Back to School with Audrey Vernick’s Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten

Today Biblio Links welcomes back one of my favorite authors, Audrey Vernick!

As kids head back to school, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce (or reintroduce) readers to the charming picture book Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?

In tongue-in-cheek style, Vernick advises buffalo owners everywhere  how to prepare their buffalos for that all-important first day of Kindergarten. My own kids and students laugh out loud at the buffalo’s antics, but the true message  of acceptance shines through. Although diversity is never mentioned in the text, Daniel Jennewein’s illustrations of the students in the buffalo’s classroom reflects a variety of ethic backgrounds.

My son gave this book to his Kindergarten teacher last year when we met her for the first time at Open House in August, and I think it would make the perfect gift for the newly-minted Kindergartener in your family or neighborhood.

I asked Audrey about ways in which readers connect with Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?

Biblio Links: A student walks into my library and I think: That kid needs a copy of  Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? Who is this kid?Audrey Vernick: The  year this book was published, I heard from a kindergarten teacher who had a student who was having a very hard time at the start of the year. Inexplicably, the only way he could get through those first few days was if the teacher let him hold my book. That touched my heart–the kind of response you can’t even conceive of when writing a book. So I guess you could say the child who needs a copy of Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? might be one who, at the start of the year, has not yet found her way. Of course, it might also be a child who likes a silly book. Or one who wonders, as I did, what chewing cud really means.

Biblio Links: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using your book in a lesson or with a small group, what might we see?

Audrey Vernick: This is another one of those things that I never came close to envisioning during the writing/editing process–but this book really lends itself to classroom use. You might see anything from hoof painting to hula hoop Venn diagrams to cave drawings to the creation of a class guide just in case a buffalo happens to show up one day. Or, you might hear a whole classroom, as one, moaning “Eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” when you reach the page that describes what cud chewing is.

 Biblio LinksWhere can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?
Audrey Vernick: Cover your ears, Natalie. There’s an incredible, brilliant, superfun discussion and activity guide for using IS YOUR BUFFALO READY FOR KINDERGARTEN? on my website created by the divine Natalie Lorenzi. (
And this page has a bio and a link to recent interviews:
My website also has information about my school visits, other books, reviews, and there’s a page (with link to a free downloadable buffalo door hanger coloring sheet) for this book’s sequel, TEACH YOUR BUFFALO TO PLAY DRUMS.

Biblio Links: I’ll also add the Buffalo’s Facebook page here. Thanks for stopping by, Audrey!

Check out Audrey’s middle grade novel, Water Balloon, and her other picture books, Bark and Tim,  Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and Teach Your Buffalo To Play The Drums, and picture book biographies She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story and Brothers At Bat.

Click here for some buffalo love, including a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

I’d love to hear from other teachers and librarians, parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles…what book(s) do you recommend to ease first day of school jitters?

The Nitty Gritty~

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: July 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0061762758

Interest Level: Ages 4 and up

Number of Pages: 32

Thanks to the fabulous bloggers at Teach Mentor Texts for today’s meme!


11 responses to “Back to School with Audrey Vernick’s Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten

  1. Pingback: August | Literary Friendships

  2. I don’t have any books to ease jitters, but there are many available I know. I just found this book at my library & will be sure to share it with my colleagues. Great review!

  3. Thanks, Linda! One title that I do love to read is Julie Danneberg’s First Day Jitters. I plan to blog about this one soon, but there’s an activity guide here if you’re interested:

    Thanks again for stopping by!

  4. What a fascinating book, sounds really good, I teach middle grade so perhaps not for them but will keep it in mind.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kathryn! I also teach the middle grade crowd (upper elementary) and have found that this title is a good one for teaching voice. Kids also love writing their own versions, substituting “Kindergarten” for “5th grade,” etc. 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing! I adore The Kissing Hand and will be reading it to my kindergartner. I also like The Ticky Tacky Doll. 🙂

  6. What a perfect book for the first day of school. One of my friends just got a job teaching kindergarten and I cannot wait to recommend this one to her. She will be so excited!

  7. Pingback: Bogart and Vinnie: A Completely Made-up Story of True Friendship by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Henry Cole | Biblio Links

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