This theme is great for a late summer storytime that includes several children who will be starting Kindergarten, or older children anticipating the first day back at school. For an activity, the kids can make nametags, name plates for their school desks, decorated lunch bags, or pencil cases.
Also, be sure to look at the previous list of books on this theme; this update only includes books published after the year 2000.
Allen, Jonathan. I’M NOT READY! Baby Owl’s mother encourages him on the first day of preschool.
Blake, Stephanie. I DON’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL! The audience will repeat No way! just like the bunny in his super-hero costume who does not want to go to school.
Bloom, Suzanne. THE BUS FOR US. Available in a bilingual English/Spanish edition, Gus helps little sister Tess find the school bus.
Buzzeo, Toni. ADVENTURE ANNIE GOES TO KINDERGARTEN. Annie is not afraid of Kindergarten, although she is so excited she has trouble following the rules.
Calmenson, Stephanie. OLLIE’S SCHOOL DAY: A YES AND NO BOOK. A call and response book – will Ollie wear a spacesuit to school? NO! Pants, shirt, and shoes? YES!
Child, Lauren. I AM TOO ABSOLUTELY SMALL FOR SCHOOL. Charlie helps Lola get over the first day of school jitters.
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann. JACK’S TALENT. While the other kids give their names and special talent, Jack tries to think of something he is good at.
Codell, Esme R. IT’S TIME FOR PRESCHOOL! By comparing school to things at home, children learn that preschool is a friendly place.
D’Amico, Carmelo. ELLA THE ELEGANT ELEPHANT. Apprehensive about the first day, Ella wears her grandmother’s good luck hat to school.
Dodd, Emma. FOXY. Emily is worried about starting school but her pet fox waves his magical tail to make her school supplies appear.
Edwards, Pamela Duncan. DINOSAUR STARTS SCHOOL. Dino is afraid of school but luckily a boy befriends him and shows him the ropes.
Harper, Jamie. MISS MINGO AND THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. The teacher (a flamingo) has each student introduce themselves – a hippo, frog, narwhal, centipede, etc.
McCarty, Peter. HENRY IN LOVE. Henry the cat meets Chloe Rabbit the first day of school.
Milord, Susan. HAPPY SCHOOL YEAR! A brief rhyming text describes various children around town getting ready for the first day of school.
Neubecker, Robert. WOW! SCHOOL! This large book with bright and bold illustrations show a little girl excited about going to school.
Rumford, James. RAIN SCHOOL. Set in the African nation of Chad, the children build a mud hut to use as a classroom.
Uegaki, Chieri. SUKI’S KIMONO. Suki wears her kimono to school and at first, she is teased but soon the others wish they had something interesting to share.
Wing, Natasha. THE NIGHT BEFORE FIRST GRADE. Penny is worried when she discovers her best friend will be in a different class as they begin first grade.
Yum, Hyewon. MOM, IT’S MY FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN! The boy is ready to start school, but it is his mom who is worried.
Also see the previous First Day of School storytime ideas page from July 2000.