BookYou Asked For It: Books about the First Day of School

Browse the list below for a selection of great picture books about the first day of school. Click the book cover or title to go to the book in the online catalog. Click the author's name to search for more books by that author.

Cover Image What Are You Doing?
Amado, Elisa.
Toronto ; Berkeley, Calif. : Groundwood Books, 2011.

Before he leaves on his first day of school, Chepito plays outside and encounters many different people in his neighborhood who are all reading, and each person has a different response when Chepito asks them "Why?"

Cover Image Billy and the Big New School
Anholt, Laurence.
Morton Grove, Ill. : Whitman & Co., 1999.

Billy is nervous about starting school, but as he cares for a sparrow that eventually learns to fly on its own, he realizes that he too can look after himself.

Cover Image Martin On the Moon
Audet, Martine, 1961-
Toronto, Ont. : Owlkids Books, c2011.

Martin, an imaginative and daydreaming child, is nervous for his first day of school, but he discovers that his imagination can help him make friends.

Cover Image I Don't Want to Go to School
Blake, Stephanie.
New York : Random House Children's Books, 2009.

Simon the rabbit does not want to go to his first day of school, but by the time his mother comes to take him home, he is having such a good time that he does not want to leave.

Cover Image Off to First Grade
Borden, Louise.
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2008.

Each member of a first grade class, as well as their teacher, principal, and a bus driver, expresses excitement, worry, or hope as the first day of school begins.

Cover Image Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten
Buzzeo, Toni.
New York, N.Y. : Dial Books for Young Readers, c2010.

Even though there are rules to follow, a little girl who loves adventure has an exciting first day of kindergarten.

Cover Image Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!
Carlson, Nancy L.
New York : Viking, c1999.

Even though Henry is looking forward to going to kindergarten, he is not sure about staying once he first gets there.

Cover Image It's Your First Day of School, Annie Claire
Carlstrom, Nancy White.
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2009.

Annie Claire, excited but nervous about her first day of school, is reasurred by her mother, whose love always goes with her.

Cover Image Jack's Talent
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann, 1958-
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

On the first day of school, as the children in Miss Lucinda's class introduce themselves and name their special talent, Jack wonders if he is good at anything.

Cover Image Will I Have a Friend?
Cohen, Miriam, 1926-
Long Island City, NY : Star Bright Books, c2009.

Jim's anxieties on his first day of school are happily forgotten when he makes a new friend.

Cover Image Kindergarten Rocks!
Davis, Katie (Katie I.)
Orlando : Harcourt, c2005.

Dexter knows everything there is to know about kindergarten and is not at all scared about his first day there, but his stuffed dog, Rufus, is very nervous.

Cover Image Brand-New Pencils, Brand-New Books
De Groat, Diane.
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2005.

Gilbert's excitement over starting first grade turns to worry that the teacher will be mean, the work too hard, and his classmates too unfriendly, but throughout the day there are pleasant surprises.

Cover Image Foxy
Dodd, Emma, 1969-
New York : HarperCollins, c2012.

Emily is worried about starting school for the first time, but Foxy waves his magic tail to provide what she needs to be ready.

Cover Image David's Drawings
Falwell, Cathryn.
New York : Lee & Low Books, 2001.

A shy African American boy arriving at a new school makes friends with his classmates by drawing a picture of a tree.

Cover Image Back to School Tortoise
George, Lucy M.
Chicago, Ill. : Albert Whitman, 2011, c2010.

Summer is over and Tortoise must summon the courage to go back to school.

Cover Image Two Little Chicks Go to School
Gorbachev, Valeri.
New York : NorthSouth, 2011.

Two little chickens are worried about their first day of school and hope they will make new friends.

Cover Image Miss Mingo and the First Day of School
Harper, Jamie.
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2006.

Miss Mingo helps all of the animal students in her class overcome their shyness on the first day of school by encouraging them to share something special about themselves. Includes facts about animals.

Cover Image I Am Not Going to School Today!
Harris, Robie H.
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2003.

A little boy decides to skip his very first day of school, because on the first day one doesn't know anything, but on the second, one knows everything.

Cover Image Wemberly Worried
Henkes, Kevin.
[New York] : Greenwillow Books, c2000.

A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything, finds that she has a whole list of things to worry about when she faces the first day of nursery school.

Cover Image Little Rabbit Goes to School
Horse, Harry.
Atlanta, Ga. : Peachtree Publishers, 2004.

Little Rabbit takes his favorite toy, Charlie Horse, along for his first day of school and when there is trouble, he blames it all on Charlie.

Cover Image Every Cowgirl Goes to School
Janni, Rebecca.

From having to leave her cowgirl hat at home to being seated between the rambunctious "J-twins," a brand new day in a brand new class is not going Nellie Sue's way, especially with her best friend, Anna, being nice to new girl Maya.

Cover Image Little Miss Spider At Sunny Patch School
Kirk, David, 1955-
New York : Scholastic Press/Callaway, 2000.

On her first day at school, Little Miss Spider worries that she cannot do what the others can, but she learns that she has a special quality all her own.

Cover Image Froggy Goes to School
London, Jonathan, 1947-
New York : Viking, 1996.

Froggy is nervous about his first day of school, but, even though it's hard to sit still, he has a wonderful time.

Cover Image Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Going to School?
Martin, Bill , Jr.

