As summer draws to a close, the anticipation and nervousness of going back to school fill the air. It’s a time of new beginnings, reuniting with friends, and embarking on new adventures. What better way to prepare your child for this transition than through the magic of storytelling? In this blog post, we will dive into a selection of delightful children’s books that capture the essence of going back to school, instilling courage, curiosity, and a love for learning.

I have linked each book in case you want to add any to your collection. I do make affiliate income (a tiny amount) from each purchase.

Books for the Nervous/Anxious Little

  1. “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg: Everyone gets nervous on the first day of school, even teachers! In this humorous story, Sarah Jane Hartwell tries to avoid going to school, only to discover a surprising twist. The book offers reassurance to both children and adults, reminding us that the first day jitters are universal.
  2. “Little Yellow Bus” by Erin Guendelsberger: This book is a heartwarming reminder that sometimes even the days when we are scared and anxious can become the most wonderful adventure, if we only believe in ourselves.
  3. “Butterflies on the First Day of School” by Annie Silvestro: Have you ever heard the expression “butterflies in your stomach” for when you are nervous? The author beautifully writes a back to school story with a little girl whose butterflies are coming out of her mouth when she is talking to new friends on the first day of school.

Books for the Little Who Feels Different and Needs Confidence

  1. “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson: This empowering picture book celebrates diversity and encourages children to embrace their uniqueness. Through relatable characters, it explores the fear of being different and the courage it takes to step into a new environment. It highlights the beauty of making connections and finding common ground with others.
  2. “Just Ask” by Sonia Sotomayor: This book celebrates diversity and being different. It showcases how everyone has their own story and what makes them beautiful. It also encourages children to open up and talk to other kids who may seem different from them.
  3. “The Smart Cookie” by Jory John and Pete Oswald: This is an adorable story about a little cookie who lacks confidence in themself. They are given an assignment and find their confidence and something they are really good at!
  4. “Why Not You” by Ciara and Russell Wilson: What a beautiful book of affirmations for a little who needs a confidence boost! It encourages kids to dream and reach for the stars because they are capable and able to reach their goals if they believe in themselves.

Books for the Little Who Struggles with Impulse Control

  1. “Too Much Glue” by Jason Lefebvre: This story is one of a boy who loves using ALOT of glue. He just so happens to get himself in a sticky situation that requires some problem solving.
  2. “Don’t Eat the Teacher” by Nick Ward: A book you can really sink your teeth into! This story is about a little shark on his first day of school who gets so excited that he chomps his way through. Such a fun book to read before the first day of school.

Books about the School Environment

  1. “Our Class is a Family” by Shannon Olsen: This is a book about belonging. Letting children know that their classroom is a safe space where they can be themselves. Perfect for teachers to read on the first day of school.
  2. “A Letter from Your Children” by Shannon Olsen: Such a beautiful message for a kiddo before their first day of school from their prospective teacher who is excited to welcome them to the new school year.
  3. “The Crayons Go Back to School” by Drew Daywalt: This is a cute story about your favorite school supplies (crayons), expressing their excitement for back to school.
  4. “I Promise” by Lebron James: This story is motivational and inspires kids to work hard and always do their best. Reading it with your little can be a way to set expectations for the school year.
  5. “The Night Before Second Grade” by Natasha Wing: This book for us is a must have before each school year, it’s so relatable and has become a tradition for us. It documents the process of becoming ready for the new year, and all of the feelings that come with it.

Books that Bring Up Important Life Lessons

  1. “How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow” by Monica Sweeney: This story teaches an important lesson about conflict and how two friends process their anger and apologize for their wrongs.
  2. “Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller: A story about how to be kind even in the most confusing situations. What does it mean to be kind? Find out in this beautiful book.
  3. “The Cool Bean” by Jory John and Pete Oswald: An uncool bean tells a story about missing his friends from the last school year. This story is one of empathy and compassion, and what it really means to be “cool”.

Books for the Kid with an Amazing Imagination

  1. “The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer” by Davide Cali: This is a fun one! A tall tale from a student about his summer to his curious teacher. What do you think he did?
  2. “If I Built a School” by Chris Van Dusen: Ever wonder what it would be like if your child could design their perfect school? Well, here it is and it sounds like the best school ever!

Books About Facing Adversity

  1. “Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales: A wonderful story about migrants and the beauty they bring with them. This book shows a dream becoming a reality through hard work and determination.
  2. “Separate is Never Equal” by Duncan Tonatiuh: A book about the harsh reality of segregation in schools. It discusses a true story about racial injustice and those who fought for us to have the freedoms we have today.

Books that are Unique and Great Additions to Your Bookshelf

  1. “Just Like Me” by Vanessa Brantley-Newton: A book filled with incredible artwork and poetry, celebrating the beautiful diversity in girls of all kinds.
  2. “How to Read a Book” by Kwame Alexander: The author beautifully describes how to read a book. The illustration is amazing and pairs so well with the writing. I encourage you to check this book out. I can only describe it as artwork.

The importance of reading and exposing new stories to your children

Children’s books have a remarkable way of capturing the emotions and experiences of going back to school. Whether its overcoming anxiety, making new friends, or embracing individuality, these stories help children navigate the exciting yet uncertain journey of starting a new school year. Reading these books with your children can foster empathy, resilience, and a positive mindset, setting the stage for a successful and enjoyable school year. So, grab a book, curl up with your little ones, and embark on an adventure that will inspire and prepare them for the joys of learning during this school year.

I hosted a PinterestTV episode on Cassidy’s Back to School Bookshelf. I talked about each individual book and how I like to style her shelf. Check it out here!

I have shared quite a few bookshelves in the past:

10 Diverse Books for Black History Month

Back to School Bookshelf for My Kindergartner



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