Back-to-School Books

Back-to-School, or New to School books


Picture Books about Day Care/Preschool

Ballard, Robin. My Day, Your Day. Children have a busy day at day care while their parents have a busy day at work.

Cousins, Lucy. Maisy Goes to Preschool. Maisy the mouse has a busy day at preschool dancing, painting, singing and doing other things.

Day, Alexandra. Carl Goes to Daycare. Carl the rottweiler takes charge when things take an unexpected turn at the day care center he is visiting.

DeMuth, Patricia. Busy at Day Care Head to Toe. Photographs and rhyming text demonstrate how arms, legs, ears, and mouths are kept busy during a day at day care.

Dewdney, Anna. Llama Llama Misses Mama. Llama Llama experiences separation anxiety on his first day of nursery school.

Edwards, Becky. My First Day at Nursery School. On the first day of preschool, a little girl misses her mother, but on the second day she is excited to go back.

Goodman, Joan E. Bernard Goes to School. Until he makes a new friend, Bernard the elephant doesn't want to stay on his first day of preschool, but his parents and grandmother don't want to leave when they discover how much fun school can be.

Norling, Beth. Little School. Follows twenty children from when they wake up in the morning and go to preschool to sing, read, and play, until they come home and go to sleep.

Rankin, Joan. First Day. Little Haybillybun is not the only one who is worried about the first day of preschool.

Shea, Bob. Dinosaur vs. school. Fearless Dinosaur takes on new challenges as he starts preschool, from meeting new friends to pasting glitter and googly eyes, but one task requires assistance from everyone.

Picture Books about Kindergarten

Brillhart, Julie. Molly Rides the School Bus. Molly is worried about riding the school bus on her first day of kindergarten, but a friendly older girl helps her adjust.

Buzzeo, Toni. Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten. Even though there are rules to follow, a little girl who loves adventure has an exciting first day of kindergarten.

Carlson, Nancy L. Look out, Kindergarten, Here I Come! Even though Henry is looking forward to going to kindergarten, he is not sure about staying once he first gets there.

Davis, Katie. Kindergarten Rocks! Dexter knows everything there is to know about kindergarten and is not at all scared about his first day there, but his stuffed dog, Rufus, is very nervous.

Hays, Anna Jane. Kindergarten Countdown. Rhyming text follows an excited little girl as she counts down the days before the start of kindergarten.

Johnston, Tony. Off to Kindergarten. A young boy lists all the things he will have to take with him on his first day in kindergarten.

Kargman, Jill. Pirates & Princesses. Ivy and Fletch have been best friends since they were born but now, at age five, the boys in their kindergarten play Pirates at recess while the girls play Princesses, and the duo is split apart.

Kroll, Virginia L. On the Way to Kindergarten. A mother describes the increasing accomplishments of her five-year-old, from crying and sleeping, to riding a tricycle, then preparing for school.

McGhee, Alison. Countdown to Kindergarten. Ten days before the start of kindergarten, a preschooler cannot tie her shoes by herself and fears the worst.

Pattison, Darcy. 19 Girls and Me. John Hercules is worried about being the only boy in his kindergarten class, but after the first week he stops worrying.

Penn, Audrey. The Kissing Hand. When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

Portis, Antoinette. Kindergarten Diary. Annalina's diary entries reflect her feelings and experiences as she goes from being afraid to go to kindergarten to loving it during her first month of school.

Rabe, Tish. On the first day of kindergarten. Afive-year-old recounts the cool new things she got to do in the first twelve days of kindergarten.

Rockwell, Anne F. Welcome to Kindergarten. A boy visits the classroom where he will attend kindergarten the following fall and finds out what is in store for him.

Rogers, Jacqueline. Kindergarten Count to 100. A young boy counts his way through his day at kindergarten.

Rose, Deborah Lee. The Twelve Days of Kindergarten: A Counting Book. A cumulative counting verse in which a child enumerates items in the kindergarten classroom, from the whole alphabet, A to Z, to twelve eggs for hatching.

