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Education Matters

Back to School Reads

September 1st, 2015

By Jessie Levesque

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

In this book a young raccoon named Chester is afraid of starting school but his mother teaches him a trick so that he can take his love with her anywhere he goes. Suddenly, school doesn’t seem like such a scary idea. This book is perfect for easing the first day jitters you or your child child may have for their first day of school.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! by Lucille Colandro

The old lady who swallowed a fly has returned in this back to school spin off! The old lady swallows items she needs for her first day back and, in the end, burps up a backpack. This story is good tool for introducing the well-loved song and its other spin offs. It’s also a great way to connect to young readers through repetition.

David Goes to School by David Shannon

This sequel to “No David” follows the title character as he has an eventful day at school. Your children with love the eccentric illustrations and David’s inability to stay out of trouble. This book teaches kids how to behave at school by showing them exactly what not to do.

Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson

Mouse is back and he is ready to take on his first day of school! The cute and bright colours compliment the simple text where mouse discovers objects you would usually see at school. This book is a good tool for introducing the concept of school to toddlers and getting them ready to attend daycare.

Countdown to Kindergarten by Allison McGhee

This book follows Lucy as she counts the last ten days before kindergarten. Every day comes with a new rule that has been told to her by a first grader like no stuffed animals or cats and absolutely NO asking anyone for help. This is a great icebreaker for opening a dialogue about what your little ones should expect when going to school. It could also bring to light the hilarious things their crazy imaginations have cooked up about their new school.

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray

This delightful retelling of the classic fairy tale follows the Gingerbread Man who is trying to catch up to the class of kids who made him. The comic book style art follows the Gingerbread Man as he gets help from the nurse, gym teacher and other important figures in the school. This is a perfect book to read to children in order to introduce all the different figures in schools that would be glad to lend a helping hand. 

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

Mean Jean the Recess Queen is the biggest bully on the playground. No one swung on the swings or kicked balls unless she said so. However, one day, a new classmate arrived and things began to change around the playground. This books deals with the issues of schoolyard bullying in a refreshing way. Your kids will be hooked to this story with its relatable characters and quirky illustrations.

The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus

After inviting her reluctant mother to her kindergarten class the little girl discovers that kids are better at some things than parents. This book’s silly story teaches children the right and wrong way to do things in kindergarten. The hilarious illustrations will have you and your little one laughing into the new school year.

Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?  by Audrey Vernick

Young readers will relate with the silly tale of the shy buffalo overcoming his nerves and participating in recess, snack time and even art class! This book took the typical story of first day jitters and spun it in a new and refreshing way.  The endearing illustrations and unusual story will have your kids in stitches and begging for it to be read every story time.

Jessie Levesque is a Library Technician at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. For more information visit

Tags: advice, Books, kids

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