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Publisher's Summary

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.

The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.

It sits and shines behind your head - like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone - and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He's dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can't wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he's up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can't wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements - and then wake up to start another day.

Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes' empowering story will give new kindergartners a reassuring confidence boost. 

©2019 Derrick Barnes (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“It’s the first day of kindergarten, and our protagonist is ready.... Describes in confident, loving, sometimes humorous terms what that day will be like.... Buoyant prose.... A beamingly positive intro to a new experience that gives youngsters a great framing for their best behavior; the winking touch to the grandiloquence keeps it from being sentimental and instead makes it jubilant, affectionately jokey cheerleading. Line and digital artwork provides lively, playful background textures and details.... There are plenty of reassuring books about starting kindergarten, but this delightfully moves beyond 'It will be okay and you might even like it' to a straight out 'You will crush this!'” (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review)

“When a mother gives her son the titular nickname, it inspires him throughout his first day of school.... Affirming text and energizing drawings...which skillfully balance bright colors, patterns, and textures, should put a spring in the step of any reluctant kindergartner: who wouldn’t want to be thought of as ‘the charming, the wonderful and the kind’ class sovereign?” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“The playful illustrations use texture and shadow to great effect, with vibrant colors and dynamic shapes and lines sustaining readers' interest on every page. Text and visuals work together beautifully to generate excitement and confidence in children getting ready to enter kindergarten. The little king's smiling brown face is refreshing and heartwarming.... Necessary nourishment, infectiously joyous.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

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Going back to school—or starting for the very first time—can be anxiety inducing, exhilarating, freeing, and an all-around big moment for kids under any circumstances. This year, the specifics of back-to-school may vary, but the feelings will inevitably remain the same: new year, fresh notebooks, budding friendships, intriguing teachers, and that pit-of-the-stomach excitement of walking into the unknown. We hope this carefully selected group of audiobooks will help your little (or maybe not-so-little) ones feel reassured, confident, and maybe even a bit giddy about diving into this strange new school year.

What listeners say about The King of Kindergarten

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a morning pick-me-up for my toddler!

we absolutely love listening to this book on our way to daycare. we love that there's a little boy that looks just like my son! He's raring to go Kindergarten!