Any book out there similar to Ramona the Pest??
February 19, 2009 9:01 PM   Subscribe

What great children's books are there for little girls beginning kindergarten. Ramona the Pest is a book about a girl in Kindergarten and I like that one.

Are there any other smart, funny books out there relating to kindergarten? If not, do you know a really good book for a four year old girl? My daughter is beginning to read small words, but I read most books to her.

posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
These aren't specific to kindergarten, but I loved the Betsy Tacy books when I was a kid. They're not as interesting as the Ramona The Pest books (not as much conflict), but they're still fun for little girls and there are a whole series of them.
posted by gt2 at 9:14 PM on February 19, 2009

You are right in the wheelhouse for Junie B. Jones. My daughter couldn't get enough of her between the ages 4 and 6.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:16 PM on February 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

"Will I Have a Friend?" is about a little boy starting kindergarten, but it's still good.
posted by Melismata at 9:20 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Check out Rosemary Wells. You may be familiar with Ruby and Max as a Nickelodeon cartoon, but there are several books written and illustrated by Wells that deal specifically with starting school. Some of our favorites are My Kindergarten, the Yoko and Friends books, and the Timothy Goes to School books.

My kids like Junie B. Jones, but I find them kind of annoying due to the main character's sass quotient and the nonstandard grammar. Your mileage may vary, and my first grader is certainly able to parse what's funny in a book versus what's appropriate for her to actually get away with, but still, she experiments with things she picks up from this series. If you read aloud though, you can gloss over some of it on the fly.
posted by padraigin at 9:39 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not specific to kindergarten but Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series may work. Also check out Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series, The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, and the first of the Little House books would be appropriate - Little House in the Big Woods.
posted by gudrun at 11:09 PM on February 19, 2009

I'll second the Magic Tree House books - they are popular around here and if your library has the series you'll have a few dozen books at your disposal. There are a lot of "series" books like that - Junie B Jones, Ivy & Bean, various mysteries, etc.

Daniel Pinkwater has over 100 books, most of them good. They appeal to a wide range of ages so you should be able to find some your kindergartner is ready for.

Very popular with my daughter are the Judy Moody and Stink books by Megan Mcdonald and Peter H. Reynolds.

While the Little House books are good in general, you may want to skim over some parts. The first chapter of Big Woods, which deals largely with food prep including butchering a pig with the added bonus of the girls inflating the bladder and playing with it a like a ball can put off some kids from getting into the rest of the story.
posted by mikepop at 5:46 AM on February 20, 2009

Pretty much any book by Susan Meddaugh.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:47 AM on February 20, 2009

Junie B. Jones deals directly with kindergarten, and, in later books, with first grade. I find them to be very, very funny. Some parents dislike them, however.

Judy Moody is in third grade and her brother Stink is in second. It's a great series, but it doesn't deal with adapting to school. Might be better to wait until all the school stuff is old hat. YMMV.

My son loved hearing Charlotte's Web and James and the Giant Peach in kindergarten.

Daniel Pinkwater is great. Blue Moose has always been one of my favorites. Look at them carefully, though. Some of his books are aimed at older readers, some for younger, and you can't really tell without some reading.

ALSO: Talk to your local children's librarian! It's their job and most of them love to do it. Libraries are one of our most awesome resources, but they will disappear if people don't use them.
posted by rikschell at 7:30 AM on February 20, 2009

The A-Z Mysteries are good at that age: we went through all 26 in a couple of months of bedtime reading.

Kindergarten specific books are harder. "The Night Before Kindergarten" is good.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:58 AM on February 20, 2009

Re Little House in the Big Woods - I loved the whole pig butchering section as a kid, so it really depends on the child. Some censorship for the squeamish may be called for, but lynnie-the-pooh hopefully knows her child's tolerance level and can skip over that part or can do some prep/explaining about how people got their food then, depending.
posted by gudrun at 9:12 AM on February 20, 2009

Great advice here. In addition to Junie B. and Osborne's Magic Treehouse series, my now-first-grade daughter loved (and still loves) the Rainbow Magic books, particularly the various fairy books in that series. Somewhat to my surprise, she also enjoys the Berenstain Bears books - I thought they might be a little old-school preachy for her, but she likes them.
posted by cheapskatebay at 9:17 AM on February 20, 2009

Best answer: Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate is great for what you're looking for. There is a whole series of books about her and her Kindergarten class that you'll also find at that link.

Totally age appropriate and very fun.
posted by NoraCharles at 12:33 PM on February 20, 2009

A bit late to the game, but Caroline Haywood's books, especially the Betsy series are sort of a mid-century precursor to the Ramona books. Despite the fact that they're fairly sanitized, I loved them as a kid with fervor equal to, if not surpassing, my love for Ramona.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:55 AM on February 21, 2009

Oops, Carolyn Haywood, rather.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:57 AM on February 21, 2009

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