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The First Day Of School: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about the first day of school?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to the first day of school. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about the first day of school.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about the first day of school, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Froggy Goes to School to popular sellers like Wemberly Worried to some of our favorite hidden gems like We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.

We hope this list of kids books about the first day of school can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About The First Day Of School

The Proudest Blue book
#1
The Proudest Blue
Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad & illustrated by Hatem Aly and S. K. Ali
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school—and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab—by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad. With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab—a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.

We Don't Eat Our Classmates book
#2
We Don't Eat Our Classmates
Written & illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

Wemberly Worried book
#3
Wemberly Worried
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

The Night Before First Grade book
#4
The Night Before First Grade
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Deborah Zemke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

It’s the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as well as the “heroine” of the story—and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.

Butterflies on the First Day of School book
#5
Butterflies on the First Day of School
Written by Annie Silvestro & illustrated by Dream Chen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Rosie’s excited to start kindergarten—she’s had her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she greets a new friend, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! Soon, Rosie frees all her butterflies . . . and helps another shy student release hers, too.

Your First Day of Circus School book
#6
Your First Day of Circus School
Written by Tara Lazar & illustrated by Melissa Crowton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A clever, comical re-imagining of the classic “first day of school” story, with a circus twist!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages! It’s the most amazing day on earth: the first day of school! It can be a daunting prospect, but don’t worry - your big brother can show you the ropes. Join a nervous boy and his enthusiastic older brother as they navigate the highs and lows of a first day at school . . . except this school is a big top, and the teacher is named Miss Stupendous, and the cafeteria can be a zoo, literally! It turns out, school isn’t so scary when you can let off steam during recess (on a steam train) and walk on stilts to all of your classes. With a bit of help from family and some new friends, you’ll make it to the top of the class in no time! This charming take on school readiness will delight new school-goers and take a bit of the fear out of those first-day jitters.

The King of Kindergarten book
#7
The King of Kindergarten
Written by Derrick Barnes & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A New York Times betseller!

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.

The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head—like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone—and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements—and then wake up to start another day.

Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes’s empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations exude joy.

So Big! book
#8
So Big!
Written & illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A simple, clever text paired with utterly adorable animal characters makes school-day jitters seem not so big after all! Bear is so big, and he’s ready to start school! But even if you’re SO BIG, you might feel a little nervous at times. Can Bear brave his first day and find a way to make it feel just right? A clever and charming story, So Big! will help young readers through all the important first steps in life. Acclaim for Dad’s First Day Bank Street Best Children’s Books of 2016—outstanding merit title Acclaim for Moo! An ALA Notable book A BCCB Blue Ribbon selection

A Tiger Tail book
#9
A Tiger Tail
Written & illustrated by Mike Boldt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Anya awakens to discover she has grown a tiger tail, and it just happens to be her very first day of school.

Not This Bear book
#10
Not This Bear
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & illustrated by Lorna Hussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It’s Bear’s first day of school, and he’s a bit reluctant to go. Mama says all bears love school; Bear isn’t so sure. But school turns out to be full of fun—painting pictures, listening to stories, and making new friends. Maybe this bear will like school after all.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about The First Day Of School and...

Books About The First Day Of School and New Experiences

The Proudest Blue
Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad & illustrated by Hatem Aly and S. K. Ali
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school—and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab—by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad. With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab—a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.

Your First Day of Circus School
Written by Tara Lazar & illustrated by Melissa Crowton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A clever, comical re-imagining of the classic “first day of school” story, with a circus twist!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages! It’s the most amazing day on earth: the first day of school! It can be a daunting prospect, but don’t worry - your big brother can show you the ropes. Join a nervous boy and his enthusiastic older brother as they navigate the highs and lows of a first day at school . . . except this school is a big top, and the teacher is named Miss Stupendous, and the cafeteria can be a zoo, literally! It turns out, school isn’t so scary when you can let off steam during recess (on a steam train) and walk on stilts to all of your classes. With a bit of help from family and some new friends, you’ll make it to the top of the class in no time! This charming take on school readiness will delight new school-goers and take a bit of the fear out of those first-day jitters.

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Fairy's First Day of School - In this humorous and reassuring picture book from the author of Mustache Baby, a sweet fairy has a fun-filled first day at school. Her experience is remarkably similar to the first day of preschool for human children. From circle time (sitting crisscross berry sauce) to center time (art, spells, tooth), all the activities one might encounter at school are explored, with sweet fairy-like touches. Best of all is the kind, warm teacher and plenty of new friends. The perfect story to ease fears and build anticipation for any child—human or fairy—starting school for the first time.

  2. School's First Day of School - It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

  3. Ally-saurus & the First Day of School - You can call her Ally-SAURUS! When Ally roars off to her first day at school, she hopes she’ll meet lots of other dinosaur-mad kids in class. Instead, she’s the only one chomping her food with fierce dino teeth and drawing dinosaurs on her nameplate. Even worse, a group of would-be “princesses” snubs her! Will Ally ever make new friends? With its humorous art, appealing heroine, and surprise ending, this fun picture book celebrates children’s boundless imagination.

  4. I Got the School Spirit - This exuberant celebration of the first day of school illustrated by award-winning illustrator Frank Morrison will have every kid cheering for school to begin! Summer is over, and this little girl has got the school spirit! She hears the school spirit in the bus driving up the street—VROOM, VROOM!--and in the bell sounding in the halls—RING-A-DING! She sings the school spirit in class with her friends—ABC, 123! The school spirit helps us all strive and grow. What will you learn today? Don’t miss these other exuberant titles:
    I Got the Rhythm
    I Got the Christmas Spirit

Books About The First Day Of School and Facing Fears

Wemberly Worried
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

Not This Bear
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & illustrated by Lorna Hussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It’s Bear’s first day of school, and he’s a bit reluctant to go. Mama says all bears love school; Bear isn’t so sure. But school turns out to be full of fun—painting pictures, listening to stories, and making new friends. Maybe this bear will like school after all.

Mae's First Day of School
Written & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The first day of school can be scary for everyone—not just the students. As Mae gets ready for her very first day, she reflects on all the things she’s afraid of. What if the other kids don’t like her? What if she can’t learn to read? What if she misses her mom? On the way to school, she decides that instead of facing all the unknowns, it would be much easier to climb up into her favorite tree and wait there until school is over. As other kids pass by, they, too, share their own fears with Mae, and she learns that everyone gets nervous about trying new things, even her teacher! Together, Mae and her new friends decide to face the day and celebrate new beginnings, hand in hand.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Night Before First Grade - It’s the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as well as the “heroine” of the story—and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.

  2. Butterflies on the First Day of School - Rosie’s excited to start kindergarten—she’s had her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she greets a new friend, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! Soon, Rosie frees all her butterflies . . . and helps another shy student release hers, too.

  3. So Big! - A simple, clever text paired with utterly adorable animal characters makes school-day jitters seem not so big after all! Bear is so big, and he’s ready to start school! But even if you’re SO BIG, you might feel a little nervous at times. Can Bear brave his first day and find a way to make it feel just right? A clever and charming story, So Big! will help young readers through all the important first steps in life. Acclaim for Dad’s First Day Bank Street Best Children’s Books of 2016—outstanding merit title Acclaim for Moo! An ALA Notable book A BCCB Blue Ribbon selection

  4. Roar and Sparkles Go to School - Roar is worried about his first day at school. He’s worried that he’ll have to do really hard things, like molt his scales and fly over a volcano. His big sister Sparkles reassures him, but Roar still worries. The first day of school arrives and Roar is pleasantly surprised! Instead of having to breathe fire, he gets to kick fireballs in gym class. He also gets to make popsicle-stick caves in art and to listen to stores about Johnny Apple-dragon and Cinder-dragonella during circle time. And when he’s asked to draw something he loves before the day is over, he figures out just how to thank Sparkles for her sisterly support. Roar and Sparkles is a sweet story about the anxieties children may feel about attending school for the first time, as well as a comforting tale about the bond between siblings. Sarah Beth Durst’s imaginative and playful script is enhanced by Ben Whitehouse’s modern and fresh illustrations to create a book that’s sure to squelch first-day-of-school worries for children.

Books About The First Day Of School and Starting School

We Don't Eat Our Classmates
Written & illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

I Am Too Absolutely Small for School
Written & illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Lola is not so sure about school. After all, why would she need to count higher than ten when she never eats more than ten cookies at a time? Once again, it’s up to ever-patient big brother Charlie to persuade Lola that school is worthwhile — and that her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, will be welcome, too.

Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School
Written by Herman Parish & illustrated by Lynne Avril
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amelia Bedelia—she’ll grow on you! Amelia Bedelia is sure she will love everything about school: New friends A new teacher Her own desk Music, books, gym, art Recess and lunch

Honorable Mentions
  1. The King of Kindergarten - A New York Times betseller! A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown. The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head—like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten! Starting kindergarten is a big milestone—and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements—and then wake up to start another day. Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes’s empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations exude joy.

  2. The pout-pout fish goes to school - An unabridged board book edition of a Pout-Pout Fish favorite! The New York Times–bestselling Pout-Pout Fish returns for the first day of school. 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, in Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School from Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna.

  3. Clothesline Clues to the First Day of School - Catchy rhymes and visual cues introduce young readers to the people they meet on their first day of school. The clues in each lively verse can be spotted hanging from the clotheslines. From teacher to custodian, from crossing guard to new friends, who wears what? Full color.

  4. Don't Go to School! - Benno is really excited about his first day at school. But there’s one problem: Mommy! “DON’T GO TO SCHOOL!” she wails. “STAY HERE WITH ME!” Can the brave little bear convince Mom that everything’s okay? He comes up with an ingenious idea to help her adjust—one that many parents will recognize. Kids will love this laugh-out-loud twist on a familiar theme.

Books About The First Day Of School and Making Friends

Twig
Written & illustrated by Aura Parker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Heidi is a stick insect, tall and long like the twig of a tree. It’s her first day at a busy bug school, where she hopes to learn and make new friends. But finding friends isn’t easy when no one can find you!

The Night Before Kindergarten
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Julie Durrell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

‘Twas the night before kindergarten, and as they prepared, kids were excited, and a little bit scared.

It’s the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying goodbye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won’t be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is! Colorful illustrations illuminate this uplifting takeoff on the classic Clement C. Moore Christmas poem.

The Night Before Preschool
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the night before preschool, and a little boy named Billy is so nervous he can’t fall asleep. The friends he makes the next day at school give him a reason not to sleep the next night, either: he’s too excited about going back! The book’s simple rhyming text and sweet illustrations will soothe any child’s fears about the first day of school.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Llama Llama Misses Mama - Strange new teacher. Strange new toys. Lots of kids and lots of noise! What would Llama like to do? Llama Llama feels so new . . . It’s Llama Llama’s first day of preschool! And Llama Llama’s mama makes sure he’s ready. They meet the teachers. See the other children. Look at all the books and games. But then it’s time for Mama to leave. And suddenly Llama Llama isn’t so excited anymore. Will Mama Llama come back? Of course she will. But before she does, the other children show Llama Llama how much fun school can be!

  2. Hannah Sparkles: Hooray for the First Day of School! - Cheer along with Hannah Sparkles on her first day of school! Hannah Sparkles and her best friend, Sunny Everbright, are ready for first grade. Their day starts as perfect as pom-poms…until Hannah and Sunny are seated far apart in the classroom. Even worse, Hannah is having trouble making new friends. It’s going to take some extra thinking for Hannah to learn that sometimes being a good listener is the best way to be a good friend. Perfect for fans of Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, Hannah Sparkles’s second story is sure to bring sparkly smiles to new readers who are just starting school too.

  3. The Class - Count along with twenty young students from nineteen different homes as they get ready for their first day of kindergarten. Alarm clocks go off and students all over town wake up and get ready for their big day. Some feel eager, others are nervous, and a few are even grumpy! But they all get dressed, eat breakfast, pack backpacks, and make their way to school, where they will meet their new teacher and become a wonderful new class. Boni Ashburn’s snappy rhyming text and Kimberly Gee’s adorable and diverse group of children make this a great pick for little ones getting ready for their first day of school.

  4. It's Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! - Today is the very first day of school! Busy Bus is excited, but he also has some first-day jitters. Will the children like him? Will he be homesick? What if he gets lost?! Luckily, bus driver Ben knows just what to do to make sure that the school year gets off to a great start.

Books About The First Day Of School and Feelings And Emotions

Judy Moody
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

The mercurial Judy Moody will delight any kid who’s known a bad mood or a bad day—and managed to laugh anyway. “Judy Moody was in a mood. Not a good mood. A bad mood. A mad-faced mood.” To start, Judy Moody doesn’t have high hopes for third grade. Her new desk won’t have an armadillo sticker with her name on it. Her new classroom will not have a porcupine named Roger. And with her luck, she’ll get stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr. Todd will notice every time she tries to pass a note to her best friend, Rocky. An aspiring doctor, Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy for practicing medicine, a cool new pet, and a huge Band-Aid collection. Judy also has an abundance of individuality and attitude, and when Mr. Todd assigns a very special class project, she really gets a chance to express herself! Megan McDonald’s spirited text and Peter Reynolds’s wry illustrations combine in a feisty, funny first chapter book for every kid who has ever felt a little out of sorts.

