Our Favorite Children’s Books for Back to School

Looking for some books to help prepare kids for starting a new school year? Here are our favorite children’s books for back to school!

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Help prepare your child for the new school year with these books! (18 Children's Books for Back to School)~ Buggy and Buddy

Starting a new school year is a big transition for the whole family. We have new schedules to adjust to and lots of preparations to do at home to get ready. There’s likely to also be some excitement mixed with a bit of nervousness for children as they wonder what their new school year will be like.

One way to ease this transition is with reading books all about school. Reading a variety of books on the subject with your child can help them relate to various situations they might encounter and also help to spark conversations about their thoughts on a new school year.

Here are some of our favorite children’s books related to school. There is a nice variety for different ages and different topics your child might be interested in! (This post contains affiliate links.)


 Our Favorite Children’s Books for Back to School


My Best Friend Is As Sharp As a Pencil: And Other Funny Classroom Portraits by Hanoch Piven

This book is a super fun and creative way to introduce children to all the special people they might find at a school. And the best part is each illustration is made from collages of objects. A super clever book full of inspiration!


Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick

If your child is feeling nervous about his or her first day of Kindergarten, then this is the perfect book! It’s an amusing story that helps remind children that everyone is unique and special in their own way.


My Teacher Sleeps in School by Leatie Weiss

I wish I had been aware of this book back when I was teaching. Young kids often think their teachers live at school. I can’t tell you how many times in my teaching career children were so surprised to learn I lived in an actual house and not in the classroom! This cute story is all about a class that thinks their teacher lives at school and how they work together to figure it all out. This would also be a really fun book for a teacher to read on the first day of school!


Little Rabbit Goes to School by Harry Horse

Here’s another cute book to help kids get ready for school. Little Rabbit is off to his first day of school and takes his little special toy, Charlie Horse, with him. Throughout the story Charlie Horse begins to get into all kinds of mischief. Your child will begin to wonder who is really causing all mischief~ Charlie Horse or Little Rabbit. This is a super fun read and would also be a great book to read aloud during the first week of school!


The Art Lesson by Tomie de Paola

If you are a lover of Tomie de Paola books, then you are probably already familiar with this one (and already know that this is about the author’s own experience as a child)! In this story Tommy is a little boy who just loves to draw. But when he brings his love of drawing to school, he encounters a few obstacles. Lucy and I enjoyed reading and this and discussing not only how Tommy handled his problem, but ways Lucy could handle problems she may encounter as well.


Bill and Pete by Tomie de Paola

Here’s another book from Tomie de Paola~  a quirky and cute book all about friendship! Lucy and I use this book to talk about all the fun experiences she might have with all her new friends!


If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

This book is just like the original, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but takes place at school! A fun circle story that kids love!


Follow the Line to School by Laura Ljungkvist

We just LOVE this book! Follow the Line is an interactive book where you follow a line to explore all the parts of a school. As it takes you through all the beautifully illustrated pages, you’ll find questions to answer along the way. Lucy definitely wanted to read this one multiple times!


Lunch Money And Other Poems About School (Picture Puffin) by Carol Diggory Shields

This book is filled with over 20 silly and fun poems about school! I love having a text set including different genres so it was nice to be able to add some poetry!


David Goes To School by David Shannon

This is a great book to spark a discussion about classroom rules. In this book David seems to break all the rules at his school. Lucy was very entertained by this book, and it helped to spark a discussion to what rules and procedures she might find in her upcoming classroom and why rules can be important.


I Am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

We just love Charlie and Lola books! The illustrations are so fun and the interaction between the two siblings is always endearing. In this story Lola is nervous to begin school and begins coming up with all the reasons why she doesn’t really need to go to school. Her brother, Charlie, helps to creatively explain to her why learning is important.


Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean

We are in love with Pete the Cat books! This one is perfect for initiating a discussion of all the special places you can find at a school. And I just love the repetitive text and little song that goes with it~ so inviting for kids! This would also be a great book to read after taking your child to visit his or her new classroom or for a teacher to read to the class after taking a school tour.


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

If you are not already familiar with this book, it’s definitely one worth owning! It’s such a perfect book for any separation, especially if your child is nervous about his or her first day of school. In this story Chester feels anxious about leaving his mom at home while he goes to school, but his mom has a special way for him to remember her all day. This book brings tears to my eyes every time I read it!


Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

We are huge Patricia Polacco fans, and this is one of our favorites! It’s a great story for your older child heading off to school. It’s especially memorable to me since it’s all about how just one teacher can help change a child’s life!


Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

Here’s another favorite from Patricia Polacco for your older child.  This book helps to remind  kids to embrace their own special and unique talents as well and to always be proud of themselves no matter what anyone else says. It’s also a good book to help initiate a conversation about bullying. I can’t wait until Lucy is a bit older so we can read this book together!


Back to School Books on Our Wish List for This year

Bailey by Harry Blis



Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama Misses Mama


School Bus by Donna Crews

School Bus


What books do you enjoy reading to prepare your child or students for the beginning of the school year?

Be sure not to miss these other back to school ideas on Buggy and Buddy:



Book Set for Kids: 18 Children's Books for Back to School- a great resource for parents and classroom teachers! ~ BuggyandBuddy.com


  1. Love this list…thank you!
    sadly, my kids are too old for these…where did the time go??….But it’s a great list,
    De Paola’s Art Lesson is pretty much my fave all time pic book.
    Thank you!
    Found you at Crafty Moms Share and came over to visit.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  2. A great list!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  3. What a terrific list! I can’t wait to check out the one’s we haven’t read yet!!! Thanks so much for sharing it on the KBN Back-to-School blog hop!

  4. These books would be perfect for my Pre K class this fall. Love your list!

  5. Sarah Larson says:

    This is a great list for the first week of school! I think my 6th graders would enjoy them as a read aloud.

  6. Roxanna Alcantra says:

    I would read these books to my son and donate them to his kinder teacher.

  7. Sam Carter says:

    I absolutely love all your ideas and inspiration for activities to do with my toddler.

  8. I love reading the book ” First Day Jitters”! I don’t remember the author but it’s a really cute book to show the kids that adults have fears too.

  9. Victoria says:

    I love back to school books and you have picked some good ones. I am a volunteer reader at the local school and public library. I would definitely read these books at both. I would then donate the books to the public library children’s collection. Thank you for this opportunity!

  10. Love back to school books…sharing them with my own kids as well as the Preschool kids I work with!

  11. Crystal says:

    I just want to say a special thank-you for this list! I’m a Mama & K teacher and you have introduced me to a few new books!! (And reminded me of a few favourites!! Love love your site and e-mails!! Thanks again 😉

  12. Great list of books!

  13. Jeanette Keath says:

    I would read these books to my new preschool class and would also share them with our newest teacher, Miss Tammy, who needs to build up her classroom library!

  14. Stephanie T says:

    I’d read these to my younger son who is entering kindergarten this fall. There are some great suggestions in this post!

  15. barbara n says:

    I would read these books to my granddaughter

  16. I would read to my daughter who is starting school this year 🙂

  17. I have young kids who would love these! Charlie and Lola are favorites at our house…

  18. I would read these books, to my own children, my daughter will be going into first grade and my son into third grade. And of course, I will read these to my new first grade class, consisting of 33 6 year olds! Thanks so much!

  19. Thanks so much for including my book, Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? on this terrific list!

  20. These books would be great to read turned to read to my students the first week of school and would make a wonderful addition to our class library.

  21. I’ve been reading 1st day jitters-fun book to read on the 1st day, even to 4th graders!

  22. Thanks as a Grandma not always up to date with childrens book. Heading to Amazon right now.

  23. Melanie Moushigian Koulouris says:

    These are great books! My kids love the Lama Lama books. We haven’t read the Missing Mama one yet! I’ll have to pick up that one next! Thank you for a wonderful giveaway! I have a 2 and 5 year old who would love these! Especially my daughter starting Kindergarten. =)

  24. I have a 4 year old going to PreK and a 6 year old going to 1st grade. They would love these books.

  25. I would be reading them to my 6 yr old son who will be starting 1st grade and my 4 year old daughter who will be starting Pre-K this year. 🙂

  26. Would love to read the books to my son, who will be going to Kindergarten this year!

  27. LaQuetha says:

    One of my favorites is Chrysanthem because it celebrates her name and it opens children’s eyes to all how we respect each one and how all names are unique and special.

  28. Heather S. says:

    Seems like a great list!!

  29. I will be reading to my 4 yr old and 6 yr old….

  30. Finally a book that introduces children to the school community. WHO’S AT YOUR SCHOOL? by Maggie Lenox

  31. Great choices, thanks! I’ve read several of these as an adult and loved them–a sure sign of a well-written children’s book in my opinion! I’ve read them to younger children, as well, and the books were a hit with this age group too! It’s so nice to find reads that engage both adult and child.

  32. I’m including a link to this post in my newsletter as my “Kids Corner” feature for this month- thanks for the great round up of back to school books! When I was a preschool teacher, The Kissing Hand was a favorite of mine.


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