Already mid-August! I bet you’ve said at least five times, “I can’t believe it’s time to go back to school!” In the midst of back-to-school shopping each year, I enjoy selecting a special book for my children to give them on their first day of school. Pinkalicious is the one I’m giving our six-year-old daughter and here’s why:
Introducing Our Featured Friend: Pinkalicious and the New Teacher
by Victoria Kann
Excited to see her friends on the first day of school, Pinkalicious runs into her classroom to show them her new “pinakatastic lunch box” and sparkly pink boots. Her excitement quickly turns to dread when she realizes that those aren’t the only things that are brand new.
She has a new classroom with a new seat (far away from her best friend), and new teacher who does things in a new way. Pinkalicious finally begins to enjoy herself during indoor recess when she gets to draw a “pinknificent palace” on the chalk board with her friend Allison, but when Ms. Penny erases their masterpiece and replaces it with math work, all Pinkalicious wants is her old teacher back.
Her day only seems to get worse with the new reading circle beanbag chairs instead of the comfy, shaggy rug from last year and the new star stickers on her paper instead of smiley faces. The small stuff seems quite big today. . . until Ms. Penny notices that Pinkalicious is perplexed.
“Pinkalicious, is everything okay?’ Ms. Penny asked.
“I miss sitting next to Alison, and I miss the reading rug and getting smiley faces on my work.”
“The day hasn’t been all bad. I saw you laugh during Pinkalina. I’m sorry I erased your pictures, but I needed the board for class.”
I sighed. “I just miss last year.”
“Is there something that your old teacher used to do that we might be able to do this year?”
I thought. Then I got an idea, a Pinkerrific idea.”
Pinkalicious leads the class in decorating the classroom. The class loves her idea of doing life-size portraits of themselves on paper covering the walls . . . drawings that do not need to be erased.
By the end of the day, Pinkalicious is excited about her new adventures and feels Ms. Penny is “pretty pinkamazing”. The first day of school turns out to be PINKATASTIC!
As my daughter is transitioning from Kindergarten to First Grade next week, this book will help prepare her for changes. She often connects reading to real life, and the lessons and goals here of changing one’s expectations and perspective are great for kids (and parents) to realize, remember, and reach for as we enter a new school year.
Also, as a former teacher, I admire how Ms. Penny so graciously and creatively helps Pinkalicious develop a new perspective and in doing so, brings a new class together.
Inviting You To Become FRIENDS With Pinkalicious:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
Select some questions and activities to do with your kids in preparation for back to school:
F- How do you feel about starting a new school year? What makes you feel excited? What makes you feel nervous? (Don’t give them things to be nervous about though!)
R- How can you relate to Pinkalicious? What do you think about having a new teacher, classroom and classmates?
I- Imagine that you could keep one thing the same as last year. What would it be? Maybe a particular friend or activity.
E- Explore what may be good changes this year. What can you be excited about learning, doing, or experiencing this new school year? Make a list and look for all of the positives!
N- Navigate your way through the school and classroom before the first day of school to get more familiar with the setting. While inviting questions or concerns from your kids while walking through the halls, have them look for things they like so far.
D- Develop a “first day of school” plan with your children so they know what to expect as much as possible. Give them something to look forward to when returning home to you (maybe a special snack, activity, or trip to the ice cream shop).
S- Parents & Teachers: Share one of your “first day of school” experiences (and picture if you have one) so your kids and class know you can understand how they feel.
Check out some fun back to school crafts: http://www.dltk-kids.com/school/
*Follow Kidsbook Friends on Facebook and at http://www.kidsbookfriends.com for more “pinkatastic” reading ideas!