It’s time to head back to school, and that has the Youth Services librarians thinking about our favorite school stories. Try some of these staff picks!

Pete the Kitty’s First Day of School by Kim Dean

It’s a big day for Pete the Kitty: his first day of preschool! He meets his cool teacher, sings a few fun songs, and even gets to paint. Who knew preschool could be so much fun? Just don’t forget your groovy backpack and your yummy snack, Pete the Kitty! Little ones will enjoy exploring what the first day of school is like with Pete the Kitty.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Eaudiobook (Hoopla)

Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit can’t wait to go to school! Even though no dogs are allowed, he is determined to see and do everything that takes place at school. But what will happen when the teacher discovers a puppy in the classroom? Reassuring and sweet, Biscuit Goes to School is an excellent beginning reader for those getting ready for preschool, kindergarten, or first grade.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Eaudiobook (Hoopla)

Peanut Butter’s First Day of School by Terry Border

Peanut Butter has a big day tomorrow–it’s his first day at a new school! His mother suggests he practice his walk to school. Along the way, he meets his friends, Hamburger, Cupcake, Egg, Meatball, French Fries, and Soup. He discovers that with help from his friends, Peanut Butter can have a great first day, because they’ll all go together. This funny book is just right for new readers to sound out on their own, or for an adult to read to a child.

Available formats: Book

School of Fish by Jane Yolen

Starting at a new school is never easy, but it can also be really exciting. Beginning readers can follow along as one intrepid little fish goes through the many emotions associated with a new school experience! Children are reassured that it’s okay to feel difficult emotions and also learn techniques to calm down and combat homesickness at school.

Available formats: Book

The Best Seat in Kindergarten by Katharine Kenah

Beginning readers will love this warm introduction to all the excitement and uncertainty of starting kindergarten! Word repetition and basic language make this an ideal book to share with an emergent reader. It’s Sam’s first day of kindergarten, and he’s not so sure what to expect. Sam’s teacher, Ms. Tate, takes the class on a nature walk, and at the very end, everyone gets to show off what they found! Sam makes new friends when he helps everyone find interesting things for show-and-tell. Kindergartners will relate to Sam’s worries and be reassured by how well his day goes.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla)

Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro

Rosie can’t wait to start kindergarten! Rosie had her pencils sharpened and her backpack ready for weeks. Suddenly, on the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly, and she’ll feel better soon. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she says hello to a new friend on the bus, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! As the day goes on, Rosie frees all her butterflies, and even helps another shy student let go of hers, too.  A heartwarming picture book with beautiful illustrations that celebrates the strength in overcoming fears and making new friends. 

Available formats: Book

I got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison

This picture book celebrates the joy found in the first day of school. Rhythmic text celebrates a little girl who has school spirit!, which is helping her to strive and grow. She hears the school spirit in the bus driving up the street, VROOM, VROOM! The school spirit is in the bell sounding in the halls, RING-A-DING! She sings the school spirit in class with her friends, the ABC, 123!

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Overdrive Media on Demand)

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself.  The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters. Readers’ will appreciate this new perspective and relate to many of the School’s feelings. A thoughtful story that features pictures by illustrator Christian Robinson in his unique style.

Available formats: Book, eBook (Overdrive Media on Demand)

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

A great picture book to celebrate kindness and the first day of school. Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be. Bright colored illustrations feature the school’s diverse community and celebrate how each of us can continue to make our community a welcoming space for all. 

Available formats: Ebook (Overdrive Media on Demand)

Hello World! by Kelly Corrigan

Hello World! is the perfect reminder that the journeys we take through life are all about the people we will meet along the way–people who will help us become smarter, stronger, and more amazing than we ever thought possible. With her trademark inspirational wisdom, Kelly Corrigan writes the perfect picture book for anyone about to embark on a new adventure, including the experience of starting a new school year.

Available formats: Book

Back to School: a global journey by Maya Ajmera

Whether they take a school bus, a boat, or a rickshaw to get there, kids around the globe are going to school and growing smarter and more curious every day. Beautiful, joy-filled, color photographs of children studying, learning, exploring, and having fun from nation to nation, will inspire readers of all ages with the excitement of discovery and sharing new ideas.

Available formats: Book

Little Larry Goes to School: the true story of a timid chimpanzee who learned to reach new heights by Gerry Ellis

A young, orphaned chimpanzee must go to forest school to learn how to climb, be a chimp, and build his confidence. This sweet story, with its beautiful photographs, explores the challenges of going to school, learning, and having confidence in yourself, and is a perfect read-aloud tale for children preparing to enter school for the very first time.

Available formats: Book

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect–until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again? This is an ideal break-the-ice book for the first week of school. It get children thinking about and bonding with their own names and the names of everyone else in the class, and it’s the perfect vehicle for starting a discussion about treating classmates with tolerance, kindness, and compassion.

Available formats: book, Eaudiobook (Hoopla, OverDrive Media on Demand), Evideo (Hoopla)

School Supplies: a book of poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Join this class for a wild, wonderful day at school as they cavort with their giant supplies. From the wide-awake morning school bus to the toothy paper clips to the homework that rustles and whispers for attention, each supply possesses its own quirky personality. Together with the children, they merrily dance, fly, and laugh their way through an unforgettable day of classroom adventures.

Available formats: Book


Jeanie & Genie: The First Wish by Trish Granted 

Starting the second grade is supposed to be nice and normal. But how is that supposed to happen when the new friend you’ve made turns out to be a genie? Join Jeanie Bell and her friend Willow Davis in this early chapter book, as they navigate school and try their best at keeping this big, strange, magical secret at Rivertown Elementary. 

Available formats: Book

Jada Jones: Rock Star  by Kelly Starling Lyons 

Starting school can be difficult, especially when your best friend moves away. But when a school earth science project pairs fourth-grader Jada with a new potential friend, will they be able to work together to create a project that rocks? Short chapters and two-color art on almost every page makes this chapter book accessible and fun.

Available formats: Book 

Judy Moody Was In a Mood by Megan McDonald

To say that Judy isn’t looking forward to starting the third grade would be an understatement. But when a new teacher gives an assignment for the class to make collages of themselves, Judy can’t help but look forward to showing off all of the individuality and attitude she has to offer. Megan McDonald’s spirited text and Peter Reynolds’s wry illustrations combine in a feisty, funny first chapter book for every kid who has ever felt a little out of sorts.

Available formats: Book

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles 

Otto and Sheed Alston have always had a knack for mystery, and as the start of school comes closer, they find themselves craving one last big adventure. That is until a strange man with a camera capable of freezing time comes into town. With this new threat, Otto and Sheed find themselves joining forces with some unlikely people and creatures in order to save their town and new friends in this middle grade chapter book. 

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Overdrive Media on Demand), Eaudiobook (Hoopla, OverDrive Media on Demand)

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