Perfect Picture Book Friday Turns 100! Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because the idea is totally fun and I think a lot of kids are scared about starting kindergarten.

planetkindergartenPlanet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Illustrated by Shane Prigmore
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 20, 2014

Theme/Topic- Starting School / Confidence

Genre- Non-fiction

Opening and Synopsis- (Taken from the inside jacket)

“Today is Liftoff.

‘You are well prepared.’ says Dad.

Mom Counts down.

Into the rocket ship…

The boosters fire, and we launch.

I’m off to


“Publisher’s Summary – This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of this strange new world. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!”


Why I liked this book-
I LOVED this book! It’s all about a kid pretending to go on a space mission to a strange new world – Planet Kindergarten! This is an awesome book to add to your back-to-school list. If you are a kindergarten or pre-school teacher or if you have kids that are going to start kindergarten, I recommend this book. Starting school or going somewhere different can be pretty scary. I love how Ms. Ganz-Schmitt uses imagination and pretend play to help her character overcome his fears. It is great how Ms. Ganz-Schmitt relates everything that happens (or could happen) on the first day of kindergarten to a space adventure. For example when the boy meets the “Commander” she tells everyone how gravity works different on Planet Kindergarten and everyone must work really hard to stay in their seats – funny! 🙂 The book shows that starting kindergarten can be scary but it is a fabulous and fun adventure too. Shane Prigmore’s illustrations are perfect for the story. Just look at one –

planet2The colors and shapes add so much to the outer-space theme of the book. I love how some of the kids are drawn to look alien-ish. The book is just awesome!

Activities and Resources-

I think pretend play is a great idea to get a kid over fears of doing something new like going to kindergarten. A great activity to get a kid ready for school is just what the author did in this book. Pretend play kindergarten with your kids to help them know what to expect.

Visit the classroom early (teachers are there before school starts). I know my sister got scared about school and her teacher let my mom take her to visit the school to show her around and see everything before school started.

The I Can Teach My Child blog has a great resource on how to prepare your kid for Kindergarten. Click HERE to get it.

Like Planet Kindergarten on Facebook HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Ganz-Schmitt, please visit her website HERE.

Follow Planet Kindergarten on Twitter HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

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44 replies

  1. Can’t wait to read this one. I used to teach kindergarten. I love the idea of outer space for a kdg book!

  2. What a great idea to help kids get over the fear of something new. The illustrations look fabulous as well.

  3. That sounds fabulous, Erik! I couldn’t think of a good space story when I tried but this idea is genius!

  4. I’m always amazed the the books authors imagine! This one sounds like a real winner. Kids experience anxiety about starting school and this book certainly will help. Great cover!

  5. This is a great book to end on. I love the theme and the art. Thanks, Erik. Have a great summer!

  6. What a great book for those 1st day jitters! I’ve dealt with a lot of kids on that scary 1st day. School is truly an alien place!! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. How fun! We both posted on this today!!! 🙂

  8. I love outer space adventures! Gravity is different at my house, too. Sometimes, when I’m excited I can FLY!

    Love and licks,

  9. This one looks GREAT. Clever idea!

  10. Erik, I actually just saw this book featured on Pragmatic Mom’s blog with Kindergarten books and thought it was SUCH a fresh idea—and it is! The illustrations look great—so “kid-friendly” and I’m betting it accomplishes the intent. I love the publisher’s “Star Trek” take with: “This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten.” I’m really looking forward to reading this one. Great review 😀

  11. School is an “alien” environment. I just love the premise. Thank you for sharing this book gem with us!

  12. An out-of-this-world choice!!! I need the ‘gravity’ thing for my own grandblessing in my junior church class. She is being homeschooled so it’s a little different for her learning to stay in her seat and to raise her hand and not shout out the answers. As always you find great books. Thanks, Erik.

  13. Now where have you been hiding this gem, huh? I’ve got to see if I can locate it. Perfect for a little research. Love the illustrations and theme. Thank you Erik… *dashes off to the library.*.. mmm gonna have to ask them to order it in 🙂

  14. This book sounds like such fun. I am changing roles at my school and instead of teaching 5th grade I will be the new media specialist. I have added this one to my list to read to the kindergarten students at the start of school. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  15. Cool book. I wish I would have reviewed it by now. You win this round space cadet. Nice, enthusiastic review. I would like to know how YOU like the book. Don’t be shy about telling us. ::)

  16. Sounds like a great read-aloud for young kids! 🙂


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