Whatever plan your school is going with this year, it’s going to be unfamiliar territory. It seems impossible to escape the first-day jitters this year, even if you’re a 30-year veteran. Here are ten of my favorite back-to-school books from this blog to help get you through those first few days.
Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell
Published by Salaam Reads
Musa’s teacher tells the class that the first day of school is her favorite day of the year. She invites them to share their favorites as they go through kindergarten, resulting in a celebration of holidays, foods and cultures all year long. Click here to buy on Amazon
Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube
Published by Abrams
Mae would rather sit up in a tree all day than face the uncertainties of the first day of school. When others join her, including her new teacher, she realizes she’s not the only one feeling nervous. Click here to buy on Amazon.
Monkey Not Ready for Kindergarten by Marc Brown
Published by Alfred A. Knopf
Monkey worries about all the ways he might not be ready for kindergarten. A simple tale with a reassuring ending. Click here to buy on Amazon.
Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous by Keith Calabrese, illustrated by Juana Medina
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Lena’s shoes are nervous about starting school. So are her socks. It’s up to her headband to remind them that they’ve tried out new things before that turned out well. By the end, the shoes are joined by the friendly sneakers, shoes, and boots of the other kids. Click here to buy on Amazon.
Camp Tiger by Susan Choi, illustrated by John Rocco
Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
A boy who’s worried about starting first grade meets a tiger on an end-of-summer camping trip with his family. Is the tiger real or imaginary? Either way, he helps the boy to find courage for a new beginning. Click here to buy on Amazon.
A New School Year by Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song
Published by Charlesbridge
Six kids from grades K-5 tell about their first day of school in a series of poems that takes from the night before to the end of the first day. Click here to buy on Amazon.
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Even though the janitor assures him that he’ll do fine, the new school building is worried about school starting. The first day brings its share of ups and downs, but overall, School is pretty happy and ready to move on to the rest of the school year. Click here to buy on Amazon.
Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Dream Chen
Published by Sterling Children’s Books
Mom calls Rosie’s nerves on the first day of school “butterflies in your stomach”. Whenever something good happens at school that day, a butterfly flies out of her mouth. She even sees one come out of another girl’s mouth! By the end of the day, the butterflies are all gone. Click here to buy on Amazon.
Nana Akua Goes to School by Tricia Elam Walker, illustrated by April Harrison
Published by Schwartz and Wade
Zura’s worried about bringing her Ghanaian grandmother to school for Grandparents’ Day, because she’s seen people stare at Nana Akua’s facial tattoo. But Nana knows the secret for helping people feel comfortable, and the visit is a huge success. Click here to buy on Amazon.
The Pigeon HAS to Go to School by Mo Willems
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
The pigeon has a long list of reasons why he shouldn’t have to go to school…until he sees that he gets to ride there on a bus. Click here to buy on Amazon.