Books & Beyond

Back to School

By Lisa T.
August 25, 2022

Celebrate the milestone of a new school year with books! Books can help preschoolers and kindergarteners learn what to expect at school. Got a kiddo who is feeling nervous or worried about the start of a new school year?  Sharing a book can provide an opening for children to talk about their emotions. Need a little laughter? Many of these titles are delightfully silly! 

We hope you find a just right book for your family here! Need more suggestions, or have a book you think we should add to this list? We’d love to hear from you.

I Got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison ; illustrated by Frank Morrison.
As a new school year begins, a young girl is filled with spirit as she zips her book bag shut, rides the bus, enjoys her classes, and eagerly anticipates the next day.

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex; illustrated by Christian Robinson.
It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little nervous, especially the school itself.

The King of Kindergarten & The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.
A confident child has a great first day of kindergarten, and he can’t wait to tell their proud parents all about their day.

Isabel and her Colores go to School by Alexandra Alessandri; illustrated by Courtney Dawson.
Spanish speaking Isabel is concerned about her first day of school where everyone will speak English–her first day is hard until she connects with a new friend during drawing time.

Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Vanessa is nervous about her first day of school. What if the other kids don’t like her?

Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome by Kat Zhang
Amy wants to welcome the new student in her class, but Lin has just come from China and does not speak English, so Amy tries to work out a way to bridge the language gap.

Gibberish by Young Vo.
When Dat starts school in a country, everything around him sounds like gibberish until a new friend helps him make sense of his new world.

Calvin by JR & Vanessa Ford; illustrated by Kayla Harren
A transgender boy prepares for the first day of school and introducing himself to friends for the first time

The Day you Begin by Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by Rafael López.
Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman.
Welcome to school, where all children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.

Danbi Leads the School Parade  by Anna Kim.
Danbi is thrilled to start her new school in America, but a bit nervous too.

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn ; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw.
Lola meets new friends and tries many new things on her fun but exhausting first day of school, a reassuring read for those starting preschool or kindergarten. 

First Day Critter Jitters written by Jory John ; illustrated by Liz Climo.
All of the animals are worried about the first day of school, but when they get to class, the critters find that it’s easier and more fun to face new things when you do them together.

Little Bat in Night School by Brian Lies
Little Bat is excited for his first night of school, but when he arrives, he finds his world turned upside down in this reassuring picture book that celebrates the experience of going to school for the first time.

My School Stinks by Becky Scharnhorst
Read the hilarious journal of a  boy who finds himself at a new school where the other students are animals.

The Pigeon has to go to School by Mo Willems.
The pigeon must go to school, but frets about math, learning the alphabet, heavy backpacks, and what the teacher and other birds will think of him.

Visit these blog posts for more book suggestions to support children during times of change.

Picture Books:  Big Changes, Big Feelings

Sharing Mindfulness with Children