Books for the First Day of School


Books for the First Day of School

The first day of school is coming soon for some of you. For others, not until September. Here are some books that show how a few characters think about, get ready for, and get started in school. Most are for kindergarten and first grade.


 Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

Panda Chu is nervous on his first day of school. Will he fit in? When everyone tells about their special talents, he’s not sure what to say. But when it’s his turn to speak…well, he doesn’t actually tell about his special talent…


 First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman

Haley is so disappointed that first grade is not like kindergarten and way less fun. She’s so disappointed that after a while she explodes, “First grade stinks!” Fortunately, her teacher understands and tells Haley just the right thing.


 Pirate’s Guide to First Grade by James Preller, illustrated by Greg Ruth

This is a perfect read aloud. For example, the main character says as he gets on the school bus, “Ahoy, me hearties! Prepare to be boarded!” He spends the day looking for treasure, and gets rewarded in the end. The inside back cover has a glossary of all the terms a buccaneer needs. Great fun!


 Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books by Diane deGroat

Gilbert is excited but nervous about starting first grade—so much to learn and so many rules! He feels better when he finds a new friend, Frank. His biggest lesson was seeing that the students all have their own talents, and that no one is good at everything.


 Ready and Waiting for You by Judi Moreillon, illustrated by Catherine Stock

This is a very enthusiastic book. Each page is welcoming as kids enter school on the first day. Each 2-page spread opens up into a 3-page spread. The illustrations of torn paper show a diverse student body and are as pleasing as the text.


 Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illustrated by Shane Prigmore

Welcome to Kindergarten in another dimension! A boy begins his first mission: Planet Kindergarten. He is joined by other aliens and they all report to the leader whose desk is littered with apples. The kindergarten crew faces lots of challenges: staying in their seats (different gravity), exploring outside the capsule, keeping logs… An out-of-this-world adventure!


 Go Home, Mrs. Beekman! by Ann Redisch Stampler, illustrated by Marsha Gray Carrington

Emily Beekman refuses to go to school until her mother agrees to go with her. Emily quickly adjusts and knows it’s okay for her mother to leave. Unfortunately, her mother has other ideas…


Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Amy Wummer (sorry, no link)

Adventure Annie is ready for a high-flying adventure in kindergarten. She brings lots of good ideas to kindergarten. Kindergarten, however, is not entirely ready for all her high-flying ideas. Not to worry, they work something out is the end.


 Lunch Bunnies by Kathryn Lasky, illustrated by Marylin Hafner

Clyde is all ready for the first day of school, at least for the reading and writing part. But for the lunch room? Not so much. His older brother is no help when he tell stories about spilling soup on the floor and mean lunch ladies. The day goes well until his friend Rosemary spills her Jell-o cubes and they bounce across the floor.


 First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, illustrated by Judy Love

Sarah wakes up on the first day of a new school and says she’s not going. After much coaxing, she gets dressed and eats breakfast. As she’s driven to school, she feels she can’t breathe. The surprise on the last page is terrific!


 Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing

This isn’t exactly a first day of school book but it is a great book to start any day. It inspires us to be kind to family, friends, and strangers—which is a good way to think about starting a new school year!


Looking for more books about the first day of school? Click here.


4 thoughts on “Books for the First Day of School

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *