Back to School Books
Hurry, Little Tortoise, Time for School! By Carrie Finison; illustrated by Erin Kraan
It's the first day of school and Little Tortoise is worried. Can she get there on time?
It's the first day of school and Little Tortoise is ready with a backpack filled with new school supplies. Little Tortoise can't wait to get to school and tries very hard not to be the last student there.
But soon Cheetah, Llama, and even a snail on a scooter, overtake her.
And then when she gets stuck in the gutter of the book, she's sure she'll be the last pupil to arrive! But the timely arrival of Mr. Sloth, her new teacher, changes everything.
Gentle reassuring language full of wordplay, and bold and bright art by an up and coming artist offer students a comforting story about this new experience. Here's a fresh way to encourage reluctant students to be on their way.
The New Kid Welcome/Welcome the New Kid By Suzanne Slade; illustrated by Nicole Miles
When read forward and backwards, this clever and thought-provoking flip-it story demonstrates that there’s more than one way to think about someone who might seem “different” at first glance.
easy to say hi to someone new,
Told from the perspective of a student, The New Kid Welcome (or Welcome the New Kid when flipped) presents readers with two versions of what happens when a "new kid" joins the protagonist's school.
In the first half of the book, the student tells us that they don’t want to be nice to the new kid or welcome them into their group simply because they seem different. In the second half, the same lines of the story are placed in reverse order. When read this way, the student encourages us to say hello to someone new, saying they will share their table and snacks.
With a simple flip of the story, feelings of intolerance give way to those of inclusion and kindness. Precise, thoughtful text and inclusive illustrations combine to create a perfect tool for promoting acceptance and a kinder world.
easy to say hi to someone new,
KINDergarten By Vera Ahiyya; illustrated by Joey Chou
Written by kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer affectionately known as the Tutu Teacher, comes a picture book about a class that creates a kindness pledge to ensure that their class is the kindest it can possibly be.
It’s the first day of Kindergarten and Leo isn’t at all ready. Leo is a quiet kid and would prefer to stay home. Over the summer, his new teacher, Ms. Perry sent a letter asking her students to think about how to show kindness in school. She explained that they would be making a kindness pledge, and each student should bring one way to show kindness on the first day.
As it turns out, Leo’s classmates have lots of ideas about kindness: like raising your hand, never leaving anyone out, and apologizing if you hurt someone’s feelings. At the end of the first day, Ms. Perry asks if anyone witnessed something they’d like her to add to the kindness pledge? Lots of hands shoot up in the air. Several classmates say they noticed Leo returning crayons to the box, holding the door for everyone, and helping a friend who fell. Leo smiles as he realizes he really does know a lot about kindness after all.
A story reassuringly told by Vera Ahiyya and brought to exuberant life by illustrator Joey Chou, this story about a classroom coming together to make a kindergarten into a KINDergarten is sure to calm the nerves—and offer inspiration—to new kindergartners and the adults in their lives.
Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can't Go to School! By Christina Geist; illustrated by Tim Bowers
This fun role-reversal picture book will help reluctant students get excited to go back to school!
It's just another school morning...until Mom, Dad, Grandma, and even Bow-wow the dog BEG the kids to let them come to school, too! Dad can tie his own shoes--why can't he come? Mom is all ready with her brand-new backpack--she's allowed, right? No! Only kids and teachers!
Christina Geist's warm, interactive story is the perfect tool for parents of kids who are reluctant or nervous about going to school. The fun refrain--"Sorry, grown-ups! You can't go to school! Only kids and teachers! Only kids and teachers!"--brilliantly paints school as something exclusive and desirable...which kids can access! Tim Bowers's lively illustrations enhance the fun and heighten the hilarity. This is sure to be a back-to-school classic in many families and classrooms!
All Are Welcome By Alexandra Penfold; illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom!
In our classroom safe and sound.
Fears are lost and hope is found.
Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.
Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.
