The first day of school is an exciting time for children! It can also be scary, though- especially this fall with so much uncertainty around in-person learning starting up again for many students. For some kids, it may have been nearly a year and a half since they've been inside a classroom. This factor may magnify the typical anxiety about being in a new environment and meeting new people.
We'd love to ease your child's transition (and yours too!) by recommending some picture books geared to help kids with their first day of school jitters! We hope these books help your family prepare for the coming school year!
by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Based on the author/illustrator's own childhood experiences, Vanessa wants to make a good first impression with her classmates. But when her outfit is deemed too much and her name too long, she starts second guessing her approach until her parents remind Vanessa to just be herself and people will see what makes her special that way.
written by Donna Barba Higuera
and illustrated by Juliana Perdomo
Ramon is nervous about his first day of school- and so is his boogeyman friend El Cucuy. In a hilarious turn of events, Ramon ends up comforting El Cucuy that he is scary enough despite all the changes happening in their lives. This sweet story of facing one's fears incorporates Spanish words into the text.
written by Matthew Burgess
and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
Being the new kid in school is never easy, especially when you get teased and nicknamed "Bird Boy." But even though Nico wants to fit in, he can't help his flights of fancy and, soon, his classmates are drawn in by his inner confidence and want to become his friend!
The poetic text is paired nicely with the whimsical illustrations.
by Beatrice Alemagna
Beatrice Alemagna creates a memorable new character with Pascaline, a little bat who "never, not ever" wants to go to school! But when she accidentally shrinks down her parents and takes them with her to school, she's not as scared. It seems like the perfect solution to her problem until she learns she may have more fun learning to do things on her own!
written by Phùng Nguyên Quang
illustrated by Huỳnh Kim Liên
Set in the Mekong Delta and featuring a Vietnamese boy, this is a universally relatable story about facing one’s fears and living through struggles in order to reach a better place- in this case, his school. The illustrations are gorgeous.
Great to pair with Jacqueline Woodson's The Day You Begin.
written by Meg Fleming
and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Build up excitement for the upcoming school year with this fun picture book. Chant along in celebration of meeting cool teachers and making new friends.