Preparing for the first day of school and looking for the best back to school books for your kids or students? It’s an exciting time in the life of a child to begin a new school year, full of possibilities, new friends, fresh clothes, and new school shoes. A great book is a a great way to calm nerves and prepare for the big day. Hope you enjoy this list of our best books for welcoming the new school year!
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The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems
In the classic Pigeon style of Mo Willems, Pigeon is not quite sure why he has to go to school. Even though it’s his first time at school, he already knows it all! This is one of our first grader’s favorite books, introducing a fun way to talk about all we can learn in school.
If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen
I love using If I Built a School during the first week of school. Young readers will love following the main character in this fun book as he designs his ideal school. This is the perfect book for older kids and younger readers to explore together and imagine their own ideal school environment. What would they include? You can also easily integrate measurement, map reading, design, map keys, and drawing into the lesson after the read aloud. Make sure to check out the other If I Built books from Van Dusen as well.
Back to School Rules by Laurie Friedman
Back to School Rules is a great story for introducing classroom rules for the upcoming school year to young children. Readers follow the little boy, Percy, as he outlines his top ten rules for school. Use this adorable story to talk about school rules with your students during the first days of school. Follow up the read aloud with a class discussion on what guidelines would be most important for your school environment.
Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish
Perfect for young students, Amelia Bedelia should make your list of books for the first weeks of school. This adorable book follows Amelia as she learns about popular expressions like “glue yourself to the seat” and “hop up like a bunny” during the beginning of the school year. Her kind teacher guides her through new experiences in her new classroom. This one is perfect for back to school season.
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
In this classic choice of back to school picture books from Laura Numeroff, Mouse shares his adventures at school with the school bus, new classmates, and all of the back to school activities. If You Take a Mouse to School is a funny book to add to your classroom library book collection and a perfect read aloud for sequencing and retelling stories. Young readers will love it!
Curious George’s First Day of School by H.A. Rey
Ahh, Curious George! A curious little monkey always exploring new places, including his new school! George is the “new kid” in class and can’t wait to experience life in Mr. Apple’s classroom. This sweet story is perfect for the first day of kindergarten or first grade. Curious George always shares a positive message of helping his friends while having an exciting time when school starts.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
The Name Jar is an amazing book telling the story of a young girl from Korea who starts school in the United States. She believes she should pick a new American name from the name jar that is easier to pronounce than her own, but she soon learns that her own name is the best choice. This beautiful story by Yangsook Choi is perfect for the school season with an important message of acceptance and diversity. Add this one to your list of great read alouds!
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Sarah Jane Hartwell is so nervous and doesn’t want to start out at a new school. Her father tries to convince her, but she is reluctant to go to school at the start of the school year. Young readers will love the surprise ending of this fantastic read aloud for the first week of school. My son in third grade and my daughter in middle school both love this one!
The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing
The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing is another great book from the “The Night Before” Series. Young children love the rhyming cadence of these books. Follow the little girl throughout the story as she starts her new year in first grade.
Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School by Kimberly and James Dean
Who doesn’t love Pete the Cat books any time of year? This time, Pete the Cat rocking his cool shoes, socks, and outfit for school means he is prepared for school time. This book is toddler approved and a hit with preschoolers everywhere!
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is a sweet story sharing a mom’s love and reassurance to her little one as he heads out into the world. This is the perfect book to share with young readers and parents as children set out on their own for new experiences.
I hope this book lists of the best back to school books encourages you in your reading and teaching journey this year. Best wishes for a successful and happy school year.