“An important book that celebrates diversity and inclusion in a beautiful, age-appropriate way.” – Trudy Ludwig, author of The Invisible Boy
Becoming Vanessa By Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Get ready to go back to school with this inclusive, empathetic story that will help kids new to the classroom transform from timid caterpillars into beautiful butterflies who love exactly who they are!
On Vanessa's first day of school, her parents tell her it will be easy to make friends. Vanessa isn't so sure. She wears her fanciest outfit so her new classmates will notice her right away. They notice, but the attention isn't what she'd hoped for. As the day goes on, she feels more self-conscious. Her clothes are too bright, her feather boa has way too many feathers, and even her name is too hard to write.
The next day, she picks out a plain outfit, and tells her mom that her name is too long. She just wants to blend in, with a simple name like the other girls--why couldn't her parents have named her Megan or Bella? But when her mother tells her the meaning behind her name, it gives her the confidence she needs to introduce her classmates to the real Vanessa. Perfect for readers of Alma and How She Got Her Name and The King of Kindergarten.
The Creature of Habit By Jennifer E. Smith; illustrated by Leo Espinosa
A delightful picture book about a creature of habit whose routine suddenly gets disrupted by the unexpected arrival of a new friend. A perfect story for little readers learning social emotional skills that explores the joy of trying something new!
A very big creature with big teeth, big eyes, and very big feet lives on the island of Habit. Every day the creature happily does the exact same things in the exact same order.
That is, until a small boat carrying a very small creature with small teeth, small eyes, and very, very small feet arrives on the island. The big creature is excited to share his routine, but the small creature has ideas of his own. The little creature does something different every day--it's madness to the big creature!
Can these two creatures learn to understand each other? Is the island big enough for both of them? Colorful and captivating, this is a story about learning with and from your friends.
My First Day By Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Thi Kim Lien
A visually stunning story of resilience and determination by an award-winning new author-illustrator team, perfect for back to school.
This is no ordinary first journey. The rainy season has come to the Mekong Delta, and An, a young Vietnamese boy, sets out alone in a wooden boat wearing a little backpack and armed only with a single oar. On the way, he is confronted by giant crested waves, heavy rainfall and eerie forests where fear takes hold of him. Although daunted by the dark unknown, An realizes that he is not alone and continues to paddle. He knows it will all be worth it when he reaches his destination--one familiar to children all over the world.
Nana Akua Goes to School By Tricia Elam Walker; illustrated by April Harrison
Winner of the 2021 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award!
In this moving story that celebrates cultural diversity, a shy girl brings her West African grandmother--whose face bears traditional tribal markings--to meet her classmates. This is a perfect read for back to school!
It is Grandparents Day at Zura's elementary school, and the students are excited to introduce their grandparents and share what makes them special. Aleja's grandfather is a fisherman. Bisou's grandmother is a dentist. But Zura's Nana, who is her favorite person in the world, looks a little different from other grandmas. Nana Akua was raised in Ghana, and, following an old West African tradition, has tribal markings on her face. Worried that her classmates will be scared of Nana--or worse, make fun of her--Zura is hesitant to bring her to school. Nana Akua knows what to do, though. With a quilt of traditional African symbols and a bit of face paint, Nana Akua is able to explain what makes her special, and to make all of Zura's classmates feel special, too.
Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School By Emily Jenkins; illustrated by Pete Oswald
An acclaimed author and a #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator team up to bring us a funny, warm, and utterly winning chapter book that follows, day by day, the first hundred days in one first grader's classroom.
In just one hundred days, Harry will learn how to overcome first-day jitters, what a "family circle" is, why guinea pigs aren't scary after all, what a silent "e" is about, how to count to 100 in tons of different ways, and much more. He'll make great friends, celebrate lots of holidays, and learn how to use his words. In other words, he will become an expert first grader.
Made up of one hundred short chapters and accompanied by tons of energetic illustrations from bestselling illustrator of The Good Egg and The Bad Seed, this is a chapter book all first graders will relate to--one that captures all the joys and sorrows of the first hundred days of school.
"Funny, original, and completely captivating." --R. J. Palacio, bestselling author of Wonder