The first day of school is an exciting, jittery day filled with new friends, new teachers, and a new grade. Welcome kids with a fun back to school song. Then read a book to help kids settle in. These first day of school books are a great way to start your year off.
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Books About the First Day of School
The Pigeon HAS to go to School by Mo Willems
If you love Mo Willems, you’ll want to add this book to your back to school reading. With humor and defiance Pigeon protests going to school. Of course, he already knows everything. Kids will identify with Pigeons fears, and the story’s silliness just might help kids overcome some of their own back to school fears.
Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School! by Leslie Helakoski
It’s time for Woolbur’s first day of school, but Woolbur’s Paa isn’t quite sure school is ready for Woolbur. Woolbur does his own thing and doesn’t follow the crowd…this is an excellent story about being yourself and being proud of it!
ABC Ready for School: An Alphabet of Social Skills by Celeste Delaney
This is an alphabet book about social skills that are helpful for school. Along the way kids will hear about concepts like forgiveness, inclusion, honesty and kindness. There is also an informational section at the back of the book about the importance of social skills and helping children get ready for school.
Two Tough Trucks by Corey Rosen Schwartz
I was excited to discover this new book from the author of Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears on our Goldilocks book list. This story is an excellent springboard for discussions about embracing our unique talents and working together despite our differences. The rhyming text and engaging illustrations make this an excellent book to read on the first day of school and beyond to reinforce friendship and cooperation.
Click, Clack, Quack to School! by Doreen Cronin
It’s an exciting day for Farmer Brown and his animals. They’ve been invited to school for Farm Day Lunch. All the animals are very excited, but Farmer Brown warns them that school is a very calm and quiet place. Once they arrive the animals are relieved to find out Farmer Brown was wrong.
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
Have you ever thought about what the first day of school is like from the school’s perspective? This book will inspire a bit of creative thinking and interesting discussions as kids realize they aren’t the only ones who experience a bit of nearvousness on the first day of school.
Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro
Rosie is nervous about the first day of school, and her mother tells her that anxiety is like having butterflies in her belly. Throughout the day as she gets a bit more comfortable the metaphor comes to life as butterflies are slowly released. Rosis even finishes the day by helping a new friends who has her own belly full of butterflies.
Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube
Mae has a simple solution for her first day worries. She’s simply NOT GOING to school. Instead she climbs a tree where she meets some friends and they decide to face their fear together.
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
This book is a giggle-worthy read aloud that will help kids learn to treat others the way they want to be treated. It’s an excellent book to include during the first week of school when discussing making new friends (or how not to make new friens in this case).
Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books by Diane deGroat
Gilbert is starting 1st grade and he is nervous. Little Bit loves this story. She has the book on CD and we listen to it in the car all the time. She loves listening to all the things that happen to Gilbert during his first day.
Monsters Love School by Mike Austin
What is school like for monsters? It is full of fun, learning and of course monsters. I love the pictures in this book and how the monsters discover what school is all about.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Sarah is so scared to start the first day of school, she’s slow to get up, get ready and get to school. Once she is there, she meets her class and realizes her students are nice and that school is nothing to be scared of. The story is reversed in this fun book and kids are able to see how a teacher might feel on the first day.
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen and Daniel X. Hanna
On the first day, Pout-Pout goes to many different classrooms and doesn’t think he can do anything at school. When he finds the right class he discovers that his class is just right for him and that he can do lots of things at school.
B Bear & Lolly off to School by A. A. Livingston and Joey Chou
This story is about Baby Bear and Goldie Lock’s adventure on their way to school. I enjoyed reading a new twist and continuation of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea
Dinosaur is starting preschool and is so excited to see what he can do. This is a great books for being loud and talking about all the things your can do when you try.
Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
Chu is starting school and is worried about what school will be like. On the first day everyone says their name and what they can do, Chu doesn’t say anything until he sneezes.
Rufu Goes to School by Kim Griswell and Gorbachev Valeri
Rufus wants to go to school so he can learn how to read. The only problem is pigs aren’t allowed in school. I love this story; the ending is so sweet and shows that what you need most for school is to be ready to learn.
Bailey by Harry Bliss
Bailey is starting school and is excited to show everyone that school is a great place for a dog. This is a fun story of a dog that learns just how much fun school.
Every Cowgirl Goes to School by Rebecca Janni
Nellie Sue is excited to start school but it doesn’t seem that the day is goin’ her way. Nellie Sue learns that even when your day doesn’t go your way you can still end the day with a new friend.
Back to School Tortoise by Lucy M. George
Tortoise heads to school but worries that he might not like lunch, the kids will be mean, or he might trip and fall. Once tortoise goes into school he loves every minute. The twist in this story is that tortoise is the teacher. As a teacher, I love reading books that show the first day from a teacher’s perspective.
We Love our School! by Judy Sierra
This is a sweet story of frog, mouse, snail and duck starting school. The pictures in each sentence give your child the opportunity to help you read the story.
I am too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
Lola is starting school but does not want to go, her sister Charlie reminds her of all the fun things she will do. I love the sweet conversation the two sisters have throughout the books and the way the text is written.
Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson
Mouse hides in a backpack and then finds himself at school. The book uses lots of fun words to describe all the things that mouse discovers in the classroom.
Did We Miss One of Your Favorites?
What are your favorite first day of school books? Are there any must reads that you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.
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More Books About School
Do you have a child starting kindergarten? You might also want to check out our books about kindergarten.
More Resources for Little Book Lovers
The best way to encourage a love of reading is to provide kids with many opportunities to engage with a wide variety of books that are of interest to them. That’s why we share so many books lists on Fantastic Fun and Learning. We want to make it easy for you to find great books your kids will love. Over the years we’ve also discovered some helpful tools for connecting kids and books.
Digital libraries are one very handy way to do this. Epic! is one of our favorite online libraries. It’s full of over 25,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more for kids 12 and under…and it’s free for educators. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Book Boxes are another fun way to get kids excited about reading. What kid doesn’t love to get a special delivery in the mail?! The crew over at Bookroo finds the best little known books that you won’t already have in your library, and they send them to you each month. Take a peak inside a Bookroo Box here.
Book-Based Activities are also a lot of fun for kids. Jodie over at Growing Book by Book has saved us all a ton of time and created a full year of Book-Based Activity Calendars so that you can extend the fun with a special book each week.