Picture Book Highlights | Back to School!

By Monica C. RSS Fri, August 26, 2022

It's hard to believe summer is almost over, isn't it? But the good news is that a new school year is about to start!

There's something exciting about beginning fresh another year of learning. Perhaps you're going back to your old school and will see familar faces, or maybe you're going to a brand new school and will have a chance to make new friends. And let's not forget office supplies: who doesn't love new pens, pencils and notebooks? I do! Just like we did last year, here's a selection of picture books to get you ready for starting school.

This is a school by John Schu; illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison

A school isn’t just a building; it is all the people who work and learn together. It is a place for discovery and asking questions. A place for sharing, for helping, and for community. It is a place of hope and healing, even when that community can’t be together in the same room.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Kindergarten : where kindness matters every day by Vera Ahiyya; illustrated by Joey Chu

‚ÄčIt’s the first day of Kindergarten and Leo isn’t at all ready. Leo is a quiet kid and would prefer to stay home. Over the summer, his new teacher, Ms. Perry sent a letter asking her students to think about how to show kindness in school. She explained that they would be making a kindness pledge, and each student should bring one way to show kindness on the first day. As it turns out, Leo’s classmates have lots of ideas about kindness: like raising your hand, never leaving anyone out, and apologizing if you hurt someone’s feelings. At the end of the first day, Ms. Perry asks if anyone witnessed something they’d like her to add to the kindness pledge? Lots of hands shoot up in the air. Several classmates say they noticed Leo returning crayons to the box, holding the door for everyone, and helping a friend who fell. Leo smiles as he realizes he really does know a lot about kindness after all.

Ebook available in Overdrive

Sounds like school spirit by Meg Fleming; illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

They have spirit, yes they do! Follow kids from circle time to the lunch line in this lively, rhyming picture book that perfectly matches the high energy of a new classroom. With a call and response like "We say ALPHA, you say BET," built into the text, kids will love reading and cheering along.

Ebook available from Overdrive

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

MJ is more than ready for her first day of kindergarten! With her hair freshly braided and her mom's special tiara on her head, she knows she’s going to rock kindergarten. But the tiara isn’t just for show—it also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness, friendliness, and impressive soccer skills, too!

Ebook available from Overdrive

School day! by Candice F. Ransom; illustrated by Ashley Evans

The start of the new school year means new friends and new experiences! It's big sister's first day of 3rd grade, but it will be a cinch for her to show little brother the ropes on his first day of kindergarten. She already knows where all the rooms are, who the teachers are, and where to go and when at their school! It's great to have a sibling to rely on when starting something new!

Ebook available from Overdrive

That's not my name! by Anoosha Syed

Mirha is so excited for her first day of school! She can't wait to learn, play, and make new friends. But when her classmates mispronounce her name, she goes home wondering if she should find a new one. Maybe then she'd be able to find a monogrammed keychain at the gas station or order a hot chocolate at the cafe more easily. Mama helps Mirha to see how special her name is, and she returns to school the next day determined to help her classmates say it correctly--even if it takes a hundred tries.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Tomatoes in my lunchbox by Constancia Manoli; illustrated by Magdalena Mora

A child, newly arrived in another country, feels displaced, lonely, and a little scared on her first day of school. Her name doesn't sound the way she's used to hearing it. She knows she doesn't fit in. And when she eats her whole tomato for lunch, she can feel her classmates observing her—and not quite understanding her. But sometimes all it takes is one friend, one connection, to bring two worlds together, and gradually the girl, her tomato, and her full name, start to feel at home with her new friends and community.

Ebook available from Overdrive

First day critter jitters by Jory John; illustrated by Liz Climo

It's almost the first day of school, and the animals are nervous. Sloth worries about getting there on time, snake can't seem to get his backpack fastened onto his body, and bunny is afraid she'll want to hop around instead of sitting still. When they all arrive at their classroom, though, they're in for a surprise: Somebody else is nervous too. It's their teacher, the armadillo! He has rolled in as a ball, and it takes him a while to relax and unfurl. But by the next day, the animals have all figured out how to help one another through their jitters. School isn't so scary after all.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added! From all of us here at the Free Library, we would like to wish all students and teachers best of luck as they begin a new school year! Don't forget to stay tuned to the blog for more resources and programs to help ease the transition!


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