We can’t deny it any longer. It is August. Though technically still summer, many of us are now thinking “back to school.” It’s time for new school clothes, backpacks, and school supplies. Why not include new books in that list? We’ve compiled a list of new titles to help your child with the transition – books to calm those first day jitters, lessen stress, and hopefully make the first day of school go much smoother.
New School Stories:
Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten by Candice Ransom, illus. by Christine Grove
Amanda’s first day of school doesn’t go exactly as she planned, so she decides to join her brother in second grade. The illustrations capture all of the emotion as Amanda learns that it isn’t the end of the world if things don’t always go according to plan.
Chicken in School by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. by Shahar Kober
Zoey the chicken sets up a classroom in the barn for all of her barnyard friends: Sam the pig, Clara the cow, Pip the mouse, and Henry the dog. This humorous story with playful illustrations celebrates creativity, friendship, and, best of all, tasty snacks!!
Class Pet Mess! by Dan Gutman, illus. by Jim Paillot
This early reader is the latest in the My Weird School series. The students in Mr. Cooper’s class are excited to learn that they are getting a class pet. When they get a pet snake, lots of silly antics ensue.
Curious George Ready for School by Cynthia Platt, illus. by Mary O’Keefe Young
George prepares for the first day of school, but will a curious little monkey be able to make it through the school day without getting in to trouble? This tabbed board book is told in rhyme and should be a hit among the preschool set.
Danny and the Dinosaur: School Days by Bruce Hale, illus. by John Nez
This early reader has been created in the style of the 1958 classic Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff. In this adventure, Danny’s dinosaur follows him to school where he does school his own way – dino-style!
Fall is for School by Robert Neubecker
Two siblings, who don’t always see eye to eye, face off over the pros and cons of starting school. A palette of fall colors complements the rhyming text.
Have You Seen My Lunchbox? by Steve Light
This seek-and-find board book is sure to delight the preschool crowd. A little boy prepares for school and needs help locating the things he needs, from socks to crayons to … lunchbox.
How to Get Your Teacher Ready by Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish
The creators of the best-selling How to Babysit a Grandma and How to Babysit a Grandpa have delivered again. The offer expert advice for early elementary and pre-K students on how to prepare teachers for the new school year, from basic school rules to classroom celebrations. This is a clever way to calm those first day jitters!
I’m Smart! by Kate McMullan, illus. by Jim McMullan
This latest creation from the McMullans (they gave us I Stink! And I’m Dirty!) is told from the point of view of the school bus. Readers follow the bus as it delivers the children to school safely. This story is a fun way to prepare children who might be nervous about riding the bus for the first time.
Izzy Kline has Butterflies by Beth Ain
This chapter book is actually a novel in verse about fourth grader Izzy who copes with anxiety over many things: the first day of school, play auditions, and her parent’s divorce. This is a first person account of Izzy’s “butterfly moments.”
Kindergarten Countdown by Marjorie Blain Parker, illus. by Sophie Burrows
This is a great book for welcoming the new school year. A young boy counts down the days before kindergarten starts. The rhyming text and childlike illustrations capture his excitement as the day draws closer.
K is for Kindergarten by Erin Dealey, illus.by Joseph Cowman
The rhyming text of this alphabet book introduces the reader to all the new experiences that kindergarten brings. An activity for each letter of the alphabet is also included.
A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Nancy Carpenter
This emotional story embraces the relationship between a special teacher and one “exasperating” second grader. That former student, about to start her own career as a teacher, writes a letter of thanks to the teacher who had such a positive impact on her life.
Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illus. by Shane Prigmore
When a child begins his first mission on Planet Kindergarten, he learns that his intergalactic classmates are just as nervous as he is.
Roar and Sparkles Go to School by Sarah Beth Durst, illus. by Ben Whitehouse
As the first day of school approaches, Sparkles the dragon tries to reassure her little brother Roar that everything will be just fine. The illustrations are bright and appealing.
Second Grade Holdout by Audrey Vernick, illus. by Matthew Cordell
A little boy is not looking forward to second grade and decides that he will just repeat first grade, where everything is familiar. This is a fun story with a clever twist that should appeal to any child anxious about the start of a new school year and a new grade. Illustrations are colorful and cartoonish.
The Teacher’s Pet by Anica Mrose Rissi, illus. by Zachariah Ohora
A class must deal with the consequences of their teacher’s yearning to have a class pet. The class keeps one recently hatched “tadpole” which wreaks havoc on the classroom. The illustrations have a distinctly retro feel and add humor to the story.
Twindergarten by Nikki Ehrlich, illus. by Zoe Abbott
A set of fraternal twins are inseparable … but when kindergarten starts, they’re placed in different classrooms. Will they survive? This is a heartwarming story about kids who find the courage to go their separate ways on the first day of school.
What the Dinosaurs Did at School by Refe and Susan Tuma
The plastic toy dinosaurs are at it again, and this time they are causing a raucous at school. The authors of Dinovember and What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night have created another fun and amusing story. This time their plastic dinosaurs are posed with props and photographed in carefully staged scenes throughout the school building. From the art room to the cafeteria to the “Drawer of No Return,” their antics are sure to please.
Zombelina School Days by Kristyn Crow, illus. by Molly Idle
Zombelina plans to share her dancing skills at show-and-tell. But, as a zombie, she has a hard time keeping her body parts intact. In spite of her own difficulty, she provides encouragement to another student having a rough time. The illustrations are done in colored pencil by Caldecott Honor winning author/illustrator Molly Idle. They are full of detail with a few slightly spooky touches!
Written by Cecilia Horn and Terri Diebel
Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian at the Covington Branch. Both hold Masters of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences.
“Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” by Eugene Field.”