It’s back to school season, and some little ones will be going to Kindergarten for the first time! Many schools are going virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some states are opening schools and those children may still have anxiety about their first day of school, or being in contact with children they don’t know in a new daycare setting.
Clover Kitty Goes to Kitty Kittygarten is a sweet picture book that tackles the feelings children can have on their first day at school. The book lets children know that it is okay to have these feelings, and offers tips on how to handle issues like hypersensitivity that include overstimulation from bright colors, noises or smells.
The story begins with Clover Kitty’s mother asking Clover if she is ready for the first day of kindergarten. Clover Kitty is not ready! She is worried about so many things! Will it be noisy? Will there be strong chalk or glue smells? Will other students try to high five her?
Like Clover Kitty, many children with special needs are highly sensitive to certain smells, colors and and noises, and even touching hands or being in close quarters within a group can bring anxiety.
Unfortunately, Clover Kitty has many reactions to her five senses on the first day of school. The sun shines too brightly in her classroom, strong smells are everywhere and she has sleep on an itchy blanket during naptime. This is very uncomfortable for Clover Kitty.
Things get worse at playtime outdoors, which felt like a frantic frenzy; kids were asking her so many questions! The same thing happened at the lunch table! It gets to be too much for Clover and she hurries out of school as quickly as she can once the day ends, without saying goodbye to her teacher or her new friend Oliver.
At home, Clover Kitty tells her mother about her difficult day at school and doesn’t want to go back to school. Her mother allows Clover to miss school for a few days but after her mother gives Clover a few tips on how she can avoid having another difficult school day (including bringing her own blanket for naptime), Clover returns to school.
Clover Kitty Goes to Kitty Kittygarten can be purchased at Target and Barnes and Noble, but also at the author’s website at https://laurasalas.com/clover where fun activity sheets are available to download for free!
What’s makes Clover Kitty a Great Book:
- It gives a great example of friendship
- It illustrates a supportive home environment
- It offers solutions to common problems that kids with autism or Asperger’s experience
For more books that explain the challenges of special needs children please check out the autism section of CalicoKidz.com.
Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata