Books & Beyond

Back to School

By Lisa T.
August 25, 2021

School – whether going to school for the first time or going back after more than a year at home, kids likely are feeling both worried and excited about the new school year.   Sharing a book can help children learn what to expect at school, and it can also provide an opening for them talk to about their emotions.

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 by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.
A confident boy has a great first day of kindergarten, and he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements.

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.

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