Looking for first day of school books for your child? The first day of school can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience for kids and parents alike. One way to ease those first day jitters is by sharing heartwarming and relatable stories that revolve around the school experience. First day of school books not only help children understand that they're not alone in their feelings but also provide a source of comfort, laughter, and encouragement.
Below, we've curated a list of the best first day of school books. Share these kids' books with your little ones as they embark on their educational journey.
The Importance of Reading First Day of School Books - Overcoming First Day Jitters
The first day of school often brings about a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement bubbles up as children envision new adventures and making friends. However, nervousness also stems from the unfamiliarity of the environment and the prospect of separation from familiar faces. But, by acknowledging and discussing these feelings, parents and guardians can create an environment where children feel understood and supported.
Storytelling is a magical bridge that connects children's emotions to relatable characters and scenarios. When children encounter characters who share similar fears and hopes, they realize they are not alone in their experiences. Thus, first day of school books allow children to explore their feelings through the lens of fictional characters.
Overall, first day of school books help to:
- Validate Emotions - these stories reassure children that their feelings are normal and shared by many. This validation relieves anxieties and cultivates emotional intelligence as children learn to identify and express their feelings.
- Start a Dialogue - reading first day of school books opens the door to meaningful conversations. Discussions about the character's thoughts and actions will naturally arise as your child delves into these stories. This paves the way for you to gently inquire about your child's feelings regarding school. Through these conversations, you can gain insights into your child's mindset, address concerns and offer reassurance.
- Build Empathy - reading about characters' first-day experiences nurtures empathy. Children learn to put themselves in others' shoes, understanding that everyone faces challenges and has their own unique journey. This insight encourages children to be kind and supportive to their peers who might be experiencing their own first day jitters.
Looking for great books that teach life lessons? Check out - Books That Teach Life Lessons: 10 Meaningful Children's Books.
First day of school books are especially beneficial for preschoolers. Why? Let’s take a look.
Why is it important to read first day of school books to preschoolers?
The transition to preschool is a significant milestone in a child's life. The thought of this new adventure is often accompanied by excitement, curiosity, and, yes, a touch of nervousness.
First day of school books offer a valuable tool for parents and caregivers to support preschoolers in this new adventure. For example, reading books centered around the first day of school can help preschoolers:
- Express how they feel
- Understand that they are not alone in how they feel
- Visualize what to expect on the first day of school
- Alleviate their anxiety about the first day of preschool
Now that you know how first day of school books can help your child, let’s look at some of the best stories out there.
What can I read instead of first day jitters?
One of the most common and popular books for addressing back-to-school anxieties is
"First Day Jitters" by Julie Danneberg. But, many parents wonder - what can I read instead of “First Day Jitters”? Don’t worry; there are plenty of other wonderful first day of school books that offer diverse perspectives and unique approaches to the topic.
Exploring alternative books will allow you to cater to your child's interests and preferences while addressing those back-to-school jitters.
So, let’s look at some popular kids’ books that aren’t “First Day Jitters.”
What are the best first day of school books?
Below is a list of the 12 best first day of school books. These books offer a range of perspectives, themes, and emotions. As a result, you can choose the ones that resonate best with your child's personality and feelings about their first day of school.
1. “Ick and Crud: First Day of School” by Wiley Blevins
“Ick and Crud: First Day of School” is a humorous first day of school book that follows best friends, Ick and Crud, as they navigate the challenges and surprises of their first day at school.
Reading Age: 4 - 7 years
First Day of School Lessons: this book touches upon the emotions and experiences of starting school. “Ick and Crud: First Day of School” highlights the uncertainties and eventual joys of learning and making friends. It also emphasizes the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and the value of experiences in a school setting.
“Ick and Crud: First Day of School” is available on Booka!
2. “Meme’s First Day at School” by Janie Reinart
In the tale of "Meme’s First Day at School," young Meme is apprehensive about her first day at school. The unknown world of classrooms, teachers, and schoolmates looms large in her imagination. However, as she enters her new classroom and meets her furry teacher, Mr. Fuzzo, her fears begin to melt away. Through a series of delightful adventures, from painting colorful pictures to singing joyful songs and making new friends, Meme discovers that school is a place of wonder, learning, and fun. By the end of the day, she realizes that embracing new experiences can lead to delightful surprises, and school might just be her new favorite place.
Reading Age: 5 - 7 years
First Day of School Lessons: this first day of school book emphasizes the initial apprehensions a child might feel about starting school. It explores how those fears can be alleviated once they start attending and meeting new friends and teachers. Overall, "Meme’s First Day at School" teaches children about adaptability, open-mindedness, and the joys of learning in a school environment.
"Meme’s First Day at School" is available on Booka!
3. "Mouse's First Day of School" by Lauren Thompson
Mouse embarks on an adventure to school. As he explores this new environment, he encounters various classroom elements that pique his curiosity. Mouse's day is filled with discoveries, from colorful crayons to intriguing storybooks. Each encounter is a lesson, teaching Mouse about the world of learning and the joys of school. As he navigates through his day, Mouse realizes that school is not just about books and pencils but also about making friends, expressing oneself, and embracing new experiences.
Reading Age: 2 - 4 years
First Day of School Lessons: "Mouse's First Day of School" introduces young readers to the concept of school and the various activities that take place in a classroom. This first day of school book emphasizes the excitement of discovery, the importance of curiosity, and the joy of learning new things. Through Mouse's experiences, children are reassured that school is a fun and welcoming place where they can explore, learn, and make new friends.
4. “Caillou Goes to School” by Anne Paradis
In "Caillou Goes to School," young Caillou is introduced to the world of school when Sarah invites him for a special day for younger siblings. As he steps into Sarah's classroom, Caillou is filled with wonder and a touch of nervousness. The story unfolds as Caillou explores the classroom, engages in fun activities, and learns about the daily routines of school life. Through his eyes, young readers experience the magic of discovery, the joy of making new friends, and the comfort of realizing that school is a welcoming place full of adventures.
Reading Age: 3 - 6 years
First Day of School Lessons: this first day of school book provides a gentle introduction to the school environment. It emphasizes the excitement and curiosity that come with new experiences. "Caillou Goes to School" also reassures children that it's natural to feel a mix of emotions when starting something new. The story encourages children to approach school with an open mind and to embrace the learning journey.
"Caillou Goes to School" is available on Booka!
5. “Welcome to School, Spots and Stripes” by Laurie Friedman
"Welcome to School, Spots and Stripes" is a delightful tale that introduces young readers to two endearing characters: Spots and Stripes. As the new school year begins, both animals are nervous about their first day. The story unfolds as Spots and Stripes navigate the challenges and joys of school, from making new friends to understanding classroom rules. Along the way, they learn the value of teamwork, the importance of kindness, and the joy of discovering new things. With vibrant illustrations and a heartwarming narrative, the book celebrates the universal experiences of starting school and the adventures that await every student.
Reading Age: 6 - 9 years
First Day of School Lessons: this book touches on various back-to-school topics, including feeling nervous, making friends, and adapting to a new environment. "Welcome to School, Spots and Stripes" teaches children that feeling uncertain about new experiences is okay. This first day of school book also highlights that, with an open heart and a willingness to learn, school can be a place of fun - full of discovery and growth. The story also underscores the importance of friendship, understanding, and acceptance.
“Welcome to School, Spots and Stripes” is available on Booka!
6. "Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School” by Emily Jenkins
"Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School" is a humorous chapter book that chronicles the day-by-day adventures of a first grader named Harry. As Harry navigates his first 100 days in school, readers explore his discoveries, challenges, and triumphs. From overcoming first day jitters to understanding the concept of a "silent e," Harry's journey is both relatable and endearing. With each passing day, Harry grows more confident, transforming from a nervous newcomer to an expert first grader.
This first day of school book is divided into one hundred short chapters.
Reading Age: 5 - 8 years
First Day of School Lessons: this book provides a comprehensive look at the first 100 days of school. It highlights the emotional and academic challenges and achievements that students often face. "Harry Versus the First 100 Days of School" also teaches children about resilience, the value of friendship, the importance of asking questions, and the joy of learning new things. Through Harry's experiences, young readers are reminded that every day is an opportunity for growth, discovery, and building meaningful connections.
7. “Mindfulness at School” by Amber Bullis
"Mindfulness at School" is a thoughtful book designed to introduce young readers to the concept of mindfulness within the school environment. This book explores how students can harness the power of mindfulness to navigate the challenges and stresses of school life. It offers practical exercises and techniques that encourage students to be present, attentive, and self-aware.
With vibrant illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions, "Mindfulness at School" is a valuable resource for children, educators, parents, and guardians. It promotes a culture of mindfulness, empathy, and emotional well-being in the classroom.
Reading Age: 6 - 10 years
First Day of School Lessons: with the help of mindfulness exercises, this first day of school book teaches children techniques to manage stress and anxiety, build positive relationships, create and achieve goals, and make good decisions. "Mindfulness at School" also helps students better understand their emotions and reactions.
