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The Best Books for The First Day of School

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

School is a big part of a child's life, and the days leading up to the first day of school can make a child nervous and anxious for many reasons. Maybe they are starting kindergarten, and it's the first time they will be away from home for long hours. Or perhaps they have moved to a new school. Whatever the reason for first-day jitters may be, reading books about the first day of school may help ease those nerves.

In this post, I have listed several books that make perfect read-aloud for the first day of school. They are books that can help teachers and parents make the first day of school a pleasant one. Reading them aloud on the first day of school could also serve as a good ice-breaker for getting to know your students and help them get to know their classmates as well.

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by Erin Guendelsberger

Reading age: 4 - 7 years

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

Reading age: 6+ years

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 Adam Rex

Reading age: 5 - 6 years

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 Shannon Olsen

Reading age: 5 - 7 years

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 Tish Rabe

Reading age: 5 - 6 years

There are so many exciting firsts to look forward to on the day first day of kindergarten, fun things like making new friends, jumping rope, riding the school bus, and more! The First Day of Kindergarten gives an optimistic look at the big first day, making kids feel excited about beginning their kindergarten journey.

by Ryan T. Higgins

Reading age: 3 - 6 years

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 Kelley Donner

Reading age: 5 - 11 years

School is More Than a Building is a reminder that in school, children are a part of a special community, where they should feel that they are safe and loved. With beautiful watercolor illustrations of school life, this story paints a positive school environment. A fantastic book to generate classroom discussions about the different aspects of school.

by Jacqueline Woodson

Reading age: 5 - 8 years


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.

(This book is also available in Spanish, as El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres!)

by Amy Husband

Reading age: 4 - 8 years

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

Reading age: 4 - 8 years

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!

Happy Reading!

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