Kindergarten Day is celebrated on the 21st April because this is the anniversary of the date when the founder of kindergartens, Friedrich Froebel was born in 1782. The first Kindergarten started in Germany in 1837. According to John Cech
"The school was built upon a series of innovative principles that used the innate curiosity and interests of children to guide them to see what Froebel believed to be the harmonious, interconnectedness of all things -- through song and play (which was unheard of in earlier schools); daily lessons in drawing, design, and other artistic activities; and learning through active doing and close contacts with the natural world -- many of the kindergartens actually had real gardens attached to them that the children tended and in doing so, Froebel believed, cultivated their own inner lives."
Many of the best kindergartens still do this and there has been a move more recently to reconnect children again with their natural worlds using gardens, visits to the bush and taking part in activities that use natural or found objects, such as sticks, stones and leaves. This move is because many kindergartens have "become simply smaller first grades, teaching numbers and letters and giving tests and homework." Children of this technological age do need to be reconnected to play, activity and creativity.
What better way to explore 'kindergarten' than through books and play. When I think of kindergarten I often think of Rosemary Wells and her stories about Timothy and Yoko starting school. Kindergarten is such a momentous occasion in a parent's life. Now that my children are adults I still remember vividly their Kindergarten classes and teachers. Hoewever, their schooling after that is becoming a bit blurred and it seemed to have gone very quickly.
For a comprehensive list of picture books about starting school look here.