Books to help children prepare for nursery

R and M are due to start nursery in September. It’s only two and a half hours to start with, but to them that’s a very long time to be away from mummy and daddy.
At present R and M are looked after in their home. On a Monday their daddy looks after them and on a Tuesday my dad looks after them. The rest of the week I’m home with them.
As you can see starting nursery school may come as a bit of a shock for them as their time away from mummy and daddy at the moment is spent in their own home.
I’ve been talking to them both for a while about nursery and have explained to them that mummy and daddy will take them, say bye-bye and then come back later and say hello.
I don’t think that either R or M truly understood what I was saying though. They kept asking if mummy and daddy would stay at nursery with them. When I said no, but explained we’d be back later to pick them up, M in particular got a little upset.
I decided to buy some books to see if that could help me to explain to them better about nursery. After some research online I found the following four books. I’ve listed them below in order of my preference and have also listed my reasons why I prefer one book over the next.
Lulu Loves Nursery


This book is my favourite. For me personally the way the story is told is well written, it flows well and is easy for children to understand.
It’s nicely illustrated and is the most ‘true to life’ for me.
The book starts by introducing Lulu and what she loves. This includes her toy rabbit, blueberries, her cat, Harold and of course her mum and dad among other things.
It then goes on to talk about how Lulu is feeling. She’s worried because it’s her first day of nursery and she doesn’t want to leave her mummy.
She’s worried she won’t make any friends and that she won’t like nursery.
On the way to nursery they talk about how on special days Lulu has ice-cream. When they arrive at nursery Lulu’s mummy explains that she loves her lots and will be back later.
Lulu then decides to be very brave and say bye-bye to mummy.
Soon enough Lulu starts to enjoy nursery and she has lots of fun playing in the sand box, dressing up and playing with the other children. She even gets a special certificate from her teacher at the end of the day.
Maisy goes to nursery


This book is a nice size for little hands to hold. It tells the story of Maisy mouse and her first day at nursery school.
I like this book because it’s very colourful and the pictures help to tell the story.
Although this book doesn’t talk about the emotions children go through when starting nursery, it does talk about why Maisy loves nursery.
It talks about all the fun things that Maisy does such as painting, playing with her friends, singing at music time, eating snacks and more.
This book talks about the pegs that are at nursery school for children to hang their coats up and also talks about the toilet and washing their hands.
A cute book that is a great introduction to starting nursery.
My first day at nursery school
I didn’t realise when I bought this book that it used the American term ‘mom’. It doesn’t bother me as I just say ‘mum’.
Throughout this book we aren’t actually told what the little girl’s name in the story is, which is a shame as R and M do ask, but either way it’s a good book about a little girl who is hesitant about her first day at nursery.
The story starts with the little girls explaining having her breakfast and saying that today is an important day because it’s her first day of nursery . Her mummy takes her to nursery and the little girl is taken into the nursery by a teacher.
“I want my mommy!” said the little girl!
Throughout the book the little talks excitedly about all the things she’s doing, but at the end of every page the phrase “I want my mommy’ is shown with one less word. So the first time it says “I want my”, then it says “I want’ and lastly just “I”.
This represents that the as the girls day goes on and she has more fun she gradually worrying less about wanting her mummy and starts to enjoy herself more.
She gets involved with glue-y projects, singing and dancing, painting, game playing and meeting new friends, she gradually changes her mind about nursery school
This book is well illustrated and is a joy to read to children.
Charlie and Lola: I am too absolutely too small for school
This book was rather a disappointment I’m afraid.
The reviews on amazon were good which is one of the reasons why I bought it, but for me this book is too long, the words on the pages aren’t written in straight lines, they loop around and go in circles which makes it harder for me to read as some of the words are upside-down and I imagine children who start learning to read will find it very difficult to read themselves.
I just felt that this book went on too much about nothing really. Charlie told Lola that at school she could learn to count up to one hundred, but Lola said she could count up to 10 which was enough. Charlie then says what if 11 eleven elephants all want a biscuit how will you count it and Lola is unsure. You get the idea!
The book just felt negative to me. Although Lola did enjoy nursery in the school, I’m afraid we didn’t enjoy this book!

24 thoughts on “Books to help children prepare for nursery

  1. The Lulu books are lovely and Maisy was a huge favourite with my daughter when she was little. I did two blogposts last year about starting school books and although the books were for slightly older children I think Lucky Wish Mouse Starting School by Clara Vulliamy would still be a fun one to read before starting nursery.

    #readwithme

  2. I love Maisy books! Nancy loves them. This is a great selection and a great idea to prepare for nursery/school. We have one Charlie and lola book and I agree the writing everywhere was terrible!

  3. Books are such a great way to approach these things. This is a great reference for the future and I'm sure will be very useful to others at this stage of parenting. #binkylinky

  4. We didn't buy books about going to nursery (although with hindsight I wish we had) but we did sound like a pair of mad evangelists every time school was mentioned "oh, you'll have SO MUCH FUN". Touch wood, they do enjoy school. I had to pretend mind you because I hated it! #binkylinky

  5. Aww! What lovely books and a great idea to get them to introduce nursery….
    I have always found the Charlie & Lola books hard to read but of course my girls loved them x

  6. We had Maisy Goes To Nursery too – a thumbs up in our home. My youngest is starting primary school this September so I'll be using books to introduce the next big school to her too. If you love books then please check out my latest blog post which is asking everyone to sign a petition to reinstate funding in Northern Ireland for an early years literacy programme which has been cut by the NI Assembly. Thanks! #BinkyLinky

  7. Ah we have read Maisy goes to Nursery, That was a nice one. I agree Charlie and Lola books are a bit of a headache. Have to turn the book upside down! I hope your lovely girls settle and are ok. At least they will have each other for company and they will have a fab time!! xx #binkylinky

  8. I don't know the books, but love Charlie and Lola (thankfully so did the kids).

    But from experience with my own kids they all usually love playgroup (even if there are tears at drop off), and the time away helps them socialise and appreciate things more lol.

  9. The lulu book sounds really good! I hope it helps them both. As for the last one i think over design is getting really common in childrens books, to the detriment of the story! (work in publishing) when it's holding back a parent you can only imagine how off putting it is for a child esp trying to read alone. Anyway, rambling! Interesting read thanks 🙂 #binkylinky

  10. I'm sure they'll have a lovely time at nursery and make lots of new friends.

    We're on the lookout for starting school books so I'll be sure to avoid the Charlie & Lola one. Great review. #binkylinky

  11. Love this post – I read the 'First Day at nursery' book before I started nursery and really enjoyed it but I would now like to read Maisy goes to nursery after your reviews. xAx

  12. The Mother says – What a great review of some books which are so important to help your children settle into nursery. I especially like the sound of the themes in My First Day at Nursery – what a great way to show how a child starts enjoying nursery. Hope the twins settle in OK and looking forward to hearing about their escapades! Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  13. I'm surprised about the Charlie and Lola book, that really is disappointing. There's lovely advice here though for parents at this stage, and supporting children with change is so important thanks so much for linking up with #myfavouritepost

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