Giant-sized butterflies on my first day of school by Justin Roberts. Illus. by Paola Escobar

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When a little girl wakes up on the first day of school, the butterflies in her stomach feel positively giant-sized! She really wants her mom to stay with her, on this first day. As she and her mother make their way to school, her mother explains how the butterflies are a good thing. Everyone gets them (including parents) and they are a sign of something exciting happening - that we're about to learn and grow from a new experience and they can help us through it. So with the butterflies as her guide, the girl soars into her first day.

As little ones' thoughts turn to the next big step in their lives - moving from preschool to big school - it is natural that there are going to be nerves and anxiety as the transition will be daunting for many. So this is another one to add to that collection to share to reassure them that their feelings are natural but they can be managed if they look through a positive lens. Even though it is American, it carries the universal message that everyone shares a fear of the unknown to some degree and that, in itself, can bring peace and calm. It also reassures them that they are old enough and brave enough to take this step, and it will only be a short time with new and familiar friends before their butterflies have disappeared.

Barbara Braxton