Books to Read Before the First Day of School

White Bookcase of Children's Books | Taste As You Go

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We have a joke in our house that coffee is life.

(Well, the kids joke about it. Coffee is something my husband and I don't joke about. We take our coffee very, very seriously.)

Depending on how silly the kids are feeling, anything can fill in for coffee. At breakfast, bacon is life. At dinner, gravy is life. On the weekend, when we're eating stacks of homemade pancakes, maple syrup is life.

You get the idea.

Joking aside, the one thing our family can't live without—especially the kids—is books. 

So reading is life. 

We've often turned to books to help explain some of the bigger things to the kids... like getting ready for a new baby in the family... or getting ready to move to a new house/place... or getting ready to start school.

Now I realize the timing of this post may be off for some of you. Especially for those of you who've already shared photos from the First Day of School. While our son started pre-K at his new school earlier this week... our daughter is still a couple of weeks away from her first day.

So in our world, this post is right on time. 😉

I've been wanting to share this list of school-related books for a while. Some of these helped ease our daughter's mind when she started kindergarten last fall. We love them so much, we read them all year long because the stories were engaging and they touched on larger themes like trying new things... making new friends... and showing kindness. Of course, these books can also be helpful for those starting a new school in the middle of a school year.

Are you looking for ways to help your special little one ready for the school year? Then check out this list of books to read before the first day of school (and beyond)!

Books to Read Before the First Day of School

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Amy Wummer

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Amy Wummer

Be A Star, Wonder Woman! by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano

Be A Star, Wonder Woman! by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano

Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell


Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim


First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Mae's First Day of School by Kate Berube


Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan and illustrated by Maja Löfdahl

Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan and illustrated by Maja Löfdahl

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems

We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins


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