Books about getting ready for kindergarten and the first day in that Strange New Land are plentiful, but I can’t recall one that has drawn me into the experience as fully as Planet Kindergarten does. Every aspect of this book, from word choice to story to the detailed and clever drawings, puts this book at the top of my suggestion list for children (and parents) entering that phase of life.
Science fiction aficionados will love Planet Kindergarten because so much feels familiar there. From mom’s Vulcan salute to the alien students in the classroom (all human, but cleverly drawn with attention to minute details) to the food in the lunchroom to the feelings of homesickness that are surely shared by astronauts on the Space Station, this is a book with a very specific setting that strikes every chord just right.
“I try to get used to the new atmosphere, but it’s not like home. For one thing, gravity works differently here. We have to try hard to stay in our seats. And our hands go up a lot.”
The author and illustrator honor new experiences with the right amount of wonder and fear, finally bringing the readers back to a reassuring, familiar home.
The mixture of space-like black and luminous bright colors reinforce the notion of an other-worldly atmosphere. Each two-page spread is different from the others, showcasing the illustrator’s creativity.
There’s a lot here to keep kids (and adults) interested as discussions ensue about getting used to preschool and kindergarten.
written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
illustrated by Shane Prigmore
Chronicle Books, 2014