Summer has flown by and it’s time for a new school year. There are new schedules to adjust to and lots of preparations and is a big transition for the whole family. Children experience some excitement mixed with a bit of nervousness as they wonder what their new school year will be like. One way to ease this transition is by reading books about school. This can help children relate to various situations they might encounter and also help to spark conversations about their thoughts on a new school year.
Here are 16 favourite children’s books for back to school!
This book is just like the original, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but takes place at school! A fun circle story that kids love!
The Art Lesson by Tomie de Paola
If you are a lover of Tomie de Paola books, then you are probably already familiar with this one (and already know that this is about the author’s own experience as a child)! In this story Tommy is a little boy who just loves to draw. But when he brings his love of drawing to school, he encounters a few obstacles.
This is a great book to spark a discussion about classroom rules. In this book David seems to break all the rules at his school.
Follow the Line to School by Laura Ljungkvist
Follow the Line is an interactive book where you follow a line to explore all the parts of a school. As it takes you through all the beautifully illustrated pages, you’ll find questions to answer along the way.
I am too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie & Lola) by Lauren Child
The illustrations are so fun and the interaction between the two siblings is always endearing. In this story Lola is nervous to begin school and begins coming up with all the reasons why she doesn’t really need to go to school. Her brother, Charlie, helps to creatively explain to her why learning is important.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
If you are not already familiar with this book, it’s definitely one worth owning! It’s such a perfect book for any separation, especially if your child is nervous about his or her first day of school. In this story Chester feels anxious about leaving his mom at home while he goes to school, but his mom has a special way for him to remember her all day.
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
It’s a great story for your older child heading off to school. It’s especially memorable to me since it’s all about how just one teacher can help change a child’s life!
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
The Llama Llama series is very popular with toddlers and preschoolers as children identify with the main character. This book follows Llama as he goes to school and the sadness he feels. It is not uncommon for young children to miss their parents and caregivers. This book opens up conversations about emotions for young children especially if they have difficulty identifying them.
How do Dinosaurs go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
The coolest feature of this series is it’s ability to review what is socially acceptable behavior for young children who are just learning.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
It’s the first day of kindergarten and Miss Bindergarten is hard at work getting the classroom ready for her twenty-six new students. Meanwhile, Adam Krupp wakes up, Brenda Heath brushes her teeth, and Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker. Miss Bindergarten puts the finishing touches on the room just in time, and the students arrive. Now the fun can begin! This rhyming, brightly illustrated book is the perfect way to practice the alphabet and to introduce young children to kindergarten.
Chuskit goes to school by Sujata Padmanabhan
Nine year old Chuskit longed to go to school, to make friends, learn math and play games. But she could not …. until Abdul decided to do something about it.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending. This is an enchanting story that is sure to be treasured by anyone who has ever anticipated the first day of school.
This is the classic book when we think of our children starting their first steps in learning. Filled with a powerful message it promotes the belief in the positive of future possibilities and all done with Seussical rhythm. Some parents have their children’s teachers sign a copy of this book each year but it is a great addition to your child’s library.
I am Not Going to School Today! by Robie H. Harris
The story of a young boy and the anxieties he faces from his perspective can open many conversations with your child. While the main character may resist going to school, he identifies each of his concerns, develops a plan to tackle this fear, and then confronts his anxiety. This story demonstrates resilience and will appeal to young children.
This is a great book especially for children starting school as it reviews positive behaviors for young children. As a character struggles with the idea of going to school, the reader learns how quickly anxiety can transform into excitement.
Time to go to school, and the little girl in this book is still in a world of dreams. As she tries to hurry up, her grandmother tells her the secret of what made her father go to school.
What does Rani see on her first day in school? How does she feel?
Monsters Love School by Mike Austin
The brightly drawn book addresses a fear that many children face which is will they make friends in school. As well, this book does a great job of labelling words commonly associated with school so that children have more familiarity with school.
What are your favorite back-to-school books? Do let us know!