Check it out: Fun picture book eases school fears

Kindergarten can be scary for kids, buffaloes



My first day at school was scary. I didn’t want to go, I didn’t see any point in going, and I was pretty sure that the world would come to an end once I got there. My exasperated parents couldn’t believe they had a 6-year old drama queen, and by the time my first school year was finished, we were all exhausted.

If you have little ones getting ready to brave the classroom for the first time, they might be feeling a bit anxious. One way to help avoid melodrama in your household might be to read a book about someone else going through the same thing.

Take a buffalo, for example. Would it be easy for a buffalo to fit in with his classmates? It’s possible he might stand out, for one reason or another. Who else has horns, a large hump, and shaggy fur? All of these differences could make for one unhappy buffalo, but in this funny picture book his peers find much to celebrate about their unique classmate. His soft fur allows for plenty of cuddling; his size (helped by that large hump!) makes him a popular hiding spot for rounds of hide and seek; and even though he has trouble using scissors, and he regurgitates his lunch like a cow (prepare for squeals if reading to your young one), he’s mighty special in his own way.

Have fun with this cute story that manages to convey important messages about acceptance, sharing and cooperation. And don’t worry if your kindergartner still has apprehensions after that first day of school. She’s very likely to learn to love school over time. Just look at me — drama queen turned college graduate.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at She blogs at