Katie Daynes is the author of over 100 children’s books, covering all kinds of non-fiction topics from space and science to feelings and everyday experiences. In her latest book, Why do I have to go to school? she puts herself in the shoes of a family about to face this important new chapter. Here she shares her thoughts with us…
There's a certain magic in shopping for shoes with a young child. Not only are their little feet unbelievably sweet, but so is the way they toddle, jump and skip in them. Buying a first pair of school shoes adds a whole new layer of meaning. This rite of passage, getting ready to start school, marks a milestone for the whole family; an exciting and poignant point of no return.
I still have a muscle memory of my child’s feet nudging against my rib cage during pregnancy. The thought that those same feet would one day find their way across a playground, away from me, into a classroom and another world of discovery was both terrifying and exhilarating.
Those precious memories of the first school drop-offs came flooding back when I wrote the Usborne book Why do I have to go to school? It’s part of the Usborne Very First Questions & Answers series, and it joins a collection of really useful books for 3+ year olds about everyday experiences.
These books are fun and friendly, with interactive flaps that hold great appeal for curious little fingers. The aim is to get the children on board with a topic, so they understand the logic of what’s happening – brushing their teeth or putting on a raincoat or going to bed – and are happy to be actively involved. Then the experience can become a positive one for both the child and their grown-up.
For the starting school book, there’s the dual purpose of reassuring parents or carers that the next step will be ok, as well as familiarising the child with what lies ahead. We explore a school day, from different examples of how to get to school to a sample lesson and a closer look at playtime, lunchtime, story time and – before you know it – home time. But more importantly, we answer the question WHY? – Why do I have to go to school? And that’s where the exciting part begins. In the supportive setting of a classroom, our kids can learn all kinds of new things about the world, and about themselves, and begin to find their own way in life.
Wishing all school starters out there – and their grown-ups – the very best of luck. Enjoy choosing your school shoes and wear them with confidence.
Visit Usborne’s website for their full range of starting school books.