Slate, Joseph. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten. Introduces the letters of the alphabet as Miss Bindergarten and her students get ready for kindergarten.

Vernick, Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? Although kindergarten provides unique challenges for a young buffalo, one who follows the rules and tries his best will get along fine.

Wells, Rosemary. My Kindergarten. Through a month-by-month review of a year in kindergarten, Emily shares the stories of the many happy experiences she has at her school with her new classmates, including first day introductions, a review of the changing seasons, learning how to read a map, and taking a special field trip to the local library.

Wells, Rosemary. Yoko Writes Her Name. Kindergartner Yoko not only learns to write her letters and numbers in English, she shows her teacher and fellow students how to write their names using Japanese calligraphy.

Wild, Margaret. Tom Goes to Kindergarten. When Tom, a young panda, goes to his very first day of kindergarten, his whole family stays and plays and wishes they could be in kindergarten too.

Winget, Susan. Tucker's Four-Carrot School Day. The start of Tucker the rabbit's first day of kindergarten is rocky, but making new friends helps change his attitude toward school.

Yum, Hyewon. Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten! A five-year-old boy, ready and eager on his first day at "the big kids' school," must calm his very worried mother.

Picture Books about 1st grade and school in general

Alter, Anna. Francine's Day. Francine the fox does not want to go to school, but she has a good day anyway.

Appelt, Kathi. Oh My Baby, Little One. A mother explains to her child all the ways her love remains even while she's away.

Austin, Mike. Monsters love school. Nervous monsters attending school for the first time learn new things, make friends, and sample Chef Octi's special School Gruel.

Berenstain, Stan. The Berenstain Bears Go Back to School. On the first day of the new school year, the Berenstain cubs are reminded that "though school is a challenge, it can also be fun."Biggs, Brian.

Bliss, Harry. Time for school!Even though she has just moved to Tinyville Town, everyone at her new school, from Principal Paul to the lunch lady, is kind and does his or her part to keep things running smoothly for Ellie Emberley on her first day of school.

Bliss, Harry. Bailey. Although he is a dog, Bailey goes to school where his canine abilities enliven an ordinary day.

Borden, Louise. Off to First Grade. Each member of a first grade class, as well as their teacher, principal, and a bus driver, expresses excitement, worry, or hope as the first day of school begins.

Bourgeois, Paulette. Franklin Goes to School. On the first day of school, Franklin is a little nervous, but his teacher, Mr. Owl, knows just what to do.

Calmenson, Stephanie. Ollie's School Day: A Yes-and-No Story. Asks the reader a series of yes or no questions as Ollie gets dressed, spends a day at school, and returns home.

Calmenson, Stephanie. Oopsy, Teacher! Even Mr. Bungles the teacher sometimes has a day when, no matter how hard he tries, everything seems to go wrong--including allowing the class hamster, Nibbles, to escape.

Carlson, Nancy L. First Grade, Here I Come! Henry tells his mother that he did not like his first day of first grade, but as he describes what he did and learned, he begins to realize that he might enjoy it after all.

Chast, Roz. Marco Goes to School. Marco the bird is eager to start school because he wants to learn how to reach the moon, and although he does not accomplish that on his first day, he does make a new friend.

Child, Lauren. I Am Too Absolutely Small for School. When Lola is worried about starting school, her older brother Charlie reassures her.

Clements, Andrew. Slippers at School. Slippers the dog is sad that Laura and Edward have no time for him on the first day of school, but he finds a comfortable backpack in which to fall asleep before they leave.

Cocca-Leffler, Maryann. Jack's Talent. On the first day of school, as the children in Miss Lucinda's class introduce themselves and name their special talent, Jack wonders if he is good at anything.

Cohen, Miriam. Will I Have a Friend? Jim's anxieties on his first day of school are happily forgotten when he makes a new friend.

