As school quickly approaches, children are experiencing many feelings about a new school year and new classmates.  Here are some books with school as the subject as well as books to help your youngster prepare for a great year.  All of these books are picture books and are good for ages four through eight unless otherwise indicated.

Back to School, by Noe Carlain, and brightly illustrated by Herve Le Goff, is a clever book with a different group of animals displayed on every open page.  Each group is excited to go to school that relates to their type of animal.  Every new open page begins with the same sentence only with the subject animal being different. The HEDGEHOGS are going back to school.  The open page is swarming with young hedgehogs tumbling and turning into school exclaiming:  ouch! No pushing! That’s sharp!  This quick read would certainly bring smiles, giggles and likely breaking the ice in a new kindergarten or first grade classroom.

Meet Your School: An All About Me Book, by Cindy Jin, and cleverly illustrated by Melissa Crowton, is a lift-the-flap board book that showcases a school day in just six pages.  The book is in the shape of a school and the simple rhyming text makes for a perfect read-out-loud.  A child new to school will become acquainted with the classroom’s daily routines.  Some of the scenes in the book include an open page look at a classroom and the library filled with books.

Little Ghoul Goes to School, by Jef Czekaj, is a fun and funny look at Little Ghoul and her first day at school.  Instead of hoping for sunny, nice weather for her to wake up to, she desires for it to be rainy and cold.  So, she’s very disappointed seeing the cloudless, warm morning.  Every instance of the normal expectations of school, Little Ghoul wants just the opposite.  For instance, she hopes for a maggot-and-brown-banana peel sandwich, but is disgusted with a regular peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in her lunch box.  This is the perfect book to giggle away the nerves about school.  The ingenious art alone is enough to read the book again and again!

Nana Akua Goes to School, by Tricia Elam Walker, and the wonderful illustrations were made with mixed media collage by April Harrison, is a powerful story of enjoying and appreciating the many differences that make up a classroom.  It’s Grandparents Day in Zura’s class and all the students are bringing their grandparent to school.  Scepter Zura is hesitant because her Nana grew up in Ghana where the old tradition was having tribal markings placed on faces.  Zura is worried others will think her Nana will look scary to them. But how her grandmother deals with this is tender as well as a strong teachable lesson where all ages can learn.

Super Milly and the Super School Day, by Stephanie Clarkson, and with wonderful and bright illustrations done digitally by Gwen Millward, is a perfect book to read out loud to a lower grade classroom during the first weeks of school.  Sweet and super Milly exemplifies kindness and creativity.  It’s “Superhero Day” at school and her costume of the day is borrowed items from her house.  To top it off she places an “M” on a sticker to wear.  Each time she finds a classmate in great need, she is there to save the day.  Her superpowers are acts of clever kindness helping others feel better; therefore, making her day super!  There is much to learn in this simple yet powerful message!

To Be Different is Beautiful, by Renee Stirling-Dehaan, is a story that will surely help others appreciate those with disabilities and help them understand to treat them like anyone else.  Demi is different which this outstanding book brings out that different is a good thing.  Demi discusses how she is different from her point of view where she points out that she has an artificial leg.  She brings out many situations that present problems or might have others take note.  But this is who she is, and by accepting her with all that she represents, is the core of this story.  This book begs for discussions as it may bring up many topics needing to be discussed in families and classrooms.  The author has some difficult disabilities that she has dealt with successfully and gave her the idea to write this book.  You can obtain this book through or****@Xl*****.com

Lala’s Words, by Graces Zhang, showcases the importance of kind words and the tremendous impact they can make.  Lala loves growing and loving the plants she’s growing in the neighborhood garden down the street where she lives.  Her loving and lively attitude spreads to a jubilant growth throughout the garden and beyond.  The illustrations convey Lala’s enthusiasm with lilting lines of black, yellow and green.  The lesson here could be powerful just with an uplifting word or smile.