Hello, friends! Our book today is Goodbye Kindergarten, written by Andrea Williams and illustrated by Vanessa Alexandre, a sweet ode from teacher to student about moving on.
Schools are important places, where children go not only to learn, but to form friendships and a community. At the beginning of the year, they may feel nervous or unsure, but by June they have grown confident in the things they’ve learned, the routines they’ve followed, and the relationships with others that they’ve made. Yet when the school year comes to an end, it’s time to move on to the next grade – and to say goodbye to all the things, and people, that made the year so very special.
Heartwarming. Conveying what is clearly a very personal message, Williams (a former kindergarten teacher) uses simple and concise, Goodnight, Moon-style text to illustrate the pain and pride of a teacher watching their students move on while also helping them adjust to the change. Beginning with simple goodbyes (“Goodbye word wall. Goodbye storybooks. Goodbye reading mat”, etc.), the text transitions to a reminder of the life-lessons the teacher strove to teach that year: perseverance, kindness, care, and love. The words are earnest and universal, echoing the sentiments of any teacher bidding farewell to their class. The digital illustrations are simple and cheerful, and balance the bittersweet tone of the text well. The length is perfect, and JJ enjoyed it; it made us miss her teachers at preschool all the more. This little indie packs a big emotional punch, and would be a fantastic addition to any teacher’s end-of-year lesson plan. An unexpected treat, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher exchange for an honest review.)