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Books to Get Your Kids Excited about School

9+ Great Books for the Preschool and Kindergarten Set

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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9 Great Books for the Preschool and Kindergarten Set

If the words back-to-school trigger fears about adjusting to new routines, making friends, and separation anxiety, check out these titles to help your little learner get off to a great start.

1. Albert Starts School

By Eleanor May

The Kane Press, 2015

Ages 3–6

Albert the Mouse is excited to go to school. But he’s surprised to learn that school operates on a set schedule. For instance, it’s library on Monday, art on Tuesday, feeding the fish on Wednesday, and other activities throughout the week. By Friday, Albert has it all figured out. The theme here: patience!

2. Ally-Saurus & the First Day of School

By Richard Torrey

Sterling, 2015

Ages 3–7

Dinosaur-loving Ally can’t wait to go to school, and she’s looking forward to meeting more dino-loving kids there. But when school starts, she sees she’s the only dinosaur enthusiast in the classroom. What’s a kid to do? This book reminds children that everyone has interestsand imagination—and they can all be different. As the story progresses, Ally makes friends with “princesses,” an “astronaut,” a “lion,” and even a “dragon.”

3. Bye-Bye Time

By Elizabeth Verdick

Free Spirit Publishing, 2008 (Kindle edition 2012)

Ages 0–4

This reassuring little book addresses separation anxiety—a problem for many preschool children who have difficulty saying “bye-bye” to a parent or caregiver. Especially helpful for the youngest learners, this board book includes several supportive see-you-later routines (hugs and kisses, a hearty wave) that any caregiver and child can follow.

4. Clifford Goes to Kindergarten

By Norman Bridwell

Scholastic, 2015

Ages 3–5

In this new adventure, Clifford the dog helps Emily Elizabeth transition to kindergarten. When Emily’s teacher sends home a note inviting students to bring a special item to help them feel more comfortable in the classroom, no one expects to see Clifford show up!

5. Eva and Sadie and the Best Classroom Ever!

By Jeff Cohen

Harper/HarperCollins, 2015

Ages 4–8

Big sister Sadie is starting second grade. And as the older, more experienced sibling, she wants little Eva fully prepared for kindergarten. Eva should know, for example, that there are no naps in kindergarten and that there are serious decisions to make at lunchtime. Eva’s a little worried—okay, stressed—but when school starts, she’s fine, in spite of her sister’s coaching.

6. Goose Goes to School

By Laura Wall

HarperCollins, 2015

Ages 3–7

Sophie learns that her good friend, Goose, can’t go to school with her. But Goose follows her anyway. Goose is great fun at recess, and he helps Sophie make friends, easing her transition and later inspiring her classmates’ artwork. What a great way to start a new school adventure!

7. I'm Ready For School

By DK Publishing

DK Publishing, 2015

Ages 2–5

Preschool and kindergarten kids will get plenty of practice counting, sorting, naming, and matching objects as they peruse the two-page spreads in this oversize board book. Three colorful characters lead the way: Bip the Cat takes charge of numbers and counting. Bob the Elephant focuses on words and stories. Boo the Monkey focuses on creativity and art. All provide kids lots of preschool lessons.

8. Planet Kindergarten

By Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Chronicle Books, 2014

Ages 3–7

For this boy astronaut, our brave and bold hero, failure is not an option—not even in kindergarten. This confidence-building tale will leave rising kindergarten kids eager to jump onboard and ready to blast off to conquer new horizons.

9. Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

By Paula Ayer

Annick Press, 2015

Ages 3–5

With its you-can-do-it theme, this little book looks at all the amazing things one little girl can already do as she gets ready for kindergarten. She can put on her shoes, don a jacket, recognize letters, and more! Although there are a few bumps along the way, when the big day comes, she is indeed ready. Kids will love the girl’s independent spirit.

You May Also Like:

A few back-to-school themed books from Boyds Mills & Kane:

The Bus for Us
The Bus For Us

By Suzanne Bloom

Ages 5-7

Boyds Mills & Kane, 2008

Tess is excited. Today is her first day of school and her very first ride on a school bus. Waiting at the bus stop with her older friend Gus, Tess eagerly asks, "Is this the bus for us, Gus?" as each vehicle passes by. From fire engine to front loader, Suzanne Bloom introduces young readers to a variety of vehicles through a simple text and spirited illustrations

Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green
Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green

By Christine Pakkala, Illustrated by Paul Hopps

Ages 7-10

Boyds Mills & Kane, 2013

Lola Zuckerman hates being last for everything. If only she were Lola Adams or Lola Appleby or anything but Z for Zuckerman. And she is having a particularly hard time right now. Her best friend Amanda Anderson is now her ex-best friend. Her grandparents have moved back to Texas, and her mother is launching a new career. Why is everything always changing? What would make things much, much better is if Lola were to win the Going-Green Contest at school and beat Amanda Anderson, who is determined to win first place too. How can Lola, who is always last, prove that she’s not least? This first book in the Last-But-Not-Least Lola series is a laugh-out-loud, heartwarming, and intensely satisfying story about the importance of friendship and creative problem-solving. 

My Special Day at Three Street School
My Special Day at Third Street School

By Eve Bunting, illustrated by Suzanne Bloom

Ages 5-7

Boyds Mills & Kane, 2009

Third Street School is buzzing with excitement as the students prepare for a visit from author Amanda Drake. The kids have read all her books. They've hung a welcome banner in the hall and pinned drawings on the classroom walls. Then the big day arrives and Amanda Drake is everything the kids hoped she'd be. She reads stories, and cuddles the stuffed animals, and tells the kids what it's like to be a writer. Then one child comes up with an idea: "It would be really cool if you would write a book about your visit to our school." And that's precisely what Amanda Drake does. Eve Bunting's happy book, a Society of School Librarians International Honor Book, is written in playful rhyme and illustrated with zest by Suzanne Bloom