Picture Books for Back-to-School Season

It’s that time of year, when we start preparing for back-to-school. It’s a big change and it can be really hard – for our kids and for us. Here are a few of our favorite books that talk about school, childcare, and entering the world.

Hello, World by Kelly Corrigan

This sweet book talks about all the different kinds of people and things we will meet in the world. There’s always more to people than we think, and the only way to get to know them is to ask.

My favorite line: “But here’s the thing… There’s more to the belchers and the bashful and the bystanders than you think.

Principal Tate is Running Late by Henry Cole

It’s the first day of school and Principal Tate is running late! Chaos ensues and no one knows what to do. This book is very silly, but also a good reminder that not everything goes as planned. When things aren’t going the way we expect, we adapt and pull through.

My favorite line:But the staff and the students, all Hardy crew, they knew what to do and how to pull through.”

Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

This one goes out to all the kids with beautiful names that others struggle to pronounce. What I love about this book is that it 1) shows the beauty in names of all kinds and origins and, 2) reminds us why it’s so important to take the time to learn how to pronounce names correctly. The main character comes home from the first day upset because no one could say her name. Her mother shows her that a name is a song, full of heart and fire and sky. If we can sing it, we can say it. The next day, little girl shows her teacher and class just how fun – and musical – roll call can be.

My favorite line: “Other kids asked for songs too. She sang and sang their names.”

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

One of my absolute favorites, this book follows a class through their day. It shows the beauty of diversity in all its forms and just how much we can learn from each other. It reminds us that we belong, no matter what we look like, what we wear, where we live, if we pray, and how we move.

My favorite line: “You have a place here. You have a space here. All are welcome here.”

The Kindest Red by Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K. Ali

The story is a good reminder that we have to power to shape the world around us. When her teacher asks her class to picture an ideal world, Faizah and her friends think about a kind world. They’re inspired to help their classmates – in big ways and small ways – to spread kindness.

My favorite line: “It’s going to be such a good world.”

If you read our article on Pictures Books to Read for AAPI Heritage Month, you might recognize these authors. I recommend their other book, The Proudest Blue, as well. 

Looking for more resources as we head back to school? Check out Tips to Make Back to School Easier.


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