Cox, Judy. Carmen Learns English. Newly-arrived in the United States from Mexico, Carmen is apprehensive about going to school and learning English.

Danneburg, Julie. First Day Jitters. Sarah is afraid to start at a new school, but both she and the reader are in for a surprise when she gets to her class.

De Groat, Diane. Brand-New Pencils, Brand-new Books. Gilbert's excitement over starting first grade turns to worry that the teacher will be mean, the work too hard, and his classmates too unfriendly, but throughout the day there are pleasant surprises.

Dodd, Emma. Foxy. Emily is worried about starting school for the first time, but Foxy waves his magic tail to provide what she needs to be ready.

Dyer, Jane. Little Brown Bear Won't Go to School. Little Brown Bear does not want to go to school, so he tries various jobs instead.

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. Dinosaur Starts School. Dinosaur worries about the first day of school, but with the help of a reassuring classmate he finds that school can be fun.

Elliot, Laura. Hunter's Best Friend at School. Hunter the raccoon is not sure what he should do when his best friend Stripe starts acting up at school.

Forward, Toby. What Did You Do Today? The First Day of School. A child describes the events of the first day of school, from making sandwiches for lunch to holding a parent's hand on the walk home.

Gantos, Jack. Back to School for Rotten Ralph. Afraid of being left alone, Rotten Ralph, the nasty red cat, follows Sarah to school and tries to prevent her from making new friends.

George, Lucy M. Back to School Tortoise. Summer is over and Tortoise must summon the courage to go back to school.

Harris, Robie H. I Am Not Going to School Today. A little boy decides to skip his very first day of school, because on the first day one doesn't know anything, but on the second, one knows everything.

Hennessy, B.G. Mr. Ouchy's First Day. Mr. Ouchy, a new teacher, is nervous about his first day of school, but when he teaches the class about time and counting, they all enjoy the experience.

Hest, Amy Off to School, Baby Duck! Baby Duck experiences the fear of the first day of school, but with a little help from Grampa, everything turns out okay in the end.

Horse, Harry. Little Rabbit Goes to School. Little Rabbit takes his favorite toy, Charlie Horse, along for his first day of school and when there is trouble, he blames it all on Charlie.

Jacobs, Paul DuBois. Fire Drill. In this story told in brief rhyming text, students in a class follow the proper procedures during a fire drill.

Jenkin-Pearce, Susie. Bad Boris Goes to School. Boris the elephant knows he's going to hate school, but his first day turns out quite differently from what he expected.

Johnston, Tony. First Grade, Here I Come. Told in verse, a boy encounters first grade, with all its peaks and valleys, but most of all with new friends.

Kaufmann, Nancy. Bye, Bye! On the first day of school, Piggy has a difficult time letting his father go, but after he does, Piggy is in for a pleasant surprise.

Kirk, Daniel. Keisha Ann Can! Keisha Ann is proud of all the things she can do during her day at school.

Leonard, Marie. Tibili, the Little Boy Who Didn't Want to Go to School. After Tibili, a young African boy, follows Crope the spider's suggestion as to how he can avoid starting school, he discovers he wants to go after all.

London, Jonathan. Froggy Goes to School. Froggy is nervous about his first day of school, but, even though it's hard to sit still, he has a wonderful time.

Mackall, Dandi Daley. First Day. The first day of school starts out filled with doubt, but after facing fear of the big kids, reciting the alphabet with ease, and learning about recess, a child can't help but look forward to day two.

McCourt, Lisa. It's Time for School, Stinky Face. As a young boy wonders about all the things that might go wrong at school, his mother reassures him.

McCully, Emily Arnold. School. A curious little mouse decides to find out what school is all about.

McGhee, Alison. Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth. A first grader is frightened on her first day of school after hearing a rumor that her teacher is a 300-year-old alien with a purple tongue who steals baby teeth from her students.

