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Get Ready for School with These Back to School Read Alouds

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

It's that time of year again: back to school season! Get your kids ready for the new school year with these fun back to school books. From stories about starting a new school year to tales of friendship and adventure, these back to school read alouds will help your children transition to the new school year and get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Read on for our top picks for back to school books to read aloud.

Why Read Aloud Books with Kids

Reading aloud to children is an activity that has countless benefits, especially as they prepare for the first day of school. Whether your child is starting kindergarten or entering elementary school, reading aloud can be a wonderful way to ease any anxieties and set a positive tone for the school year.

Benefits of Reading Aloud

Not only does reading aloud create a special bonding time between you and your child, but it also helps them develop essential literacy skills. By listening to you read, children improve their vocabulary, comprehension, and language skills.

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Back to school read alouds for the first day of school

Fantastic Back to School Read Alouds:

by Adam Rex

The first day of school makes everyone feel a bit nervous, including School! In this story, the school building comes to life. The school is nervous about the first day of school. He wonders what the children will be like. Will they like school? Will they be nice? After a rough start, School learns that he is not the only one experiencing first-day jitters.

by Rob Scotton

Join Splat the Cat on his first day back at school. As Splat prepares for the day, he wonders what exciting summer adventure he should share with his classmates. Should it be the time he went searching for a pirate treasure or when he swam with sharks in the ocean?

by Alexis O'neill

It's important to address issues like bullying with our children. One book that tackles this subject in a fresh and original way is The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill.

The Recess Queen is a powerful story that not only teaches kids about conflict resolution but also promotes the importance of kindness and friendship. It shows children that they have the power to change situations and make a positive impact on others.

by Karen Kilpatrick

In the book, Pencil and Eraser work together to create amazing artwork. As Pencil draws on the pages, Eraser erases parts of the artwork, leading to a collaborative and creative process. Through their unique perspectives, Pencil and Eraser realize that their artwork is even better when they work together.

This story is perfect for back-to-school time, as it highlights the importance of teamwork, creativity, and friendship. It's also a great gift for teachers or a fun addition to any child's book collection.

by Angela DiTerlizzi

This book is not only a wonderful read-aloud for children, but also a valuable tool for parents and educators. It teaches the importance of a growth mindset, where setbacks and failures are seen as opportunities for learning and growth. It encourages children to embrace challenges and persevere through difficult moments, knowing that they have the power to overcome them...yet.

by Drew Daywalt

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is a hilarious and imaginative story that is perfect for getting kids excited about going back to school. In this book, poor Duncan opens his box of crayons to find a bunch of letters from his crayons, all expressing their grievances and deciding to go on strike. Not only is this story incredibly entertaining, but it also teaches important lessons about empathy, creativity, and problem-solving. Duncan has to come up with clever and creative ways to make his crayons happy and get them back to doing what they do best.

by Erin Guendelsberger

The Little Yellow Bus is a heartwarming story about courage. It tells the story of Yellow, the young school bus who has been preparing for the first day of driving the kids to school all by himself. He wanted to be excited to pick up the children and drive them to their school, instead, he felt worried and nervous. This story is a reminder that even days when we feel nervous, anxious, or scared can be wonderful days if we believe in ourselves.

by Shannon Olsen

The perfect read-aloud to help teachers welcome their students on the first day of school. A Letter from Your Teacher is a heartwarming picture book that is written as a letter from the teacher's point of view. The teacher will send students the message that their new teacher is someone they will get to form a special bond with, is there to help them academically, cheer them on, and provide a safe and loving space for them to learn and grow. It is a fantastic way to start building positive relationships!

by Shannon Olsen

Our Class is a Family delivers a heartfelt message about how in their classroom students are safe to be themselves, it's ok to make mistakes, and everybody is a friend. It's a perfect read-aloud for teachers wanting to give their students a sense of classroom community and help them feel like they are part of a special family.

by Ryan T. Higgins

We Don't Eat Our Classmates is a hilarious story that will make the whole class giggle. Penelope Rex is excited for the first day of school and excited to meet her classmates. There is just one little problem, they are all humans. Throughout the story, the adorable dinosaur finds it challenging to make new friends because they are so delicious. It is not until she learns what it feels like to not be at the top of the food chain, that she realizes why her classmates were so reluctant to be friends with her. We Don't Eat Our Friends delivers a message of empathy and thinking about how our actions make others feel.

by Jacqueline Woodson


The Day You Begin tells the story of a little girl who is afraid to share what she did over the summer because all her classmates seemed to have done more exciting things over their school break. It's a story about finding the courage to connect, even when you feel different and afraid.

by Amy Husband

Dear Teacher is a story told as a collection of letters written by Michael to his new teacher. He is explaining why he can't go to school. His excuses range from traveling to Egypt to getting attacked by pirates. His letters are outlandish and hilarious. When his teacher replies telling him that she is sorry he will be missing all of the exciting activities she has planned for the school year, Michael realizes what he would be missing out on if he didn't go to class.

by Jean Reagan

In How to Get Your Teacher Ready, readers will explore the whole school year from the first day to graduation. It is written in a humorous instructional style. Here, a class of students will give their best tips and tricks for getting a teacher ready for the first day of school and all the school-related events that follow. Along the way, children will notice that they are not just getting their teacher ready, but they are getting themselves ready too!

by James Dean

In this beloved read-aloud, Pete the Cat explores his new school, from the library to the lunchroom to the playground. With its catchy rhythm and fun illustrations, this book will have your little ones dancing and singing along.

by Sabrina Moyle

School is Cool by Sabrina Moyle is an exuberant and uplifting picture book that prepares young readers for their first day of school. With a cheerful narrator guiding a class of nervous critters, this book is the perfect back-to-school read aloud to ease any anxieties and get kids excited about starting a new adventure.

by Jennifer Jones

The story revolves around the classroom chairs, who have had enough of just being used for sitting. They want to show the students that they have other purposes too. From smelling feet to being sat pretzel-style, the chairs have had quite enough. In a clever and humorous way, the book highlights the different ways chairs can be used and the importance of treating them with care and respect.

Happy Reading!

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