Storybooks are the natural currency of teachers in early childhood and elementary school settings. Reading stories can help children become more comfortable with transition to kindergarten as they are often used to start discussions and are particularly helpful in broaching subjects that are new, sensitive, or challenging.

Many books are available that acknowledge children's anxiety and excitement, show other children having similar feelings and celebrate the growth and pride in the transition to kindergarten. Start your own school Transition Library today.

Choosing books

In choosing books on transition, look for the following attitudes and feelings:

  • Transition can be exciting and also a little scary
  • Other children have similar feelings
  • There is much to be proud of as you transition and grow


Before reading the book with children, review it thoroughly to be sure you know the story and can answer questions. If possible, gather information about the new setting so accurate answers can be given to children's questions about what their new program will be like.

Tell the story

Read the book with the children. First, ask open-ended questions about what happened in the story. Open-ended questions invite children to expand upon their answers. Help children label the feelings of the child (character) in the story. Expand the discussion with questions such as: "What did the child (character) seem worried about at his new school? What helped him feel better?" Show pictures of an actual kindergarten classroom if available.

Discuss the story

  • Present new words to children, helping them expand their vocabularies
  • Respond to children's questions letting them take the conversational lead which helps build their language skills.

Make books available

Regularly rotate books on transition on the classroom or school library. Provide parents with a list of the books and develop a circulation system for families. A suggested list is contained in the PDF that follows. Please see your local librarians for more information.

Download a printable version of Section 5: Transition Books