Menchin, Scott. Harry Goes to Dog School. Preferring to be a dog instead of a boy despite his parents' efforts to convince him otherwise, Harry barks, bites, and rolls around until he is sent to an academy for dogs, where he struggles to follow the school's dog-training methods.

Milgrim, David. Eddie Gets Ready for School. As young Eddie goes through his checklist to get ready for school, his mother does not agree with all of his choices.

Millman, Isaac. Moses Goes to School. Moses and his friends enjoy the first day of school at their special school for the deaf and hard of hearing, where they use sign language to talk to each other.

Milord, Susan. Happy School Year! Children gather for a first day of school celebration that calms their worries about the day. Includes note about the history of such celebrations, and a related website.

Minden, Cecilia. The Most Unbelievable First Day of School. Herbie Bear's first day back to school is full of action and adventure when the classroom pets escape and roam the halls.

Moss, Peggy. One of Us. Roberta is welcomed by different groups on her first day at a new school, only to be told she does not fit in with them for some reason, but by the next day, members of each group have begun to see that they do not have to be alike in every way.

Neubecker, Robert. Wow! School! Izzy finds many things to be excited about on the first day of school.

Ormerod, Jan. When an Elephant Comes to School. With the help of his classmates, an elephant has a good first day of school.

Parr, Todd. Otto Goes to School. After a breakfast of juice, cereal, and a banana split, Otto goes to school for the first time, where he makes new friends and learns how to wag his tail without knocking things over.

Preller, James. A Pirate's Guide to First Grade. A young pirate and his crew embark on a grand adventure when they board the bus for the first day of first grade.

Primavera, Elise. Louise the Big Cheese and the Back-to-School Smarty-Pants. Louise is determined to get straight As even though she's stuck with the toughest teacher in the whole school.

Puttock, Simon. Mouse's First Night at Moonlight School. A very shy mouse has trouble even saying hello on her first night of school, but a game of hide-and-seek with Miss Moon and her classmates Bat, Owl, and Cat may help her come out of her shell.

Quackenbush, Robert. First Grade Jitters. A small boy wonders what first grade will be like, but is not sure that he wants to find out.

Recorvits, Helen. My Name is Yoon. Disliking her name as written in English, Korean-born Yoon, or "shining wisdom," refers to herself as "cat," "bird," and "cupcake," as a way to feel more comfortable in her new school and new country.

Rey, Margret. Margret & H.A. Ray's Curious George's First Day of School. When Curious George attends the first day of school as a special helper, he winds up creating a big mess.

Rim, Sujean. Birdie's first day of school. Birdie is both excited and nervous about starting school, but once she sees the classroom and meets her teacher, she knows that everything will be fine.

Roth, Carol. The Little School Bus. An assortment of animals, including a goat in a coat, a quick chick, and a hairy bear, ride the bus to and from school.

Rouss, Sylvia A. Sammy Spider's First Day of School. Sammy Spider sneaks onto Josh's lunch box and accompanies him to school, where he learns about the important Jewish value of being kind to animals.

Rubel, Nicole. Ham and Pickles: First Day of School. Pickles is nervous about her first day of school, but taking advice from her big brother Ham may not be a good idea.

Russo, Marisabina. I Don't Want to Go Back to School. Despite his older sister's dire warnings of all the terrible things that could go wrong on his first day in the second grade, Ben has a wonderful time.

Saltzberg, Barney. Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for School? Cornelius the pig has his own style when preparing for school in the morning, but he does not really feel ready until he gets a kiss.

Scotton, Rob. Splat the Cat. A nervous Splat finds his first day at Cat School much better than he expected.

Shannon, David. David Goes to School. David's activities in school include chewing gum, talking out of turn, and engaging in a food fight, causing his teacher to say over and over, "No, David!"

Shreeve, Elizabeth. Captain Freddy counts down to school. Freddy is nervous about his first day of school since it's big, it's far away, and it's full of strangers, but luckily, he remembers that he has work to do in space and Freddy's space adventures just may get him ready for his big day back on Earth.