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous
Written by Keith Calabrese & illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem… Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

Splat the Cat
Written & illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Splat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Big Boys Cry - Let boys cry! This picture book imagines a world in which boys are encouraged to express their full range of emotions. It’s Levi’s first day at a new school, and he’s scared. His father tries to comfort Levi by telling him “Big boys don’t cry.” Though the father immediately understands his misstep, he can’t find the words to comfort his son, and Levi leaves for school, still in need of reassurance. Fortunately, along his walk to school, Levi sees instance after instance of grown men openly expressing their sadness and fear. His learned mantra, “Big boys don’t cry,” slowly weakens, and by the time he’s at school he releases a tear. Once he’s there, things aren’t so bad after all, and on his walk home he sees everyone he’s encountered earlier, feeling better now that they expressed their emotions. Upon his arrival home, he finds his father waiting for him on their porch, tears in his eyes. His father is able to admit that he was scared and the two embrace, closer than before. Jonty Howley’s gorgeous debut paints the world we wish existed for our boys, and offers a path there! This story is the truest interpretation of the notion that we should “let boys be boys”: let them express the full range of their emotions, vulnerable parts and all!

  2. 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.

  3. Twinkle - From the acclaimed author of the beloved Angelina Ballerina series comes a delightful picture book about a feisty fairy named Twinkle! Twinkle is just starting to learn her spells in fairy school, and she can’t seem to understand that what comes naturally for all the other fairies-in-training is a bit of a struggle for her. With spells going sideways and frustration running high, this sweet, triumphant story about persistence is perfect for parents to share with their little ones who are learning new skills.

  4. Little Cliff's First Day of School - Little Cliff’s great-grandmother, Mama Pearl, and his great-grandfather, Poppa Joe, are so excited for him to start first grade.  But Little Cliff doesn’t want to go to school, especially if it means leaving behind his toys, his home, and his family.  When the first day of school comes, Mama Pearl walks Little Cliff to the schoolhouse.  As they draw nearer, Little Cliff hears laughter and looks up to see that all of his friends are there.  Hmm, maybe school will be fun. . . .

Books About The First Day Of School and Social Themes

Suki's Kimono
Written by Chieri Uegaki & illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On her first day of first grade, despite the objections of her older sisters, Suki chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school because it holds special memories of her grandmother’s visit last summer.

The Best Seat in Kindergarten
Written by Katharine Kenah & illustrated by Abby Carter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On the first day of kindergarten, everyone is new at school—including Sam!

Beginning readers will love this warm introduction to all the excitement and uncertainty of starting kindergarten. From the team who wrote and illustrated The Best Seat in Second Grade, this prequel is a heartfelt story that’s perfect for all children getting ready for kindergarten and other big early steps.

It’s Sam’s first day of kindergarten, and he’s not so sure what to expect. Sam’s teacher, Ms. Tate, takes the class on a nature walk, and at the very end, everyone gets to show off what they found! Sam makes new friends when he helps everyone find interesting things for show-and-tell.

The Best Seat in Kindergarten is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pout-Pout Fish: Back to School - Get ready to go back to school with the Pout-Pout Fish! Mr. Fish is going back to school to be a substitute teacher, and he’s nervous—until he meets a little guppy who can help him! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish’s fans and newcomers alike.

  2. Five Little Ducks Go to School - It’s time for the five little ducklings to go to school. Four of the little ducklings shout, “YIPPEE! HOORAY! OH BOY! THAT’S COOL!” The fifth little duckling sobs, “BOO-HOO! I won’t go to school! I’m going to miss you!” But when Mama reminds them, “Even though we’ll be apart, we’ll still be in each other’s heart,” the little ducklings go forth and soon discover “School is great!”

  3. Pete & Polos Big School Adventure - Despite Pete’s enthusiasm over the first day of school, Polo, the stuffed polar bear, is reluctant to attend until he learns how much fun school is and how welcome he and Pete are there.