On the first day of school, Kitty Cat discovers that there are lots of things to enjoy. He plays, he enjoys a snack, he paints, he sings, he listens to a story, and he shares something special during show-and-tell. No wonder he likes school so much.

Cover Image Countdown to Kindergarten
McGhee, Alison, 1960-
San Diego : Harcourt, c2002.

Ten days before the start of kindergarten, a preschooler can not tie her shoes by herself and fears the worst.

Cover Image Sea Monster's First Day
Messner, Kate.
San Francisco, Calif. : Chronicle Books, 2011.

A young sea monster experiences his first day of school and, after a rocky start, he makes friends and has fun.

Cover Image Moses Goes to School
Millman, Isaac.
New York : Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.

Moses and his friends enjoy the first day of school at their special school for the deaf and hard of hearing, where they use sign language to talk to each other.

Cover Image Happy School Year!
Milord, Susan.
New York : Scholastic Press, 2008.

Children gather for a first day of school celebration that calms their worries about the day. Includes note about the history of such celebrations, and a related website.

Cover Image Ready and Waiting for You
Moreillon, Judi.

"Warm and friendly characters welcome a new student to the first day of school"-- Provided by publisher.

Cover Image Wow! School!
Neubecker, Robert.
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, c2007.

Izzy finds many things to be excited about on the first day of school.

Cover Image Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School
Parish, Herman.
New York : Greenwillow Books, 2009.

A literal-minded first-grader's first day of school is filled with confusing adventures, much to her delight.

Cover Image Otto Goes to School
Parr, Todd.
New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2005.

After a breakfast of juice, cereal, and a banana split, Otto goes to school for the first time, where he makes new friends and learns how to wag his tail without knocking things over.

Cover Image You're Wearing That to School?!
Plourde, Lynn

A cautious mouse named Tiny gives advice to his best friend, an exuberant hippopotamus named Penelope, on such things as what to wear and what to take for show-and-tell on the first day of school.

Cover Image Kindergarten Diary
Portis, Antoinette.
New York, N.Y. : Harper, c2010.

Annalina's diary entries reflect her feelings and experiences as she goes from being afraid to go to kindergarten to loving it during her first month of school.

Cover Image First Day, Hooray!
Poydar, Nancy.
New York : Holiday House, 1999.

All over town, Ivy Green and her bus driver and her teacher and the other school employees get ready for the first day of school.

Cover Image A Pirate's Guide to First Grade
Preller, James.
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2010.

A young pirate and his crew embark on a grand adventure when they board the bus for the first day of first grade.

Cover Image First Grade Jitters
Quackenbush, Robert M.
New York : HarperCollins, c2010.

A small boy wonders what first grade will be like, but is not sure that he wants to find out.

Cover Image First Day of School
Rockwell, Anne F.
New York : Harper, 2011.

Mrs. Madoff's students compare notes about getting ready for their first day of school after vacation.

Cover Image First Grade Stinks
Rodman, Mary Ann.
Atlanta : Peachtree, c2006.

First-grader Haley wishes she were back having fun in kindergarten with her old teacher, until she finds out that first-grade is special, too.

Cover Image We
Sierra, Judy.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.

Rhyming text with rebuses follows a group of animals through their first day of school.

Cover Image Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
Slate, Joseph.
New York : Dutton Children's Books, c1996.

Introduces the letters of the alphabet as Miss Bindergarten and her students get ready for kindergarten.

Cover Image Puddle's New School
Stewart, Amber, author.
Hauppauge, N.Y. : Barron's, [2011], ©2010.

Cover Image Mouse's First Day of School
Thompson, Lauren.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2003.

When he goes to school, Mouse finds a world of new objects and new friends.

Cover Image Suki's Kimono
Uegaki, Chieri.
Toronto : Kids Can Press, c2003.

Cover Image Polka-Dot Fixes Kindergarten
Urdahl, Catherine.
Watertown, Mass. : Charlesbridge, c2011.

On the first day of kindergarten, Polka-dot uses the fix-it kit her grandpa has prepared for her to help her make a friend.

Cover Image Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?
Vernick, Audrey.
New York : Balzer & Bray, 2010.

Although kindergarten provides unique challenges for a young buffalo, one who follows the rules and tries his best will get along fine.

Cover Image Cactus Annie
Williamson, Melanie.
London : Hodder Children's Books, c2010.

"Cactus Annie's first day at Cowgirl School goes from bad to worse... But when the cows are stolen by some pesky rats, Cactus Annie proves that she can be as big and brave as anyone"--P. [4] of cover.

Cover Image This School Year Will be the Best!
Winters, Kay.
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2010.

When a teacher asks her students on the first day of school what they wish for in the coming year, the answers range from having a good school picture to receiving a perfect report card.

Cover Image Jake Starts School
Wright, Michael, 1954-
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2008.

No one can pry a frightened Jake away from his parents on the first day of school, and so the three must watch as his classmates have fun until, at the end of the day, his teacher finally gets him to let go.

Cover Image Seven Little Mice Go to School
Yamashita, Haruo, 1937-
New York : NorthSouth, 2011.

This is the story of seven little mice and how their mother manages to get her children to the first day of school.

Cover Image Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten!
Yum, Hyewon.
New York : Frances Foster Books, 2012.

A five-year-old boy, ready and eager on his first day at "the big kids' school," must calm his very worried mother.

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Last modified on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Kids page artwork courtesy of and copyright Todd Parr.