her lunch for the next day were all ready to go. She was planning on matching her best friend Jen who was also in her class. The next morning she headed for the bus and sat next to Jen. As they arrived they assed all the new Kindergarteners and wondered if they ...more
Sashel Palacios
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Night Before First Grade by Natashe Wing is a story about a little girl who is getting ready to start first grade the next morning. She is so excited that she makes her own lunch, packs her backpack, and lays out her outfit the night before. She can’t wait to begin this next school year with her best friend Jenny right by her side. When she arrives at school she quickly realizes that her and Jenny are in different classes and she has to be strong because she isn’t a kindergardener anymore. W ...more
Alesha Palmer
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The young girl gets ready for her first day of 1st grade. She was so excited that she got everything ready. She picked out what she was going to wear, make her lunch, and shared her excitement with her brother. She begins to imagine what the day will be like. She began her morning routine by eating breakfast with her family, said by to her mother, then she was off to school. She met up with her friend, Jenny on the bus. With no fear she walked into school. They were informed that they would no l ...more
McCall Donnelly
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Night Before First Grade tells the story of little Penny who is ecstatic about beginning first grade with her best friend Jenny. When they arrive at school they realize they're in separate classes and for a second Penny is nervous. Quickly she realizes she is a big girl and has to be brave. She decides to meet the new girl in her class and they discover all the things that they have in common. Penny can't wait for Jenny to meet her new friend at lunch. When they see eachother in the cafeteri ...more
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"The Night Before First Grade" by Natasha Wing is a great story about new experiences and making new friends while keeping the old. The main character, a young girl entering first grade, is so excited to start another year of school. She packs her lunch, lays out her outfit that matches her best friend's, and even catches the bus on her own in the morning. She feels like one of the big kids this year as she watches all of the new kindergardeners say goodbye to their parents and as she and her be ...more
Cece Kempf
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Night Before First Grade was a book that Isabelle Sanchez chose for me to read to her. Izzy is six years old, and I'm her babysitter. Izzy was a bit nervous about joining first grade because she didn't think anyone who was in her kindergarten class would be in it. Although I tried telling her that it's good for her to try and make new friends, she didn't want to. She wanted the same friends, the same people in her class whom were in her kindergarten class. In the book, The Night Before First ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book follows a girl on her night before her first day of first grade, and during her first day of first grade. It shows how she is getting everything ready all by herself, but once at school she is separated by her best friend. But soon she makes a new friend.
The story was written in poetry and rhymed. It was fun and easy to read. This would be a great book for someone going into the first grade. If they are nervous, excited, worried or all three they can read this book an
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Night Before First Grade is a picture book for primary aged children. It also contains poetry. It is a Usa Today bestseller. The Night Before First Grade is about Penny being excited about her first day of the first grade with her best friend Jenny but is disappointed to find that are in different classes. At the end of the book both Penny and Jenny make friends with a set of twins, one in each of their classes. This book deserves the five stars I gave because the plot is captivating, it is ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book follows the same pattern as the night before kindergarten but it has a slightly different twist to it. It talks about how she is excited to go back to school after a wonderful summer and it even mentions how her dad tells her that she has gotten much bigger and is really growing up. In addition to this, I love the part where the class splits and she is no longer with her very best friend and she is challenged to make new best friends. It talks about how you are able to make new friends ...more
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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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