Children's picture books can help to reassure children about starting school or going to a new school. Young children who are starting preschool or kindergarten will find these kids' books about starting school appealing. In addition, there are several books for children who are worried about starting first grade. Keep scrolling down to read about 11 different picture books about the beginning of school.
Young children worried about starting preschool or kindergarten will be reassured when you read the picture book I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child to them. Lola is sure she is "too absolutely small for school," but Charlie, her older brother, humorously and patiently convinces she's not. Charlie give Lola all kinds of funny reasons that stretch the imagination that she needs to go to school. Child's mixed media artwork definitely adds to the fun. (Candlewick, 2004. ISBN: 9780763628871) Read my review of I Am Too Absolutely Small for School.
Despite the similarities in titles, First Grade Jitters is very different from First Day Jitters (see listing below). In this picture book, a boy named Aidan shares his fears about starting first grade and tells how his friends helped him to feel better about starting school. This newly illustrated edition of Robert Quackenbush's book has appealing artwork by Yan Nascimbene. (Harper, An Imprint of HarperCollins, 1982, 2010. ISBN: 9780060776329) Read my review of First Grade Jitters.
Little School is an enjoyable picture book about 20 preschoolers and the fun they have during a busy day at their school. The story follows all 20 through their preparations for school, to a day at Little School, to their return home. This book is perfect for the child who is starting preschool, nursery school, or daycare and wants to know exactly what to expect. The book was written and illustrated in watercolor, pencils, and ink by Beth Norling. (Kane/Miller, 2003. ISBN: 1929132425) Read my review of Little School.
This is an excellent book for the child who is worried about changing schools. The author is Julie Danneberg and the colorful and comic illustrations in ink and watercolor are by Judy Love. It’s the first day of school and Sarah Jane Hartwell does not want to go. She will be going to a new school and she is scared. This is a funny book, with a surprise ending that will cause the reader to laugh out loud and then go back and read the entire story again. (Charlesbridge, 2000. ISBN: 158089061X) Read my review of First Day Jitters.
Are you looking for a children's book that can make your child's transition from kindergarten to first grade a little easier? In her amusing picture book First Grade Stinks!, author Mary Ann Rodman tells the story of Haley and her first day in first grade. With unexpected sympathy and explanations from her first grade teacher about why so much is different from kindergarten, Haley stops thinking, "First grade stinks!" and begins to think, "First grade is great!" (Peachtree Publishers, 2006. ISBN: 9781561453771) Read my review of First Grade Stinks!
This picture book was written by Dianne Blomberg and has engaging watercolor illustrations by George Ulrich. The American Psychological Association published Sam and Gram and the First Day of School under its auspices. The book was written specifically to help parents prepare children for kindergarten or first grade. In addition to the story about Sam and his experiences on the first day of school, there are two sections of information for parents. (Magination Press, 1999. ISBN: 1557985626) Read my review of Sam and Gram and the First Day of School.
Garmann's Summer is unlike the many books about starting school that provide information and reassurance. Instead, this picture book focuses on six-year-old Garmann's fears about starting school and what he learns about life, death and fear from his parents and his elderly aunts. By the end of summer, Garmann is still scared about school, but he has come to realize that everyone has things that frighten then. Garmann's Summer was written and illustrated by Stian Hole and originally published in Norway. The mixed media collages are unusual and sometimes unsettling, effectively reflecting Garmann's feelings. This book will resonate with certain 5-7 year olds. (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2008. ISBN: 9780802853394)
Many children find comfort in routine, in knowing what to expect. This picture book is filled with color photographs of active children in kindergarten classrooms. Rather than showing one classroom or just a few activities, the book shows a wide range of kindergarten activities in a variety of settings. The book was written by James Howe and illustrated by Betsy Imershein. You and your child will enjoy talking about the photographs together. (HarperCollins, updated 1995. ISBN: 9780688143879)
Brother Bear is looking forward to returning to school, but Sister Bear is fearful about starting school. She and her mother visit her classroom and meet her teacher before school starts, which helps. On the first day of school, Sister Bear is delighted to see friends on the school bus, but she is still worried. At school, she is a little scared at first but enjoys painting, playing, and stories. By day's end, she is glad to be in kindergarten. (Publisher: Random House, 1978. ISBN: 0394837363)