9 Great Children's Books about Starting School

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In Feburary 2015 in the Story Mama household we had a school starter. (AGHHH!!) Whilst I was mostly O.K with this concept, I will admit to the fact that I was amazed he was old enough for school already and a bit apprehensive about making packed lunches 5 times a week and negotiating a new world of school mothers.

In preparation for this milestone and the orientation days that come before it, we read together lots of books featuring schoolish things and here are our favourites.

Starting School by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker

Starting School by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker

In this beautiful picture book 5 multi-cultural children are off to school for the very first time. They enjoy making friends, learning new things and discovering all that school involves. This book touches on how the children feel about starting school and will help children be comfortable about making this step.

We think this book captures Australian school life perfectly, right down to getting your hair pulled and playing on the monkey bars. It really is a fantastic tool to introduce boys or girls to the idea of school. 

Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill

Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill

Spot starts school and finds singing, playgrounds, painting and story time

This is a great introduction for little kids as to the adventure school might be. With plenty of interactive lift the flaps it makes school sound like lots of fun.


First Day by Andrew Daddo

This children’s picture book captures a modern first day of school – Iphone pictures and all. Covering the anticipation and nerves of a first day and that both mother and child may have to be a bit brave. This one will tug at your heart strings and we love how the school starter assures her mum that tomorrow will be easier.

Wombat Goes to School

Wombat Goes To School by Jackie French

In between sleeping, scratching and chasing carrots, Mothball the wombat manages to go to school. This is a funny sequel to the Wombat series by Jackie French and it touches gently on schoolish things like crossing ladies and lunchtime. This is a perfect book for preschoolers and Prep age children.


I am Too Absolutely Small for School 


Lola is a bit anxious about school, she thinks maybe she is still too small and doesn’t really have time to go. She wonders whether she will have people to talk to at lunchtime and whether learning to read might be too hard. Her wise older brother Charlie assures her it will be fun.  


Lola is both outspoken and brave. We also love her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson who is also nervous about starting school.


The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen and Freya Blackwood

It’s the first day of school and all the children have a special backpack, except one – she has a terrible suitcase. A story about how imagination can make magic out of anything. This CBCA award winner is a magical tale celebrating imagination and making the best of things. Beautifully illustrated – this is a really gorgeous book.


I Don't Want to Go To School by Stephanie Blake

Little Simon the Bunny is about to face his first day of school and he is scared. He says he is not going, no matter what his parents say. When Simon eventually faces school he has such a good time that he does not want to come home at the end of the day.

An endearing little rabbit dressed as a superhero who goes through an “I don’t want to go to school phase”. This is a great read aloud for families who are dealing with school refusal or problems adjusting to school. It has a good lesson in it, that if you give it a go, things just might surprise you.


What's In My Lunchbox by Peter Carnavas

Today in my lunchbox, I happened to find and apple, a sister, a fish, an egg, a bear and a dinosaur.

Full of lunchbox silliness this is a funny look at school lunches. We like how the little boy in the story absolutely does not want to eat the apple until he realizes it is his best option after all.  With lovely simple and humorous illustrations by Kat Chadwick this would be a great read aloud at Kindergarten or Prep/ Foundation for all those kids getting used to lunchboxes. We recommend for children age 3-6.


Look, There's a Hippopotamus in the Playground Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards

I’ve got a new school bag. I put my red drink bottle and my red lunch box in my school bag. My hippopotamus is packing his school bag too.

Together with her hippopotamus, the little girl is starting school. They meet her teacher, eat lunch in the playground and make new friends. This is a reassuring story for new school starters.

If you loved There is a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake, you will love this book. The little girls imaginary hippopotamus goes to school with her so that he will not be lonely at home. This is a good read aloud to have up your sleeve prior to starting school. Featuring all those school like things it is likely to be very comforting to a school starter.



Twig by Aura Parker

One, two, three. One, two, three. Why won't someone play with me?

Heidi is a stick insect. She is tall and long like the twig of a tree. It is her first day at a busy bug school, where she hopes to elarn and make new friends. Sadly, making friends is that much more difficult when no-one can find you! Can you spot Heidi?

This is a gorgeous story about a little girl, who happens to look like a twig, who just wants to make friends. She really does blend in too well and her class mates think she is a hat stand, or else try and incorporate her into their art projects. When Heidi finally objects loudly, the bugs discover a way to make sure they can see her despite her camouflage. This is a joyful book about being different and accepted. 

Do you have a little one starting school next year? How are you getting them and YOU prepared? Tell us about it in the comments below.



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Last update: Mar 19, 2018


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