Is your child anxious about going back to school after a long summer break or nervous about starting school for the first time? The following books will help your kids ease the transition (back) to school, calm the jitters, and get them excited about school.
Support local and get the books at a local bookstore near you!
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children's classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive.
'The Kissing Hand' is one of our absolute favorite books! Every time we read the book, I took my girls' hands in my hands, "spread their fingers" and "kissed their palms", "pressed their hands on their cheeks" and made fun kissing sounds. Tip: Draw a little heart on your child's palm before he or she goes to school and tell your little one to look at his/her hand whenever he/she feels intimidated, scared or lost!
The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen
Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he frets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do math―until he's reassured that school is the perfect place to learn how to master all of these new skills.
Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes by James Dean
Pete the Cat is rocking in his school shoes. Pete discovers the library, the lunch room, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school.
And no matter where he goes, Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song...because it’s all good.
This was out first 'Pete the Cat' book and many followed afterwards. Reading this book always involved a lot of singing and moving and grooving. Super fun.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! by Lucille Colandro
There was an old lady who's ready for school!
That lovely old lady has returned just in time for the first day of school. Now she's swallowing items to make the very best of her first day back. And just in time for the bus... With rhyming text and funny illustrations, this lively version of the classic song will appeal to young readers with every turn of the page--a fun story for the first day of school!
The 'There Was an Old Lady' books are priceless. Hilarious for young and old. Plus, a great intro to rhyming.
Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro
Rosie can’t wait to start kindergarten—she’s had her pencils sharpened and her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, on the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly, and she’ll feel better soon. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she says hello to a new friend on the bus, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! As the day goes on, Rosie frees all her butterflies, and even helps another shy student let go of hers, too.
The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems
Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?! Ask not for whom the school bell rings; it rings for the Pigeon!
Another great Mo Williams series is 'Elephant & Piggie. Great messages, great books to teach and learn reading.
Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton
It’s the first day of school, and there’s only time for Splat to share one of his summer adventures with the class. Will it be the time he went searching for pirate treasure? Or the time he went swimming with sharks in the ocean? But before the end of the day, Splat knows exactly what to talk about—and it’s the biggest surprise of all!
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he'll want a sandwich to go in it. Then he'll need a notebook and some pencils. He'll probably want to share your backpack, too.
Our Class Is a Family by Shannon Olsen
Teachers do so much more than just teach academics. They build a sense of community within their classrooms, creating a home away from home where they make their students feel safe, included, and loved.
With its heartfelt message and colorfully whimsical illustrations, “Our Class is a Family” is a book that will help build and strengthen that class community. Kids learn that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others. When hearing this story being read aloud by their teacher, students are sure to feel like they are part of a special family.
My Friends and I by Life Is Better With Friends
The ‘My Friends and I’ memory book is a perfect little surprise for the upcoming First Day of School for your Preschooler, Elementary School or Middle School student and is also a great way to break the ice and get to know everybody in class.
The book captures memories of the young book owners and 39 friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, family members, or any other person in their lives. Once the little book owners have filled out the first three pages themselves, the book travels from friend to friend, who will answer questions like: What is your favorite food? What do you like to do in your free time? What songs do you like to listen to? What books do you like to read? What do you want to be when you grow up?
A picture box allows them to insert a picture of themselves or to draw a picture of their own.
Published by a local Mom from Jonestown, TX, just 30 miles North of Austin. Not available in bookstores yet, but on the book’s website.
Enter to win one of three copies: sign up for the Life Is Better With Friends newsletter on the bottom of any page on www.lifeisbetterwithfriends.com by August 25th!
Plus: all Live Grow Play Austin friends a friendly 15% off their order! Simply enter the promo code “LGPA” at checkout on www.lifeisbetterwithfriends.com. Promo code expires August 31st 2022. Tip: Get free shipping on orders of two or more books!
Happy first day of school!