Books & Beyond

Picture Books for the Start of School in 2020

By Lisa T.
September 1, 2020

Kids are starting school, but it doesn’t look or feel the way it usually does.  The standard books about starting school just don’t apply this year.  We’ve gathered some books about doing something new.  We looked for titles that address the inner thoughts and emotions of children.  We hope that that sharing one or two of these books with your child helps them to acknowledge and talk about feelings of excitement, fear, or worry accompanying the start of this school year.  Searching for ways to make this time feel special?  We’ve included books that celebrate growing up and being you!

Is there anything that we can help with right now?  You can use our Library Bundle Request Form to get materials that focus on the specific needs of your child or family. 


Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari decides he’s ready to try jumping off the diving board, but when the big moment arrives, Jabari needs to work up the courage to take the leap.  His story will help kids facing fears about starting a new adventure. 

Lena’s Shoes are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese and Juana Medina
Lena is excited about starting kindergarten, but her favorite shoes are very nervous! She convinces the shoes, and herself, to be brave.

The Magical Yet by Angela Diterlizzi
Each of us is accompanied by a special companion, the Yet. Can’t ride a bike? Yet! Yet is with us to offer encouragement in the face of obstacles and to remind us that learning something new takes patience and perseverance.

When you are Brave Pat Zietlow Miller
Encourages kids to find courage when starting something new.


Be You!  Peter H. Reynolds
Joyful encouragement to be yourself, to be kind and true to who you are, the newest offering by an author skilled at conveying emotional intelligence to kids. 

Sesame Street: Dream by Susanna Leonard Hill
Sesame Street friends encourage children to dream big, believe in themselves, and never give up!

You Matter bu Christian Robinson
This beautiful and deceptively simple book repeats the refrain “you matter” validating the individuality of every child while also conveying our interconnectedness.

You are Ready! The World is Waiting by Eric Carle
Upbeat words of encouragement accompanied by images of animal youngsters “leaving the nest” and venturing out into the world, in Eric Carle’s signature collage style.


The Color Monster by Anna Llenas
One day, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through color.

I’m Worried by Michael Ian Black
Potato is plagued by worries about the future. His friends offer support and help him to cope with his anxiety.

Ping by Ana Castillo
This sweet tale encourages emotional awareness, healthy communication, and kindness.


Worries are not Forever by Elizabeth Verkick
Explains what worries are, and how it feels to be worried; assures children that everyone, even grown-ups, feel worried, and offers strategies to cope with anxiety.

2021 Summer Concerts in the Valley View Schedule