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The King of Kindergarten

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  296 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten.

The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head--like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone--and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He's dressed himsel
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Showing 1-30
4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  296 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Emma (Miss Print)
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Say hello to my new favorite first day of school book. This is such a gentle introduction to what to expect in a Kindergarten classroom and it is such a sweet story about making friends and putting positive energy into the world knowing it will come back to you. Ah. I love it so much, I need to go lie down to recover. And, of course, the artwork is stunning and as charming as the story.
Jillian Heise
I 💚 this book! The lyrical coolness of Derrick Barnes's (Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut) words combined with the exuberant joyfulness of Vanessa Brantley-Newton's illustrations makes for a perfect start of the school year read aloud.
La Coccinelle
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I thought I would enjoy this one more than I actually did. Don't get me wrong; it's a cute book. But the whole "royal" gimmick seems kind of unnecessary (and aimed more at adults than kids), and with a child who has a different understanding of what being king means, the premise could be potentially problematic.

The narration is a bit odd, to begin with. It almost sounds like it's one of the parents talking to the child, but both parents are referred to in the third person, so it's obviously some
Christina Carter
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The King of Kindergarten makes my heart melt to see this brilliant Black boy shining with his smile so bright, donning his crown just right. He’s a big boy now, doing big boy things-all by himself! Just the way his mom and dad had prepared him to. When the first day of kindergarten arrives, he is so ready. He washes his face, gets dressed on his own and boards the bus with confidence. He meets his new teacher, says his name with pride, makes new friends and learns new things that he can’t wait t ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for New Picture-Books About Going to School/Kindergarten for the First Time
A young boy, dubbed the "King of Kindergarten" by his loving mother, heads to school for his very first day in this sweet picture-book from author Derrick D. Barnes and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Once there he has a wonderful time, getting to know his new teacher and making friends with his fellow pupils. By the end of the day he is ready to return home, full of exciting news to share with his parents...

Having enjoyed Barnes' Newbery Honor-winning picture-book, Crown: An Ode to the Fr
Brenda Kahn
Exuberantly illustrated story of a little boy who's excited to go to kindergarten. Absolutely delightful.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Never was there a more joyful book about starting kindergarten!
Maria Marshall
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-picture
This is an uplifting, exuberant book about making friends, playing together, sharing, and loving school. In a great example of the collaboration between the author and the illustrator, Vanessa translates Derrick's "royal" text into a child's joyful "modern" experience of the first day of school.
It is perfect for summer reading before starting school or with children nervous about making new friends. It is also a great book for expanding a child's vocabulary. I was thrilled to see Derrick infuse
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
A picture book that works for those jitters that kids might have entering school or a new grade, this one features a boy going in to his first day of kindergarten and figuring out a way to capture the excitement of meeting new people, having fun, enjoying the experience, and having the support of family. He'll do fine! He's got a superb teacher who lets them have fun and still take a nap, he dares to ask a girl to play during recess and shares his pudding with another friend, and in the end, he' ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A young boy starts his first day of kindergarten like royalty-- confident, friendly, and ready to learn. There are no nerves here! Colorful, gorgeous illustrations on every page, and filled with nothing but kindness and excitement, with beautiful textured backgrounds that add so much to the joyful mood. Wonderfully inspiring book to help you feel like kindergarten royalty!
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The perfect book to read to anyone about to start kindergarten. Fun and empowering!
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, positive introduction to kindergarten. I think the emphasis on being the king of kindergarten gives a special boost of confidence and ownership to kids, while I also appreciate that they're at a round table and sharing, with the messages "Be awesome" "we are kind to each other" on the chalk board behind them. I love the humor in the writing of Derrick Barnes ("You'll use a golden brush to clean Ye Royal Chiclets.") The artwork by Vanessa Brantley-Newton takes it up a notch and m ...more
Raven Black
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Great illustrations and a fun story about going to kindergarten
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked that this picture book wasn't about being afraid of school but about being excited for it. Sometimes I wonder if all the, I'm scared of school books, only perpetuate the feelings kids have.
Viviane Elbee
Kids enjoyed this positive, reassuring first day of Kindergarten tale, from the point of view of an African-American boy wearing an imaginary crown. The artwork is adorable too. A great addition to any first day of school / kindergarten themed story time.
Bonnie Grover
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
My new favorite book for the first day of school, particularly primary grades. I love the pictures and the magnificent comparisons to the royal life of school. I think the authors did a great job explaining the first days of school. They found ways to explain away the anxiety every student experiences. A great book for courage, confidence, character-centeredness, and friendship. This book is going to be a great addition to any teacher’s shelves.
Michele Knott
This will be one of those iconic books that you read at the start of every school year.
Doesn't matter if you're in kindergarten or not, the universal hopes that come along with the start of every school year makes this a timeless book.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet story of a little boy totally confident about how wonderful kindergarten will be. No first day nerves here ;-) A great choice to reinforce happy expectations and banish fears.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
So many picture books about starting kindergarten focus on the stress and worries of the child. Here is a picture book that looks at a confident child who manages to start his time at school without stressing out. The little boy at the center of this book thinks of himself as a king and using at confidence to face his first day at school. He gets dressed himself, eats a big breakfast, and takes his royal carriage (the bus) to school. Once he is there, he holds his head high and smiles at everyon ...more
Bethany M. Edwards
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
There are almost no children's books about Black boys starting school, or being successful at school.

