Great Gift Books for Kindergarten Graduates

It seems like just yesterday our kindergartner was off to his first day of real-deal school and somehow — isn’t time a wondrous thing? — the year is now drawing to a close.

Whether the kindergartner in your life has a graduation day at school or you want to commemorate the occasion at home, gifting one of these books as a kindergarten graduation gift is a sweet way to say, “Great start!”

no no 9780679805274 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Seuss’s picture book is probably one of the most oft-quoted in high school graduation ceremonies, but its biggest fans start young. Urging children to reach for great heights and see great sights, the master of humorous verse offers readers the perfect guide for navigating the ups and downs of all life’s adventures.

9780593374405 Why Not You? by Ciara and Russell Wilson, illustrated by Jessica Gibson with JaNay Brown-Wood

From superstar couple Ciara and Russel Willson comes an inspiring story that encourages young readers to go after their dreams no matter how ambitious they may seem! An affirming tale to uplift self-esteem, and empower imaginations.

9780593704851 Kindergarten Graduation! by Jennifer Liberts, illustrated by Courtney Dawson

In this adorable Little Golden Book, Matteo and his friends get ready for kindergarten graduation. They think about what they learned, what they will miss, and what they look forward to in first grade. This sweet story captures the bittersweet feelings most kindergarteners feel as they move on.

RELATED: There’s a Little Golden Book for That

9780593643648 Graduation Day! by Candice Ransom, illustrated by Ashley Evans

Children who enjoy reading stories with familiar characters will like this Step 1 Reader book featuring the family from Pumpkin Day! and Apple Picking Day! Little bro is ready to graduate from kindergarten, but when the big moment comes, his shoelaces come untied. This story celebrates growing up, problem-solving, and becoming more independent.

9780399553776 All That I Can Be (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer

You can’t go wrong with a Little Critter story, especially this two-in-one book. It includes When I Get Bigger and When I Grow Up, two stories featuring Little Critter and his sister as they dream about their futures. Kids love the gentle humor in these stories!

9780553509816 Junie B. Jones Complete First Grade Collection by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus

What better kindergarten graduation gift than a set of classic Junie B. Jones books? Kids can read them on their own or with an adult’s help. They’ll love reading these classic stories about the spunky Junie B. and get excited about their next school year.

9780553520583 Oh, the Places I’ll Go! By ME, Myself by Dr. Seuss

This fill-it-in-themselves book — illustrated in the style of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! — is filled with simple writing activities, mazes, images for kids to complete, and prompts for children to think about exactly where they want to go and what they want to do in life. It’s a great gift when paired with the original Dr. Seuss book, plus there’s room to write down some grown-up advice for young grads.

9780399545535 The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López

In this New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Woodson lyrically uplifts young readers and shows them the heights they can reach through the power of resilience. With brilliant illustrations and a message to match this story is sure to help graduates recognize their value and inspire them to blossom beautifully.

9780448431482 I Knew You Could by Craig Dorfman, illustrated by Cristina Ong

After the determined little engine makes it over the mountain, she realizes life’s adventures have only just begun. From high mountaintops to dark and scary tunnels, the train keeps moving forward through life’s many ups and downs. With its positive message on confidence and perseverance, this delightful little book is an inspiring guide to life for graduates of all ages.

9780593659854 A Day In The Sun by Diana Ejaita, illustrated by Diana Ejaita

This inspiring story celebrates the sun and takes readers on a journey to different countries, reminding young graduates that the sun shines on everyone. It’s a great way to broaden their worldview with every turn of the page.

9780735227927 The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

If there’s one lesson we should hope to teach our children, it’s to learn to fail well — and then let those mistakes guide them on the winding path of life. In The Book of Mistakes, as an artist begins to work with her mishaps instead of erasing them, she learns a new, more imaginative way to approach both creativity and life.

RELATED: Books & Strategies for Teaching Kids Problem-Solving Skills

9780394831299 Oh, the Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Seuss

Can anyone spark the imagination quite like Dr. Seuss? Oh, the Thinks You Can Think will get your child excited about coming up with new ideas and they’ll soon learn that the possibilities are endless. A great way to foster a love of learning for your soon-to-be first grader.

9780448489209 First Grade, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by Tracy Bishop

The jump to first grade can be overwhelming, there are so many new things for kids to figure out. Luckily, D.J. Steinberg has created the perfect guide for all incoming first graders. With scenarios like carrying your backpack, picking out a book in the library, the rules of spelling, and more, this book will give your child the confidence they need to succeed.

9780525514121 Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López

Inspired by her own experience United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor brings a tale that celebrates the beauty and value of our differences in Just Ask!. With lush and vibrant illustrations by talented illustrator Rafael López, young readers will see that although it can be tough to recognize as a kid, there are great things that come from our different backgrounds and perspectives.

9780763663971 Believe by Robert Sabuda

No one does pop-up books like Robert Sabuda, and in this latest title, he offers a heartfelt tribute to the magic of possibility. Where one page depicts the smallest of acorns, the next opens to reveal a lofty tree in its full 3-D glory. Little readers will make the connections for their own boundless potential.

9780375973277 The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

Reminiscent of Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, this charming picture book invites young readers to imagine all the possibilities for their future. Martin’s lyrical text and gorgeous illustrations are a beautiful celebration of what makes every child special in their own way.

9780448437477 The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Deborah Zemke

Moving up from kindergarten can be a bit scary, but this cheery little picture book can help calm those back-to-school jitters. Follow Penny as she goes through her first day of school, offering soon-to-be first-graders a glimpse of what to expect.

9780142412732 First Grade, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson

Starting first grade can be quite an adjustment and it’s natural for kids to miss kindergarten. That’s how Henry feels after his first day of first grade. But the more he thinks about it, he realizes that there is a lot he’s looking forward to, like his new friends, his own desk with his name on it, learning to read, and the class pet guinea pig.

9780399549083 Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Matt de la Peña’s picture book is both beautiful and important, as it teaches young readers the valuable lesson that things are not always what they seem. Through the story of Milo, who imagines the lives of his fellow subway riders, we see that our assumptions can be misleading. When the last person gets off at his stop and walks the same path as Milo, he realizes that his beliefs may not be accurate.

9781984812193 She Persisted Boxed Set by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

From author Chelsea Clinton and artist Alexandra Boiger comes a moving celebration of twenty-six incredible women across the globe. An ode to tenacity, equality, and everyday moments of change, the She Persisted boxed set is the perfect gift for little activists.

9780525518778 I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

This empowering picture book told in verse, follows the story of a self-assured narrator who bravely pursues his dreams. It serves as a great guide for recent graduates, reminding them to recognize their own value and to pursue their goals with confidence.

9780375868450 A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Perhaps the only downside to kindergarten graduation is having to say goodbye for now to a beloved teacher. Embrace that gratitude with this sweet picture book written as a thank-you note from one lively student to her exceptional teacher. For a special touch, add a note or photograph to the inside cover that your child can always cherish.

RELATED: Heartfelt and Humorous Book Gifts for Teachers

9780451479297 Grin and Bear It: The Wit & Wisdom of Corduroy by Don Freeman

Starring the curious teddy bear with the brightest attitude, Grin and Bear It embraces fifty years of Corduroy’s characteristic wisdom with heartfelt aphorisms: “Never forget who you are—and never forget who loves you.” A lovely keepsake worth countless reads, it’s an essential addition to the graduation celebrations.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2024.

The post Great Gift Books for Kindergarten Graduates appeared first on Brightly.

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