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Great Books For The First Day Of School

School can be scary, especially when it’s your first day! School can bring about a lot of stress and anxiety for many children, but it doesn’t have to. There are tons of great books for young learners starting their first day of school, which can help ease the transition from being at home to school life.

Our picks for great books for the first day of school are diverse and tackle a range of topics surrounding your child’s first day. They include:

  1. School’s First Day Of School
  2. The Kissing Hand
  3. First Day Jitters
  4. David Goes To School
  5. Splat The Cat
  6. The King Of Kindergarten
  7. The Day You Begin

Our list of books is great to have in your classroom library or on your bookshelf at home and will give your children or learners a different perspective on what it means to be starting their first day of school.

Why Use books for the First Day of School?

Change for every one can be scary. For children this is doubly so. they are about to enter a much larger world, one that up until then had always had a parent as a constant presence. Preparing children for their first day of school is vital to ensure they are comfortable and informed about what is going to happen.

To do this books and reading together is a great way to share how its going to go with them in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. There is something great about just spending time reading with your children, and these books, all on the topic of first days, change and school will help.

You can use them to point out what it will be like for them, that they will always come back to you and that they are going to have lots and lots of fun.

Books for Childrens First day of School.

So we have here some of the books that are in our classrooms, that we have our teachers read to and with students when they first come to school. They are lovely, great illustrations, great opportunities for children to engage with the text and are calming.

Reading them before will just add to students confidence building on that first day of school!

1.   School’s First Day Of School

Author: Adam Rex

We all know how anxious we may feel at the prospect of our first day at school, but have you ever stopped to consider how the school might feel?

With gorgeous illustrations provided by Christian Robinson, Rex’s take on the first day of school puts a delightful twist on the nervousness that a child may be feeling on their first day of school.

This book follows the journey of Frederick Douglass Elementary and how the school feels about welcoming new students into its halls.

The school slowly starts to understand its purpose by talking to the janitor. It interacts with the children in a fun and engaging way that young readers will enjoy.

2.   The Kissing Hand

Author: Audrey Penn

For many young children, school can be daunting. The idea of being alone and without your loved ones is particularly frightening. Luckily, this beautifully written book is an excellent recommendation for parents with timid or attached children.

In this book, Chester the raccoon, has to begin school in the forest. There’s just one problem: Chester does not want to be away from his mother!

His mother is quick to reassure him, though, and kisses his hand. This is no ordinary kiss, either! This kiss will stick to Chester’s hand all day and will be a way for Chester to know that he is not alone.

First published in 1993, this sweet children’s book is sure to be a favorite among kids who are worried about starting their first day of school.

3.   First Day Jitters

Author: Julie Danneberg

Much like ‘School’s First Day Of School,’ this fun book puts an exciting twist on the ‘first-day’ narrative that you and your children may be used to!

This is a great book to have at home or read aloud with learners in the classroom.

At first, it may seem like the speaker is trying to convince his child to go to school. But, over time, readers realize that he is speaking to none other than his wife, who is a teacher starting her first day at a new school.

The book is well-written and witty and will put your child’s mind at ease when they learn that teachers get nervous, too!

Great Books For The First Day Of School

4.   David Goes To School

Author: David Shannon

If you’re looking for an exciting twist on the first day of school, this is it! It’s David’s first day at school, but he can’t seem to do anything right.

From being tardy to skipping the lunch lines, this exciting read will teach your children all of the wrong things to do at school.

While smaller children may find David’s antics funny, this book gives parents and educators a great way to explore following school rules with young learners. So, this will give your kids a good laugh and ease their first day nerves, but David Goes To School can be used as a great teaching tool for young learners, too!

5.   Splat The Cat

Author: Rob Scotton

Splat the Cat is off to school for the very first time, and he’s just a little frightened!

Although he tries to use every excuse he can imagine to get out of going to school, his mother sends him anyway. But just for good luck, he decides to take his best pal – his little pet mouse, Seymour. This may not be the smartest idea, though, as everyone knows how cats love to chase mice!

A perfect mixture of showcasing the first day of school and silly kitty mischief, this book will have your children engaged and ready for their new school adventures!

6.   The King Of Kindergarten

Author: Derrick Barnes

In this charming picture book from author Derrick D. Barnes and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton, a young boy, nicknamed the King of Kindergarten by his mother, goes to school for the first time.

When he starts his first day, he learns that making friends doesn’t have to be scary! And he forms plenty of interesting friendships with his classmates and his new teacher. At the end of the day, the King of Kindergarten returns home and has tons of wonderful and exciting stories to tell his parents about.  

This heart-warming story will ease your child’s mind about what going to school means and will help to encourage and excite them about their new adventure.

7.   The Day You Begin

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

This touching book follows the story of a young girl named Angelina, who is apprehensive about meeting her peers at school. Everyone at school seems different from her, with different skin tones, personalities, and backgrounds.

While these differences make Angelina feel alone and frightened, she quickly befriends her classmate, who tells Angelina that she shares the same name as his sister.

The Day You Begin is a fantastic read for children starting school and feeling worried about being different from their classmates or not fitting in. It’s also an excellent way to teach children about diversity and the beauty that differences can hold.

We have more tips and advice on how to prepare children for their fist day of kindergarten or School below.


By reading your children books and stories that are focused on school, you can remove some of the mystery surrounding what their first day might entail.

These books are some of the best first day of school books we can find. They all speak directly to the fears and worries that children have on what is the biggest change of their lives so far, and reading about these changes gives them all the tools they need to adapt to this change.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get reading!







I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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