BooksForKidsBlog

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to School: Kindergarten Diary (by Me, Annalina) by Antoinette Portis

SEPTEMBER 1: THE DAY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

I don't want to go to Kindergarten. I only like preschool.

I don't want to go to Big School with big kids.

What if they're mean?

There are a lot of "what ifs" about going to Big School. What if the teacher is scary? What if nobody shares? What if I cry? What if....

Annalina hasn't even thought of one "what if?" What if her name is too long to write over and over on those lined practice sheets? But our brand-new scholar figures that one out all by herself:

ANNALINA TAKES TOO MANY LINES.

I AM GOING TO CHANGE MY NAME TO ANNA AND SAVE LINA FOR WHEN I AM BIGGER.

And Anna takes it one day at a time, mastering those school kid skills day by day. She and David M. figure out how to take turns on the monkey bars, and by the end of the month Anna is the "second-best monkey in the universe!" Anna and Zoe become recess friends, even though Zoe loves socks and Anna still hates them, wearing her cowboy boots resolutely every day. She has stage fright when she stands in front of the class for Show-And-Tell, but she warms to the task so quickly that her teacher has to call time with a perky "Thank you, Anna. Now let someone else have a turn." Anna's journal covers the events of the first month, including losing her fear of the big kids when first graders visit the Kindergarten playground and turn out to be just slightly bigger kids who know how to share, too.

By the end of September, Anna's diary is filled with the small triumphs of Kindergarten. Her last entry tells it all:

SEPTEMBER 30: Too busy to write anymore!

P. S.: We are Room 2K and we are fine!

Antoinette Portis' latest, Kindergarten Diary (Harper, 2010) uses an authentic child's voice to describe the all-important transition to "Big School." Portis, the award-winning author of the amazingly creative Not a Box and the best-selling sequel Not a Stick, here offers a poignant and engaging entry into the first-day-of-Kindergarten genre.

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