OUR FAVORITE BACK TO SCHOOL PICTURE BOOKS [2023]

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One of my guilty pleasures is buying (too many) children’s books! Reading to your child not only supports language & cognitive development, but also provides a wonderful opportunity for bonding.

My child certainly has his favorites that he wants me to read to him over and over again. Every month, I love to switch up the books on his shelves. The back to school picture books list includes books about school, but I also wanted to include some other important themes. During the school year children should also learn about diversity, community, kindness, and friendship.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

My First Day of School by Michelle Medlock Adams is about a young boy who is starting his first day of school. Kids will read and follow him as he explores his classroom, makes new friends, and enjoys creative and interesting activities. This book will help first-time students understand what happens at school. [Board Book]

In School is Cool! by Sabrina Moyle different animals are nervous about their first day of school. They are worried about not knowing the rules, how to make friends, or how to fit in. The bright illustrations show all of the positive experiences they begin to have throughout their school day. [Hardcover]

CLASSROOM COMMUNITY

We’re Better Together: A Book About Community by Eileen Spinelli is a celebration of coming together to solve problems, support communities, and honor everyone’s differences. Each page gives examples of how children can positively work together inside and outside of the classroom. [Board Book]

In the book All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. The illustrations show a diverse school community and the pages repeat the phrase “All are welcome here.” This encourages children to celebrate each other’s traditions. [Hardcover]

KINDNESS

ABCs of Kindness by Samantha Berger uses the alphabet to show everyday acts of kindness and generosity through thoughtful and vibrant illustrations. This is a great book to introduce children to all the different ways they can show kindness. [Hardcover]

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller explores the topic of kindness through the story of a child wondering how to respond when a friend spills grape juice on herself. Kids will read about all different ways to be kind. It also touches on the concept that small acts of kindness matter, and that they can build with other acts of kindness to make a difference. [Paperback]

MAKING FRIENDS

This Is How We Make Friends: For kids going to preschool by DK is a great book to help teach children the important skills needed to make friends. It talks about manners, expressing emotions, and how to be a kind friend. It doesn’t have a story, but this is a great way to have a discussion with your child about making friends on the first day of school. [Board Book]

PRACTICING SELF-CONTROL

My Magical Choices by Becky Cummings begins each page with an “I choose” statement that empowers children to take responsibility for their mindset and actions. This book will encourage them to make good choices throughout their day, such as choosing to be calm, forgiving, brave, honest, friendly, and much more. [Hardcover]

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY

I’m Like You, You’re Like Me: A Book About Understanding and Appreciating Each Other by Cindy Gainer is a great introduction to diversity and self-esteem for children. This book describes all the different ways children may see similarities and differences between in each other. It will encourage kids to form positive friendships and build self-confidence. [Paperback]

SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

I’m Your Bus by Marilyn Singer is a perfect picture book to share with children starting school and riding the bus. This rhyming book is about the day in the life of a school bus. Kids will love reading about the positive relationship between students and their school bus. [Paperback]

HOPES AND DREAMS

Dream You’ll Be by Joseph T. Garcia has clever rhymes and vibrant illustrations. Children will become inspired when they read all about the exciting careers these characters dream about. [Hardcover]

In What Will You Be? by Yamile Saied Méndez a child imagines her future with her Abuela’s guidance and support. It’s a beautiful and inspiring book that explores what it means to find yourself and make a positive impact as you grow.

Books and stories open up a whole new world to your child. Take the opportunity to have conversations with them about the book you are reading. Make stories fun and engaging by changing your voice and making sounds. Do you have any favorite books that you’re reading during the fall months? Tell me about them!

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