Starting school is an exciting time and a new chapter in your child’s life. It’s also a big change and a challenge for them! It can be a little bit scary too.
You may be feeling overwhelmed with all the things there are to prepare them for this new stage of life.
Children might feel nervous about meeting new people, or have trouble making friends.
One way to get ready is through reading. Luckily, there are many books that can help prepare kids for starting school.
Books are a great way to introduce children to the joy of reading before they start school, and provide them with skills they need to succeed. They can even help your child make friends at school or develop a love of reading that will last their whole life.
Here, are some of our favourite books for kids who are about to start school.
These are suitable whether your child is starting reception, or school nursery class. Or may even help if your infant school child is moving to a new school and feeling a bit nervous
September is here already, and hopefully all the little ones are starting to settle in well to their new schools.
If they need a little further encouragement, then sharing some books all about starting school could help to soothe any worries and to give you a great chance to have a chat about their days at school.
Books can be a great way to prepare your child for something new. You want to help them feel as prepared as possible, but that can be a challenge if they don’t know what to expect. Books are a great way to not only prepare your child for their new school, but also help them get excited for it!
Here are a few of our favourite book recommendations for starting school which we have at home or have enjoyed reading….
This Starting school book list is newly updated for 2021! Affiliate links are included.
Books about Starting School for Kids
Charlie and Lola are some of our favourite characters for younger children. Lola is so funny and relatable, and this book is no different.
Charlie’s little sister Lola is nearly big enough to go to school. But Lola is not so sure…
Lola says, “I am absolutely not BIG. I am still really quite small. I probably do not have time to go to school. I am too extremely busy doing important things at home.”
This sweet book by Caryl Hart is another one in the series following up on When a Dragon Comes to Stay, which is a lovely book about a dragon being polite and good on a sleepover.
In this rhyming story book, lots of recognisable preschooler behaviour crops up. When a dragon goes to school, will she enjoy a book in the reading den and save her lunchtime treats for a friend? Or will she throw the crayons and refuse to share? She’s going to need her friends to help her behave herself . . . she is DRAGON after all!
This Ahlberg book is a classic and shows lots of different children starting and getting used to school. The book takes you through all kinds of things that may happen in school, day by day. It is very colourful, busy and and engaging
This is a book about friendship and starting fairy school and is one of my daughter’s favourites with lovely pop ups and interative pullers and twisters
This book will be helpful if your child is feeling worried or nervous about starting school, and can also help kids with anxiety in other worrying situations.
The Worrysaurus book is written by Rachel Bright, the award winning author of The Lion Inside.
This book would be another good option for nervous children to help them relax and handle the new situation to the best of their abilities.
The book is not specifically about starting school, but this is definitely an area where many children have worries – and it helps to talk about.
“Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first it’s not such a big worry, and that’s all right, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again”
Topsy and Tim start school
Topsy and Tim are boy and girl twins, and this lovely series of books from Ladybird takes children through many of the new experiences like starting school, or going to get a hair cut.
Topsy and Tim was a classic when my sister and I started school in the 1990s but now this book series has been updated, and even has a show for little ones on the CBeebies channel.
The Colour Monster is a brilliant book to help children identify and understand their feelings. In this spin off from the original colour monster book, starting school is tackled to help young children manage their nerves.
This is such a sweet book, which both Z and T enjoyed listening to. It is all about Boris, a big clumsy bear who is new to school. He starts off on a bit of a wrong foot as he seems to be getting told off and scaring the other children as he is so much bigger – it is quite sad! But then on the way home from school one day, Boris’ big size comes in handy to protect his classmates from the sneaky rat pack in the forest. After that, they realise that Boris is great and all the class are able to get along well, including Boris.
This is a good one for children to see that having a wobbly start doesn’t necessarily mean it will go on that way, and to emphasise that all different sizes and kinds of children should be accepted in class whatever their differences are; that you can end up being great friends with anybody!
Foxy is a magical tale about a little girl called Emily and her magical fox. It’s the night before she starts school and she is a bit worried. Foxy does his best to grant all her wishes with his magic tale, although it sometimes goes a bit wrong! But when she is worried no one at school will like her, he reassures that she doesn’t need any magic for that she can just be herself! This is a very sweet story. Mr Z had it as a school reading book so we don’t actually have our own but it would be an ideal story for children starting school.
Mondays at Monster School is a simple Early Reader. If you have a child who is going into school already able to read a bit, then this could be a great one for them to practise – or you could read it to them as a story book. Mr Z has been reading this book now he has just gone into year 1. Although it is not his 1st year in school, it can still take a little while for children to readjust back to the school routine, and a new teacher and new classroom.
I have a more detailed review of this book here.
We have this book as a part of the 10 books in a bag set. It’s a lovely story about Harry’s first day in his new school. He is not able to take his dinosaurs with him and at first he is a bit unsure and not enjoying himself too much. Then he sees another boy who is even more worried than himself and he manages to cheer him up and they all end up enjoying their day and seeing that school is not so bad. Harry and the Dinosaurs are great characters and if your child is already familiar with them then this would be a great book to choose. This was also suggested to me by Mary from over40 and a mum to one, as a great book about starting school.
This book is a lot more information based. It’s not a story book, but a book to go through and discuss with your child all about schools and what usually happens in school. It is good that it doesn’t give just one idea about what happens in school. Fpr example it says in some schools the children are dropped off at the school entrance where the teacher meets them, and in other schools the children queue up in the playground to go inside with the teacher. It gives quite a few options, so you can discuss with your child about the way they do things in their school. This would also be good if your child is changing from one school to another, just to introduce the idea that things may be done differently. The book covers all the different parts of the school day, from lesson time to play time, to special days like own clothes days or school performances. It is a really good one if you child does seem to want a lot of information to get them ready for starting school!
This is a book Z used a lot when starting school. I love the wipe clean nature of it, as it can be used as many times as you like. The book includes lots of school related words to copy if your child is eager to get going with the school work and practise their handwriting, and you can look at the pictures and talk about what you see. You could have a look for what is the same and what is different from your child’s own school.
For parents – 5 Minute Mum Time for School by Daisy Upton gives you ideas for simple activities to put together at home to help support your child’s learning. The key is that the activities are quick and easy to do
I read this before Z started nursery. It covers quite a lot, and is not written in too patronising and annoying a way. I often can not stand guide or advice type books but this was okay! If it is your first child or if you are not very familiar with the UK school system I would recommend this.
Some of the books featured were previously sent to me for review
Are there are any other books which you would recommend or add to the list? Let me know in the comments!
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