Enter dream team Children's Book Author Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton with their next book, THE KING OF KINDERGARTEN!

Just like CROWN: ODE TO THE FRESH CUT, the cover star is one of his sons, Prince Nnamdi.

Having a Barnes as the protagonist and feature a beautiful Black boy with a regal theme is just too sweet for words.

Having met both the author and illustrator I can tell you that
Laurie Hnatiuk
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture
Right from the opening quote from Benjamin Mays, the reader knows they are in for something special - that we are all capable of doing kind and praiseworthy things. The story begins with a mother informing her son that today he will be the King of Kindergarten and proceeds to talk of the successful day ahead of him so when the boy arrives he is confident, capable and caring. We experience the day through the eyes of this young boy with bright vibrant illustrations and text befitting for a king. ...more
Sara Magnafichi
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is a treasure for any child heading back to school. A young boy goes to school, as if he is King of Kindergarten, including his very own yellow chariot to school. He explores all of the new things a child goes through including all the feelings that the first day of school brings with it. Derrick Barnes' writing matched with Vanessa Branley-Newton's illustrations go together like peanut butter and jelly! They just mesh perfectly! Brantley-Newton's details within her images are perfect! ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are books you read filled with so much joy it cloaks you in an invisible shield for days. Wherever you go and whatever you do, the fire started inside you by that book's jubilation is with you. You cannot help but glow on the inside and on the outside. It gives you positive power.

When you have this kind of positive power born of pure bliss, it radiates from you to others. It changes perspectives. The King of Kindergarten (Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, July 2,
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book to share with children getting ready to start kindergarten. I love that the story not only builds confidence but also addresses positive ways to interact with others. The young boy in the story is proud and excited about starting school. He's also ready to make friends and share with others. A sweet and positive story and totally recommended for kids heading off to start school.

My daughter loved this book, though we're both hoping for a follow up about the Queen of Kindergarten
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I liked the upbeat illustrations, the teacher seemed kind and fun, and there will be friends and
fun things to do. I didn't like the assumption that the reader will do all of the things that the main
character does (wear Oshkosh? take the bus? take a nap?) Also, the "King" theme--does that mean you're the boss of everyone too? Perhaps I've talked to too many teachers who describe a student as "he thinks he's the king"--everything revolves around them syndrome. I'm still looking for more
Starting kindergarten is so exciting for everyone - kids, parents, teachers! This awesome picture book is a great celebration of the first day of school with gorgeous illustrations and warm, comforting text that employs authentic language that most children will be able to recognize from their own families. This is definitely a must-read for the first days of school, especially for those with special kindergartners around!
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Getting ready for the first day of school. Mom builds a young boy's confidence as he heads for the first day of kindergarten. Barnes shares a variety of activities children experience during a typical school day. This child is brave enough to talk to other kids, share his lunch, listen to the teacher, etc.
I'm not fond of the connotations with the title King but the story works to boost confidence in young readers.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Childrens picture book. This story is about a young black boy starting kindergarten. His parents have told him to act like the king of kindergarten, and instead of making him arrogant and entitled this gives him confidence. He proudly tells the teacher his name, greets the other students at his table with ease, and bravely asks a new friend to play at recess. If only all students could start school with this same level of confidence.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was a bit worried that the main character would interpret being the "king of kindergarten" (the title his mother gave him) as being a bossy snot BUT no! He was kind and thoughtful and generous - the perfect example to read about at the beginning of school. I took a star off because of the inclusion of nap time - unfortunately, nap/rest in K is long gone in my part of the world. Recommended.
Juliana Lee
Excellent use of metaphors for a kingdom and its king, this kid isn't any ordinary kindergartener... he's the king of kindergarten! The sun crowns his head. His yellow carriage awaits to take him to his kingdom. His majestic smile is welcoming. He takes his royal seat at the round table. Enjoy this clever story with your sovereign little ones today!
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Where I come from, no one dreams of becoming an author.

I didn’t know any famous African American male authors. I didn’t actually meet one until I attended college. I wanted to be a football player, the next Sean Combs, or a rapper; anything that would instantly provide me with the riches I would need to “move my mama off of the block”. I was raised in a single parent household by my mother, the lo