Sierra, Judy. We Our School: A Read-Together Rebus Story. Rhyming text with rebuses follows a group of animals through their first day of school.

Singer, Marilyn. I'm Your Bus. In rhyming text, a school bus describes its busy day transporting children to and from school.

Schmid, Paul. Oliver and His Alligator. Nervous about the first day of school, Oliver brings an alligator to school for protection.

Sparrow, Leilani. My First Day. Rhyming text and colorful illustrations invite readers to follow a little bear as he experiences all the firsts that a first day of school brings, including his first story, his first friend, and his first school snack.

Stoeke, Janet Morgan. Minerva Louise at School. Out for an early morning walk, a chicken wanders into a school that she mistakes for a fancy barn.

Thompson, Lauren. Mouse's First Day of School. When he goes to school, Mouse finds a world of new objects and new friends.

Valdes, Leslie Dora Goes to School. On her way to school, Dora's teacher gets a flat tire on her bike and it is up to Dora and Boots to help her get to school before all the other students get there.

Wells, Rosemary. Hands Off, Harry! Harry has trouble keeping his hands off his classmates until Tina thinks of the perfect piece of gym equipment to teach him about personal space.

Wells, Rosemary. McDuff Goes to School. When McDuff and his new French-speaking neighbors' dog are enrolled in obedience school, it seems as though McDuff has not learned his lessons.

Wells, Rosemary. Timothy Goes to School. Timothy learns about being accepted and making friends during the first week of his first year at school.

Weston, Carrie. The New Bear at School. When a new bear comes to school, all the other animals are afraid of him until he saves them from the Rat Pack bullies.

Wright, Michael. Jake Starts School. No one can pry a frightened Jake away from his parents on the first day of school, and so the three must watch as his classmates have fun until, at the end of the day, his teacher finally gets him to let go.

Read-Along (Picture Book with Audio CD) Collection

Schachner, Judy. Skippyjon Jones, Class Action. Skippyjon Jones, a Siamese cat who would rather be his Chihuahua alter ego, is determined to attend dog obedience school.

Parent & Teacher Collection

Murkoff, Heidi Eisenberg. What to Expect at Preschool. (J P&T, 372.21 Mur) Answers your child's questions about what preschool is like, what preschoolers do, who teachers are, and how they make preschool such a fun and special place.

Greven, Alec. Rules for School. School is hard! There's a lot to know, like where to sit on the bus, how to find your way around the halls, and what to do to make sure you stay on your teacher's good side. Lucky for you Alec Greven has just turned eleven, and he's seen it all. Alec passes down his sixth-grade wisdom and gives advice that will help every student who's starting out or just started out on the wrong foot.

Illustrated Literature

Bloch, Serge. Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards. On the first day of school, a student is confused by many of the phrases that are used, such as when the librarian says not to open a can of worms, or when the teacher says he expects the class to be busy bees doing their homework.

Rumford, James. Rain School. The children arrive on the first day of school and build a mud structure to be their classroom for the next nine months until the rainy season comes and washes it all away.

Walton, Rick. Mr. President Goes to School. When the President finds the many pressures of his job to be overwhelming, he disguises himself and returns to kindergarten, where he is reminded of the important lessons he learned there.

Beginning Readers

Collicott, Sharleen. Mildred and Sam and Their Babies. Mildred and Sam's eight baby mice prepare for their first day of school.

Collicott, Sharleen. Mildred and Sam Go to School. After learning about caterpillars, frogs, and the planets for school, Mildred and Sam's eight little mice children have wonderful dreams about each topic.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems.Twenty poems about school from writers such as Jane Yolen, Alioce Schertle, and J. Patrick Lewis.

Jinkins, Jim. Pinky Dinky Doo: Back to School Is Cool! When her little brother Tyler is nervous about his first day of school, Pinky Dinky Doo tells him a story about the time she and her friends had really bad hair days when school pictures were scheduled.

