Tackling School Transitions with the Perfect Book

Preschool Day Hooray! (Scholastic, $10)

For weeks (okay, months) now I’ve been losing sleep. My somewhat needy 17-month-old will soon transition from her cozy home daycare to a bustling Montessori classroom.

I know, I know, it’s a transition that will need to happen sooner or later, and she’s certainly not the first kid to ever have to tackle this kind of change, but I’m full of doubt and worry, no less. Will she nap well in a room with 15 other toddlers? (She’s used to a crib in her own quiet room.) Will she be able to eat lunch without falling out of her chair? (She’s always been securely strapped into a high chair.) Will she find her own way to cope during her 3 p.m. witching hour? (She’s used to having a good cuddle and lots of attention from her home daycare provider.)

I’ve been assured by many wonderful moms that while the first few weeks will be tough on both of us, she will most likely thrive in her new setting. And part of me is looking forward to that aspect, too. A busybody of epic proportions, my little one will surely be impressed by the variety of activities, surroundings and other kids at her new school. So that’s the part that I’m trying hard to focus on right now.

To help us both prepare for all of the positive changes, we’ve been reading Preschool Day Hooray! written by Linda Leopold Strauss and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata (Scholastic). In fact, we read it about 23 times every day! Luckily, the simple and pretty prose doesn’t drive me batty (“Hi to teacher,/Coat on hook./ Run to shelf/ And find a book.// Painty hands and/ Gooey glue./ Tricky puzzles/ I can do!”) and the adorable pictures actually bear a good resemblance to her new environment.

Don’t you love it when you find the perfect book to help you through a parenting challenge? I’d love to hear about the books that have particularly helped you through a tough time!

—Christina, CF’s managing editor

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