It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right – our kids are GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! Phew! Summer flew by and yet at the same time some days simply crawled with my kindergartener rolling at my feet complaining of boredom.
The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, that crispness in the air, the back of your kid’s head as they walk into school = bliss.
Okay, it’s not totally bliss. I can’t believe my son is actually now in kindergarten (or senior kindergarten here in Ontario) and I can’t believe I am sending him five full days a week (doesn’t that seem like a lot??). Where did the time go?
And he’s really nervous about going to the ‘big’ school. How about your kids? We’ve been reading this books to ease them into the new school year. I hope this list helps you like it helped us!
by Mo Willems
Oh Mo Willems you genius you, how do you make going back to school so hilarious for kids?
You guys already know about the pigeon right? He’s not allowed to drive the bus, he wants a hot dog, and now he gets to go to school!
My kids love this book and after reading it my son says “I want to go to school too!” – I just hope he has this same sentiment next week.
by Annie Silverstro with pictures by Dream Chen
I love all of Annie Silverstro’s books – they are all sweet, kind and loving. This fantastic book is no exception.
This book perfectly depicts that feeling you get when you are nervous about something. As adults, we understand the butterflies in your stomach description and feeling. But a child is unable to communicate this feeling (well my son is anyways). As soon as he heard (and saw it in the beautiful illustrations) he looked at me and said “I have butterflies in my tummy”.
Rosie is nervous to go to school and we all know that fluttery feeling. With each aspect of school that she gets less nervous about, a butterfly flies out of her mouth. By the end of the day they are all gone!
I love this book for helping George describe his feelings and find it handy just dropping him off to camp. Today he said he had butterflies but knew they would fly away as soon as he saw his friend.
by Doreen Cronin with pictures by Betsey Lewin
The barnyard gang is back in this instalment and on their way to school!
Farmer Brown gets an invitation to visit the school and his animal friends invite themselves along. But they have some rules to follow. School is a serious and quiet place where cows can’t stomp or moo and pigs can’t dance around and oink.
As soon as the animals get to school, they see that times have changed and the kids want nothing more than to play with loud, boisterous animals.
by Adam Rex with pictures by Christian Robinson
This is a really fun role-reversal, first day of school jitters book because it isn’t a kid who is nervous but the school itself!
Will the kids like the school? What will the kids do once they come to him? Will they be nice to him? My son feels much better thinking that the ‘big’ school is just as nervous as he is!
by Ryan T. Higgins
This is a hilarious book about a little T Rex named Penelope who is nervous to go to school. Will she make friends? How many teeth do the other students have?
She gets a bit of a surprise when she discovers all her classmates are DELICIOUS children! She can’t help but eat her classmates and this prevents her from making any friends.
But when she gets a taste of her own medicine, she quickly discovers it’s better to be a friend than a delicious snack.
by Derrick Barnes with pictures by Vanessa Brantley
This book is fabulously empowering. Our little unnamed protagonist approaches his first day of kindergarten with zeal. He has an imaginary crown on his head and he will be the king of kindergarten. He will be kind (like giving Howie some dessert at lunch) and he will have a magnificent day.
I love this because it only has positive imagery and words without addressing how scary kindergarten can be for little people.
by Elise Parsley
Oh Marigold, you’ve done it again.
Marigold wants to bring the BEST THING EVER to show and tell – which means an alligator. This is clearly a terrible idea.
Like in the other books of this series, silly, ridiculous things happen and Marigold must somehow get herself out of trouble.
by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes is one of my favourite author/illustrators. This book is part of a ‘mouse’ series and is perfect if you have a worry wart in your home (hint mine is the husband).
Wemberly worries about everything – especially going to school for the first time. She soon meets a friend who worries just as much as she does and suddenly her worries about school disappear!
by Lisa Robinson with pictures by Eda Kaban
Yo Ho Ho! It’s a mutiny against kindergarten!
Kindergarten or a new teacher is hard to adjust to – especially when you loved preschool or your old teacher so much. I know I had this problem with my son this year. He wanted to go back to his old preschool and it took a long time to give his new teachers and school a chance.
This is a fun book for little readers who don’t love change or miss what was before (remember that feeling of getting used to a new teacher in a new grade and seeing your old teacher in the halls?).
by Audrey Penn with pictures by Ruth E. Harper & Nancy M. Leak
I can’t give you a ‘Back to School’ list without this new classic.
We read it last year before the kids started preschool and I had to kiss George’s hand everyday for ten months. It works like a charm!
When a little racoon is afraid to go to school, his mama kisses his palm so that all day long he can feel her kiss and know that she is with him.
Super sweet and I guarantee you will be kissing your child’s hand all school-year long.
Reading these books got me excited for school – I really did love going. And it got me excited to send my kids! Partly because I hope they love school as much as I did and partly because I am so f-ing tired. Ha!
I hope your first day of school runs smoothly,