  4. Planet Kindergarten - This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!

Books About The First Day Of School and Animals

Froggy Goes to School
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy’s mother knows that everyone’s nervous on the first day of school. “Not me!” says Froggy, and together they leapfrog to the bus stop — flop flop flop. Froggy’s exuberant antics will delight his many fans and reassure them that school can be fun.

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
Written by Joseph Slate & illustrated by Ashley Wolff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This rhyming, brightly illustrated book is the perfect way to practice the alphabet and to introduce young children to kindergarten.

It’s the first day of kindergarten and Miss Bindergarten is hard at work getting the classroom ready for her twenty-six new students. Meanwhile, Adam Krupp wakes up, Brenda Heath brushes her teeth, and Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker. Miss Bindergarten puts the finishing touches on the room just in time, and the students arrive. Now the fun can begin!

Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books
Written & illustrated by Diane DeGroat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s the first day of first grade! Gilbert is looking forward to learning how to read and making new friends, but . . .

Will the teacher be nice?
Will first grade be too hard?
Will he like his classmates?
Will they like him?

Gilbert is excited and nervous at the same time!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Chu's First Day of School - A picture book school story featuring the New York Times bestselling panda named Chu from Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and acclaimed illustrator Adam Rex! This board book edition is perfect for the youngest Neil Gaiman fans. Chu, the adorable panda with a great big sneeze, is heading off for his first day of school, and he’s nervous. He hopes the other boys and girls will be nice. Will they like him? What will happen at school? And will Chu do what he does best? Chu’s First Day of School is a perfect read-aloud story about the universal experience of starting school.

  2. Henry in Love - Henry is a bit of a dreamer and not much of a talker.Then there’s Chloe, who says what she thinks and knows how to turn a spectacular cartwheel. This is the story of how one blueberry muffin makes all the difference.

  3. Spot Loves School - Enjoy the first day of school with Spot! It’s Spot’s first day of school! He and his friends sing together, play together, and read together. When it’s time to go home, Spot can’t wait to come back tomorrow! Young readers will love going to school with their favorite puppy Spot.

Want to see books about animals?

Books About The First Day Of School and Friendship

A Tiger Tail
Written & illustrated by Mike Boldt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Anya awakens to discover she has grown a tiger tail, and it just happens to be her very first day of school.

Sophie's Squash Go to School
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller & illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“This charming sequel to the beloved Sophie’s Squash is the perfect antidote to the back-to-school jitters. Sophie goes to school for the first time and has no interest in making friends that aren’t squash. Here’s a gently humorous read-aloud that proves that making friends, just like growing squash, takes time. a On Sophie’s first day of school, nobody appreciates her two best friends, Bonnie and Baxter, baby squash that she grew in her garden. Even worse, one classmate, Steven Green, won’t leave Sophie alone. He sits by her at circle time. He plays near her during recess. And he breathes on her while she paints. Steven just wants to be friends, but Sophie isn’t interested. Still, Sophie knows that her squash friends won’t last forever. Maybe it would be nice to have some human friends after all. . . .”

Bonaparte Falls Apart
Written by Margery Cuyler & illustrated by Will Terry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bonaparte the skeleton is literally falling to pieces and needs help from his friends to pull himself together before the first day of school.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lola Goes to School - Lola meets new friends and tries many new things on her fun but exhausting first day of school.

  2. Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School! - The free-spirited, fluffy, one-of-a-kind sheep Woolbur is on his way to school, and he’s MORE than ready… But Maa and Paa aren’t so sure. What if Woolbur isn’t exactly ready for school? He’s different. He’s unusual. And his new hairdo is kooky! At school, Woolbur loves trying new things like drawing outside of the lines and eating grass. (No wonder his parents were worried!) The rest of his classmates are nervous about their first day and aren’t excited about trying anything new. Will Woolbur’s excitement help show his friends that doing something different, or unusual, or kooky is the best way to get ready for school? This charming yet spunky follow-up to the beloved Woolbur is the perfect gift for children who march to the beat of their own drum or anyone who needs a little encouragement on their first day of school.

  3. Milk Goes to School - “First days of school are tough, and making new friends is even tougher. Milk’s dad gave her a sparkly new backpack and told her that she was the creme de la creme, but most of the other kids don’t seem to agree. In fact, some of her new classmates think Milk is just little a bit spoiled. . . . In this latest hilarious picture book from Terry Border, our food friends go to school and learn that it’s not just Milk that’s the creme de la creme. Some other food can be just as sweet.”

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