I know just about all kids are already back to school but it’s never too late for some good back-to-school books. This list is geared for the younger set who may be nervous about starting preschool or kindergarten but are also a good refresher for those who are a little older.
Pre-School (ages 3-5):
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague. As with the other “How Do Dinosaurs” books, this one shows what dinosaurs should and shouldn’t do at school, some of which are funny and ridiculous. These books would be preachy if they weren’t so well done.
Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner, illustrated by Andy Rash. I reviewed this book, as well as “Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish,” over on 5 Minutes for Mom right around this time last year, and it’s a good reminder that anxiety and fears on the first day are normal. Kate Messner also did a guest post on using books as springboards.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney. It’s time for Llama Llama to go to school, but he hasn’t spent much time away from his mama. After a morning of missing her, he finally makes some friends, and before he knows it, the day is over. This is a great book for kids with separation anxiety.
Kindergarten and older:
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate, illustrated by Ashley Wolff. My younger son loved reading this book over and over, even after he was well into kindergarten. I don’t know if it was alliterative animals or Miss B herself, but this is a book we reached the renewal limit on because he never wanted to send it back to the library.
Berenstain Bears Go Back to School by Stan & Jan Berenstain, with Mike Berenstain. I’m not a fan of all Berenstain Bears books, as they often make Papa look like a bumbling fool and can be a bit preachy too (I’m obvious not a fan of preachy). But this is a rhyming book that shows Brother and Sister Bear nervous and excited to go back to school and is more of a tour of the school than a book that soothes fears. I would recommend it for first or second graders who’ve already got a year or two of school under their belts rather than kids who are anxious about beginning school.
What books are favorites in your house when it’s time to head back to school?
Nancy is the mother of a second grader who likes school but won’t admit it, and a sixth grader who has until now hated school but so far is actually enjoying and doing well in middle school. She writes about her boys, books, and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.