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24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid

Help your kid prepare for school with a little help from some adorable bears, a Norse goddess and even a teacher!

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid

Photo: BNC Catalist

First day of school books

Mouse’s Big Day

Written and illustrated by Lydia Monks, published by Publishers Group Canada It’s Mouse’s first day of school and she doesn’t want to go at all! Your child may share the same feelings, but once she sees the fun Mouse has after meeting her new friends, those worries will melt away. $14, indigo.ca

Read more: How to calm first day of kindergarten fears—and make drop-off easier

A picture of the book cover Mouse's big day Photo: BNC CataList

Buddy and Earl Go Back to School

Written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff, Groundwood Books In this fourth installment of the beloved Buddy and Earl series, the hedgehog and dog duo take their antics to the classroom. Kids will be entertained when Professor Earl takes over teaching duties for the day and will learn that the limits of classroom fun are boundless!


24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Groundwood Books

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Here Comes Teacher Cat

Written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda, Dial Books for Young Readers When the mischievous Cat is called in to be a substitute teacher for six little kittens, he is less than enthused. However, through forming a rock band, covering the classroom in paint and personalizing other lesson plans, both Cat and the kittens learn more than just their ABCs from one another.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Dial Books for Young Readers

A New School Year

Written by Sally Derby and illustrated by Mika Song, published by Charlesbridge This book of poems follows six different children as they share their worries about their first day of school. Follow along with your anxious kid, whose nerves will surely be eased as the children all come to find that the first day isn’t nearly as scary as they thought it would be.


Cover of the book titled A New School Year

Photo: BNC CataList

What the Dinosaurs Did at School

Written by Refe and Susan Tuma, published by Little Brown Books Your child will love all the colourful photographs of the mischievous dinosaurs getting into all sorts of antics around the school. Read along as these dinos play fight in the library, create masterpieces in the art room and party it up in the Drawer of No Return.

Read more: How to make a calming jar

Cover of the book What the Dinosaurs Did at School Photo: BNC CataList

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Sela Blue and the First Day of School

Written by Alisia Dale and illustrated by Sheree Evelina, published by Huckleberry Sweet Pie Publishing Ltd. If your kids loved Madeline and Anne of Green Gables they’ll enjoy this rhyming and whimsical book about an inquisitive and relatable little girl who lives in a musical villiage.

In the third book in the series, Sela Blue prepares for her first day of school. She’s got lots of questions: what do you do when the bell rings? What if the desk is too wobbly? But she’s very excited too.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Huckleberry Sweet Pie Publishing Ltd.

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

Written by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Christian Robinson, published by Penguin Young Readers Group When you’re the smallest girl in the smallest grade no one really notices you, but you notice everything. Just ask Sally McCabe—she sees everything, from the keys the janitor carries around to the bullying that happens on the playground. Can one little girl’s loud voice make a difference?

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Penguin Young Readers Group

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Written by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, published by Puffin Books Rhyme along with the alphabet in this book about getting ready for school. Readers follow Ms. Bindergarten as her class gets ready for the first day. Help teach the alphabet while making going to school seem fun to anxious kids.

Read more: 7 things kindergarten teachers want you to know

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Puffin Books

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Chu’s First Day of School

Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex, Harper Collins Publishers Chu is very nervous about his first day of school. What happens there? Will the other boys and girls be nice? Will they like Chu? And, his biggest fear, will he do what he does best – sneeze!?

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Harper Collins Publishers

The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten

Written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Mike Lowery, published by Kids Can Press It’s not always the kid that’s scared of kindergarten – sometimes it’s the parent. This story follows a mom who was sad to see her daughter head off to kindergarten, so one day her kid invites her to school. But moms aren’t really meant for kindergarten, and we soon find out why!

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Kids Can Press

First Day Jitters

Written by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love, published by Charlesbridge Sarah Jane is hiding in her bed and refusing to go to the first day of school. She’s scared. She doesn’t want to meet new kids. She wants to hide in her bed forever!