This book is part of the Mindful Me series from Blue Owl Books.
"Mindfulness at School" is available on Booka!
8. “Ready Set School!” by Laurie Friedman
In "Ready Set School!", Leo is on the brink of a significant milestone - his very first day at school. But the weight of uncertainty and fear grips him, making him question if he'll like school. With the support of his family, Leo discovers that the most crucial school supply isn't something he can pack but rather an optimistic mindset. This heartwarming tale will help ease first day jitters.
Reading Age: 4 - 7 years
First Day of School Lessons: This first day of school book highlights the significance of family support and the power of a positive outlook. It teaches children that while new experiences can be daunting, facing them with a hopeful heart can turn challenges into adventures. Through Leo's journey, young readers will understand that it's natural to have fears, but with the right attitude, they can conquer anything.
"Ready Set School!" is available on Booka!
9. “Llama Llama Back to School” by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan
The end of summer is approaching, and Llama faces the bittersweet transition of returning to school. The joys of summer, filled with outdoor adventures, make Llama wish the fun could last forever. As the first day of school nears, Llama's apprehension grows. The thought of new routines, rules, and the unknown aspects of school life make him anxious. But with Mama Llama's unwavering support and his friends' camaraderie, Llama soon realizes that school can be just as exciting and fun as summer.
Reading Age: 2 - 5 years
First Day of School Lessons: "Llama Llama Back to School" is a first day of school book that emphasizes the importance of embracing change and the value of new experiences. It teaches children that while transitions can be challenging, they also offer opportunities for growth, learning, and making new friends. This first day of school story also highlights the role of supportive family and friends in helping one navigate through uncertain times.
10. “Little Hoo Goes to School” by Brenda Ponnay
"Little Hoo Goes to School" introduces readers to the charming world of Little Hoo, a young owl ready to embark on a new journey - starting school. The anticipation of the first day brings a mix of emotions for Little Hoo, including excitement, curiosity, and a touch of nervousness. As the story unfolds, readers witness Little Hoo's preparations and learn that school isn’t as scary as they might think!
Reading Age: 5 - 7 years
First Day of School Lessons: "Little Hoo Goes to School" teaches children that while the first day of school can be filled with uncertainties, it's also a time of adventure and excitement. This first day of school book offers a gentle introduction to school life, emphasizing that every new beginning is an opportunity for growth and discovery.
"Little Hoo Goes to School" is available on Booka!
11. "I Am Too Absolutely Small for School" by Lauren Child
In "I Am Too Absolutely Small for School," readers meet the delightful duo, Lola and her older brother Charlie. As the start of the school year approaches, Lola is filled with reservations. To help ease Lola’s concerns about going to school, Charlie emphasizes the fun and learning that await. As the story unfolds, Lola's first day jitters slowly transform into excitement - especially when she realizes that even Soren Lorensen (her imaginary friend) can come to school!
Reading Age: 3 - 7 years
First Day of School Lessons: this first day of school book teaches the importance of open communication, reassurance, and the role of older siblings in guiding and supporting younger ones. Through Lola's journey, readers learn that while change can be scary, it can also be exciting.
12. "Wemberly Worried" by Kevin Henkes
"Wemberly Worried" follows a little mouse named Wemberly who has a habit of worrying about everything, big or small. Her biggest worry yet is about starting school. She has many fears about her first day, including that she might be the only one with a doll. However, on the first day, she meets a friend name Jewel who has a doll and is just like her! Together, they navigate the new environment, and Wemberly realizes that school can be a place of fun and friendship.
Reading Age: 3 - 7 years
First Day of School Lessons: "Wemberly Worried" addresses common anxieties children may have about starting school. Through Wemberly's experiences, children learn that feeling nervous about new situations is natural. They also discover that these situations can lead to wonderful new friendships and experiences. This book emphasizes the importance of facing one's fears and the value of finding friends who share similar feelings and concerns.
With this list of the best first day of school books, how do you choose back-to-school books for your child? Here’s what you need to know.
Selecting the Right First Day of School Books
To select the right first day of school books, look for stories with characters and themes that resonate with your child. The best back-to-school books will include characters and settings that match your child’s interests.
Choosing age-appropriate content is also crucial. Ensure that the stories you select align with your child's developmental stage and comprehension level.
To learn more about choosing the best first day of school books for your child, check out - What Makes a Good Children’s Book.