Going back to school, or even starting school for the very first time, can be a rollercoaster of emotions for both kids and parents. It’s a time filled with excitement, anxiety, and a bit of sadness, too. As parents, we often have mixed feelings about sending our children off to school. On one hand, we may be looking forward to a more structured routine and a break from the long summer days. On the other hand, it’s hard not to feel a pang of sadness as our little ones head off to face new challenges and experiences without us by their side.
For those of us who work from home or run our own businesses, the summer months can be especially challenging. We’re used to having those precious school hours to focus on our work, and the summer break can disrupt our usual routines. Juggling parenting and work can be tough, but we find a way to make it work because our children are our top priority.
But there’s also a group of parents who may be feeling a different kind of anxiety as the school year approaches. These are the parents of kids who aren’t big fans of school or, even more nerve-wracking, parents of little ones who are starting school for the very first time. It’s natural to worry about how our children will adjust to this new environment, how they’ll make friends, and whether they’ll enjoy the experience.
In times like these, books can be a tremendous source of comfort and reassurance. They have the magical ability to transport us to different worlds, teach us important lessons, and, most importantly, let us know that we’re not alone in our feelings. So, if you’re looking for some fantastic back-to-school books for kids that can help ease those first-day jitters and provide a bit of solace for both you and your child, here’s a curated list that I’ve put together:
Table of Contents
- 1. First Day Jitters
- 2. David Goes To School
- 3. Kindergarten Rocks
- 4. Wemberly Worried
- 5. School’s First Day of School
- 6. Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
- 7. The Name Jar
- 8. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are
- 9. All Are Welcome
- 10. If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!
- 11. Thank You, Mr. Falker
1. First Day Jitters
“First Day Jitters” is the perfect book to kick off the school year, whether you’re a parent or a teacher of young children. It beautifully captures the nervousness that can accompany the first day of school, reminding kids that it’s entirely normal to feel a little anxious. Plus, there’s a surprise ending that kids are sure to love.
2. David Goes To School
In “David Goes To School,” the energetic David shows readers exactly what NOT to do at school. This book imparts important lessons about school manners and behavior in a hilarious and non-preachy way, guaranteed to make kids laugh.
3. Kindergarten Rocks
Dexter, the protagonist of “Kindergarten Rocks,” isn’t nervous about starting kindergarten because his older sister has filled him in on all the details. However, his stuffed dog Rufus is terrified. Dexter cleverly transfers his concerns to his stuffed animal to make them easier to discuss. With the help of his big sister, Dexter navigates the challenges of kindergarten, making this book particularly relatable for kids with older siblings.
4. Wemberly Worried
“We own and love this book,” you say, and I couldn’t agree more! “Wemberly Worried” follows the adventures of a somewhat anxious mouse named Wemberly who frets about absolutely everything. At school, Wemberly meets another worrier and discovers that school is far too enjoyable to spend time worrying about.
5. School’s First Day of School
This charming book isn’t just for kids; even teachers can feel a bit anxious about the first day of school. In “School’s First Day of School,” the school building itself wonders how its first day will go. Will the kids like it? Will they be friendly? This story encourages kids to think beyond their own fears, laugh a little, and feel less alone.
6. Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
“Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes” is bound to be a hit with young readers. Pete the Cat takes children on a tour of the school, showcasing fun places like the lunchroom, the playground, and the library. Pete’s laid-back attitude teaches kids that life is full of surprises, but it’s all good.
7. The Name Jar
“The Name Jar” is one of your personal favorites, and it’s easy to see why. It tells the story of Unhei, a girl who has just moved from Korea and is now the new kid at school. Unhei is teased about her name on the bus, so she tells her new class that she’ll choose a name from the “name jar” by the end of the week. The book has a delightful ending that I won’t spoil here; you’ll have to read it for yourself!
8. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are
Lucy, the protagonist of this book, has to deal with a boy named Ralph who makes fun of her for being different. Unfortunately, kids will encounter such situations in real life too. “Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun” empowers children to be themselves and treat others kindly, regardless of what others may say.
9. All Are Welcome
This New York Times bestseller celebrates diversity and provides encouragement and support to all children. The book introduces readers to a school where children of different backgrounds, from those wearing patkas and hijabs to those in yarmulkes and baseball caps, play together side by side. “All Are Welcome” reinforces the message that everyone is welcome at school, regardless of their differences.
10. If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!
Little Magnolia is determined to have the best show-and-tell ever. When her teacher asks the class to bring something from nature to school, Magnolia decides to bring an alligator. “If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!” introduces readers to quirky Magnolia and leaves them pondering whether she’s a little rebel, a creative thinker, or a leader.
11. Thank You, Mr. Falker
“Thank You, Mr. Falker” tells the touching story of a dyslexic girl who struggles in school, and the teacher who stands by her to help her overcome her reading disability. What makes this story even more remarkable is that the little girl who faced these challenges grew up to be the author of this very book.
In these books, you’ll find stories that resonate with children’s fears, hopes, and dreams as they embark on their school journeys. These tales will not only calm their nerves but also provide valuable life lessons about friendship, kindness, and the importance of being true to oneself.
So, as you and your child prepare for the upcoming school year, consider picking up a few of these wonderful back-to-school books. They are not only great tools for quelling those first-day jitters but also a perfect way to reconnect with your child at the end of each school day, as you share the stories and lessons they contain. Happy reading, and may the school year be filled with excitement, growth, and wonderful memories for both you and your child!