Author, Brooke Jorden, shares what inspired her to write Next Stop Kindergarten: A Preschool Graduation Affirmation. Read along to learn why Brooke chose preschool gratuation as the subject of her newest book.
Transitions are scary—even for adults. It’s always easier to default to the familiar, the routine. Going to school can be a major source of anxiety for children and their parents. My own daughter is heading to kindergarten in the fall, and the best way I could think to calm her nerves was to remind her of the skills that will make her successful in school.
Of course, I began with the basics: letters, colors, shapes, numbers, flushing. I researched recommendations of skills expected for “kindergarten readiness” from a variety of school districts and sought the input of educators from multiple states. On an academic level, that foundation of knowledge is important.
But even more important, I realized that my daughter (along with many children her age) is starting to grasp the essential life skills that will help her be a good learner, a good citizen, and a good friend. I know she is capable of kindness and empathy. I know she is capable of independence and autonomy. I know she is capable of playing when it’s time to play and listening when it’s time to listen. Those skills are the ones that she can take pride in most and the ones that will serve her best in kindergarten and beyond.
You Got This!
I wrote Next Stop: Kindergarten as an affirmation for any kids who share my daughter’s worries about starting school. Words have power, and when we tell our children they are capable, they believe us—maybe not the first time, but over time. Our job is to instill in them the confidence to learn the skills they haven’t mastered yet and to use the skills they already have.
When it came to art direction, I felt strongly that the book should represent diversity in race, gender, and ability. Every child deserves to see themselves in books, even more so in a book about such a universal transition (and universal source of anxiety). I sought out Julia Back, an incredible illustrator with a magic touch, and her adorable children and artwork bring my simple rhymes to life in an incredible way.
To everyone, young or old, facing a transition: change is hard, maybe even frightening, but you are READY!