Silverman, Erica. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: School Days. Cocoa the horse does not want Cowgirl Kate to go to school without him.

Van Leeuwen, Jean. Oliver Pig at School. During Oliver Pig's first day at school, he builds with blocks, plays with his toy dinosaur, and makes a new friend.

Wiseman, Bernard. Morris Goes to School. Morris the moose has an exciting day in school learning the alphabet, counting, singing, spelling, and doing other things that make him a unique moose.

Wells, Rosemary. Mama, Don't Go! Yoko loves kindergarten, but she doesn't want her mother to leave--until her new friend helps her realize that "mothers always come back."


Adler, David A. Cam Jansen and the First Day of School Mystery. On her first day of fifth grade, Cam Jansen uses her photographic memory to help the police find a car thief.

Friedman, Laurie. Back to School, Mallory. After moving, eight-year-old Mallory struggles with being new at school, especially because her mother is now the music teacher and director of the third grade play.

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody. Third grader Judy Moody is in a first-day-of-school bad mood until she gets an assignment to create a collage all about herself and begins creating her masterpiece, the Me collage.

My America (McMullan, Kate). A Fine Start: Meg's Prairie Diary(In the "My America" section) In this book Meg brings her prairie diary to an end describing her days in the Kansas Territory, a deadly twister, and the start of school.

Pennypacker, Sara. Stuart Goes to School. Worried about his first day at a new school, eight-year-old Stuart wears his magic cape and hopes that it will help him.

Warner, Sally. Not-So-Weird Emma. Eight-year-old Emma is just beginning to like her new school when her friend Cynthia starts telling other kids that Emma is, well, a little strange.


Barber, Nicola. First Day of School. (J 372.218 Bar) Starting school -- Getting ready -- Going to school -- Saying goodbye -- In your classroom -- Playtime -- Lunchtime -- Making friends -- Going home -- School words.

Marx, Trish and Ellen B. Senisi. Kindergarten Day USA and China (J 372.218 Mar) Contains two stories that depict a day in an American and Chinese kindergarten classrooms to reveal the similarities and differences between how classes are run in the two countries.

Eisenberg, Lisa. Silly School Riddles. (J 782.42 Eis) A compilation of school-themed riddles features such humorous questions and answers as "When you're having trouble with math, what can you always count on for help? Your fingers" and "Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because seven ate nine."

Katz, Alan. Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs. (J 793.735 Kat) Well-known songs, including "Oh Susannah" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," are presented with new words and titles, such as "Heavy Backpack!" and "I Don't Want to Do Homework!"

Chmielewski, Gary. The Classroom Zone: Jokes, Riddles, Tongue Twisters and "Daffynitions" (J 793.735 Chm) Contains school-themed jokes for children as well as exercises to teach children how to write their own jokes.

Franco, Betsy. Messing Around on the Monkey Bars and Other School Poems for Two Voices (J 808 Fra) Presents nineteen poems about daily life in school, including the school library, recess, and boring homework, with each poem designed to be read by two distinct voices.

Lewis, J. Patrick. Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year. (J 811.54 Lew) Offers a collection of humorous poetry covering everything and anything about school and all the events that take place during one full school year.

Holbrook, Sara. Zombies! Evacuate the School! (J 811.54 Hol) Collection of 41 poems about familiar school experiences. Includes poetry facts, definitions, and challenges to get young poets writing.

Singer, Marilyn. First Food Fight this Fall and Other School Poems (J 811.54 Sin) Poems, each told in the voice of one or more pupils, paint a picture of life in their classroom--the friendly feuds, sandwich trades, field trips, science fair, the subjects kids like, the ones they don't, and their troubles and triumphs.

Trapani. Rufus and Friends: School Days. (J 811.54 Tra) A collection of traditional rhymes illustrated and adapted to a school setting, with hidden objects for the reader to find in the illustrations.