The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton [CeCe’s Book Review]

The King of KindergartenThe King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes
Published: July 2019
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The King of Kindergarten makes my heart melt to see this brilliant Black boy shining with his smile so bright, donning his crown just right. He’s a big boy now, doing big boy things-all by himself! Just the way his mom and dad had prepared him to. When the first day of kindergarten arrives, he is so ready. He washes his face, gets dressed on his own and boards the bus with confidence. He meets his new teacher, says his name with pride, makes new friends and learns new things that he can’t wait to tell his parents about when he gets home. He had a very good day and can’t wait to do it all over again.

Starting kindergarten is a big deal! As parents, we do everything we can to help get our babies ready and when the time finally comes, we’d be hard-pressed to distinguish who is the most anxious about it all; us parents or our children? The King of Kindergarten will encourage every little one who is getting ready for their first day of kindergarten and it might even get their parents ready too. What I loved most about this book was that it was clear that this little boy’s parents clothed him with so much love, joy, encouragement, and a positive self-image. It is something that he carries with him in his heart and mind throughout his day. It is made evident in each of Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations that he exudes unquestionable confidence. You can see it in his smile and in the way he keeps his head held high.

I highly recommend The King of Kindergarten for families, kindergarten classrooms, and the library (school and public libraries). Honestly, I added this book to my 2019-2020 library order before I’d even read it because of how much I enjoyed Crown: an Ode to the Fresh Cut (that won all manner of awards: Newbery Honor Award, Coretta Scott King Honor Award, and the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Award). Trust your librarians. We have a knack for finding great books like this one for families and classrooms to enjoy.

View all my reviews

Check out the Book Trailer posted by Penguin Kids


Derrick Barnes |

Vanessa Brantley-Newton |

Nancy Paulsen Books
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

Borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

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