School is right around the corner and what better way to gear up for the new year than with great picture books on the subject? This is especially true for those going to school for the first time. All of these books are good for ages four to ten unless otherwise indicated.
This School Year Will Be The BEST!, by Kay Winters, and brightly painted by Renee Andriani, is the perfect book for first day jitters. Several different children express their hopes for the new school year. Some are blissful and others are wistful. One hopes for a chocolate water fountain; another hopes for new friends. But the teacher’s wish brings the great joy of a bonded classroom when she wishes to get to know each child.
The Gingerbread Man is Loose in the School, by Laura Murray, and drawn and colored by Mike Lowery, is an indescribably delicious story about this cool cookie who seems to have lost the students after being made. As he runs, runs, as fast as he can, he tries to catch up with the class. This yummy story can introduce kindergarteners to the many parts of the school as the Gingerbread Man runs throughout the building. The cartoonlike panels and different size fonts make for a perfect recipe of a book!
Hornbooks and Inkwells, by Verla Kay, and painted with watercolor and gouache by S. D. Schindler, is a wonderful book to showcase to kids to see the similarities and differences of kids attending school back in the 18th century. The rhyming is brief on every page, but the impact is great with the information it provides. This book will really open children’s eyes to the daily schedules of learning how to read and write, and what was used to write with. This book would be good for all ages.
Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches, by Lisa Broadie Cook, and drawn and painted with bright acrylic by Jack E. Davis, is a hilarious book with many of the homework excuses that kids use placed into this story. Martin goes to school on Monday and sees that he has a substitute for the week. She gives homework and when he attempts to work on it his dog licks the peanut butter and jam off the paper it had just spilled on. Then the dog eats his homework paper. The next day, he misses recess to makeup for the loss. And on his week goes. (As a retired teacher, I’ve heard many creative excuses, but Martin is truly having a bad week.) The story ends happily when his real teacher finally comes back.
Follow the Line to School, by Laura Ljungkvist, continues the author’s trademark series of following a simple line as it swirls and twists from the cover to the back. In this book, you get to explore the school from front to back and all in between. All along, the colorful and variety of fonts ask three questions on each page about the area the line has just entered. This book very cleverly introduces school to children!
Louise the Big Cheese and the Back-to-School Smarty-Pants, by Elise Primavera, and painted with watercolor by Diane Goode, is another story in this series but this time Louise is determined to get straight A’s. The problem is that her teacher doesn’t give A’s. But that doesn’t stop Louise to work very hard to get an A. This excellent story demonstrates the importance of a strong work ethic and determination, as well as the importance of an understanding teacher who expects the best from her students! I love this book!
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, by Eric Litwin, and brightly painted with color that fills each page by James Dean, has Pete the Cat sitting at his desk, going to the library and going outside for recess all in his vibrant red shoes. The rhyming text reads like a song. In fact, you can download the song from the link found in the book.
Pirates Go To School, by Corinne Demas, and painted by John Manders, shows what would happen if adult pirates went to school with kids. This funny book takes you through their day, along with their parrots, and how they learn to read and write, (“x” marks the spot) and much more. But beware, these buccaneers may tickle your funny bone.
Dino Pets Go To School, by Lynn Plourde, and wonderfully painted by Gideon Kendall, has a young boy trying to decide which pet he should bring to school for “show-‘n-tell”. He decides to bring all of his dinosaurs because each has different attributes he wants to show. This laughable story has more information found at the back about each of his “pets”.