9 Sweet, Inspiring Books for Pre-K and Kindergarten Graduation

These awe-worthy tales celebrate the milestone and prepare your little graduate for years of happy learning ahead.
By Jodie Rodriguez and Daniela Bizzell
May 01, 2019



Happy little kindergarten graduate. She's excited

May 01, 2019

Graduating from preschool or kindergarten is a significant milestone for young children as they gear up for bigger classrooms and further learning. Exciting changes await them, and that's worth celebrating! Give your grad one of these books to get her excited about the next step in her learning journey. 

1. Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

This beautifully illustrated picture book is full of color and inspiration, and showcases an important message about never giving up. Following the dreamers of the world — the messy, the wandering, and the noisy — this title encourages your children to embrace their differences and harness their creativity, even when things seem tough.

2. I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't by Diane Dillon

A Caldecott Medal winner, this picture book packed with girl power will teach your young ones how to think big, even when that tiny voice of doubt appears. Your child will meet Zoe, a young girl who exclaims that she can be anything she sets her mind to, including the president! Whenever she has doubts, Zoe pushes them aside, teaching little ones with big dreams that self-doubt doesn't need to stand in their way. 

3. Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life by Kimberly and James Dean

Do your kids love Pete the Cat? In this feel-good guide to staying optimisitc and achieving any goal your child sets his mind to, Pete shells out plenty of life advice perfect for little graduates. Each spread shares a famous quote with complementary illustrations that bring it to life and translate it into groovy Pete-speak. Not only will your child love reading with his favorite character, but the positive language will inspire and encourage him throughout his elementary school journey. 

4. Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 

We all want our kids to make their mark on the world, and this is the perfect book to inspire them to do so. In it, an exclamation point feels different from all the other punctuation marks. But throughout the story, this little point learns who he is and the power he has inside himself, despite his differences. Encouraging self-discovery and comfort in standing out, this story will teach growing learners to embrace who they are for the next chapter in their life. 

5. Princess Truly in I am Truly by Kelly Greenawalt 

This book shouts girl power from the rooftops, introducing your reader to Truly, a diverse character who can achieve anything she sets her mind to. A confident dreamer, full of brilliance and bravery, Princess Truly adventures her way through life, encouraging young girls everywhere to follow her lead and to never give up — no matter the obstacle. With easy-to-read vocabularly and colorful imagery, your little one will be swept away by Truly's magic and can-do attitude.

6. I Knew You Could!: A Book for All the Stops in Your Life by Craig Dorfman 

Turn your child's "I think I can" to "I know I can!" with the help of the little engine that could. In this spin-off of the classic tale, your child will learn that anything is possible — plus you might just be reminded of your own childhood while you share the wisdom of this confident little train with him.

7. When I Grow Up by Tim Minchin 

What child doesn't dream of the day she grows up and can do whatever she wants? This explorative and colorful story shows how kids wonder and dream about all the small and big things they'll be able to do one day, from finding solutions to better the world to playing all day long. Follow along with the book's dancing dreamers as your child imagines all of the things she'll do when she's big — or even sooner! 

8. Curious You: On Your Way! (Curious George) by H.A. Rey 

Curious George makes the perfect cheerleader for your child as he chases his dreams. In this picture book, vivacious George congratulates and encourages your graduate with positive language, happy imagery, and phrases your child can take with him as he enters a new chapter of life. It also includes plenty of sight words to help your little one build his language skills for the grade ahead. 

9. The Very Fairy Princess: Graduation Girl! by Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Andrews 

Graduation is an exciting time, but it can also cause some kids to worry about what's to come next. Will they have a fun teacher next year? Will their friends be in their class? Help kids overcome anxiety with a magical picture book written by mother-daughter duo Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Andrews. (Yes, the Julie Andrews who you loved in Mary Poppins!). Featuring nervous Gerry as she moves onto a new grade, your child can follow her as she works through her jitters and embraces an exciting next step! 

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