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Charlesbridge

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The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School

Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna, published by Raincoast Books Go on an adventure with Mr. Fish as he goes to school for the first time. He’s worried about not knowing math, or spelling, or even how to write his own name – until he realizes school is where you go to LEARN.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Raincoast Books

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School

Written by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud, published by Raincoast Books Giant Ants and Evil Ninjas and Mole People, oh my! Getting to school is difficult, but very worth it, in this adventurous tale.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Raincoast Books

Llama Llama Misses Mama

Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, Penguin Young Readers Group On Llama Llama’s first day of preschool, Mama Llama helps him meet his teachers and fellow students. But then she has to leave! Llama Llama misses his mama, but soon makes friends with his classmates, plays new games, and has lots of stories to tell Mama Llama when she (of course) comes back.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Indigo

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Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day of School

Written and illustrated by Adam Auerbach, published by Raincoast Books Edda lives in Asgard, a magical land where she has everything – except a best friend. Edda’s papa knows what to do: It’s time for her to go to school – on earth! But once she’s there, Edda feels sad because she’s the only Valkyrie (a Norse goddess). What will she do?

This one is a free audiobook for Amazon Prime members, too. Need a free Prime membership? Here's how to get one plus loads of other free stuff from Amazon.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Raincoast Books

Franklin Goes to School

Written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark, Kids Can Press Franklin is both excited and nervous to start his first day of school (his tummy feels “full of jumping frogs”). But with the help of new friends, new adventures, and a new pencil case full of coloured pencils, Franklin learns that school can be fun.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Indigo

Planet Kindergarten

Written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and illustrated by Shane Prigmore, published by Raincoast Books Comparing kindergarten to traveling in outer space? Yes, please! Lift off on this adventure to a strange new world full of exciting twists and turns.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Raincoast Books

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The Best Thing About Kindergarten

Written by Jennifer Lloyd and illustrated by Qin Leng, published by Simply Read Books This book takes back-to-school books and flips them on their heads by focusing on the LAST day of school. Ms.Appleby asks her students: “What is the best thing about kindergarten?” and everyone has their own answer!

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Simply Read Books

The Kissing Hand

Written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper, Tanglewood Press Beloved by children and parents alike for over twenty years, The Kissing Hand tells the story of Chester Raccoon, who doesn’t want to go to school. Mrs. Raccoon kisses his palm and tells him to press his hand to his cheek whenever he feels lonely, thereby giving him a way to take her love and reassurance with him wherever he goes.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Indigo

Not This Bear

Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by Lorna Hussey, published by Raincoast Books Today is Bear’s first day of school, and he begs not to go. He’s terrified, but Mama tells him everything will be okay. Read along as he finds out about painting, new friends and stories at school.


24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Raincoast Books

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Ally-saurus & The First Day of School

Written and illustrated by Richard Torrey, published by Sterling Children’s Books Ally is a dinosuar, and nothing you say will convince her otherwise. Dinosaurs are her favourite! She even has a tail to prove it. But once school starts she feels more like a left-out-a-saurus. Many people don’t believe her dino-ness, or judge her for her choice not to be a princess. Will this tough little dino find some friends?


24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Sterling Children's Books

The Night Before Kindergarten

Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Julie Durrell, published by Penguin Young Readers Pack your backpack, choose your clothes, go to bed early, and prepare to say goodbye to Mom and Dad—the night before kindergarten is busy with new and sometimes scary things. But maybe, just maybe, school will be worth it…

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Penguin Young Readers

Puddle’s Big Step

Written by Amber Stewart and illustrated by Layn Marlow, published by Oxford University Press Puddle has been excited about going to duckling school since he can remember – until the time comes to actually go. But Puddle’s mom knows it’s going to be okay, and helps Puddle through his nervousness with the help of a fully-packed school bag.

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Oxford University Press

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Dad’s First Day

Written and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, published by Bloomsbury Oliver and his dad have spent the entire summer playing together – but now summer is over, and it’s back-to-school time. Oliver is super excited, but his dad is worried. Will he be able to convince his dad that school will be awesome?

24 First-Day-of-School Books for Your Anxious Kid Photo: Bloomsbury

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This article was originally published on Jul 28, 2017

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