This school year will certainly be uncharted and ever-changing territory! Students, parents, and teachers will have nonstop questions and concerns. With just a week left, I know that many have mixed emotions about the return to school. But one thing I do know, when everything else about this year may feel completely upside down – the one constant you can rely on is… BOOKS! So here are my favorite new, older, and Covid releases for “back to school 2020”. There will never be another “back to school” quite like this one!
Our Favorite Day of the Year – A.E. Ali
Oh, this book. So much to love and so many lesson ideas (my brain is swirling!) with this book! After their teacher tells them the first day of school is her favorite day of the year, a group of kindergarten students get the opportunity to share their favorite day with their classmates. As the school year progresses, many different cultures, traditions, and observations are introduced and shared between each classmate. LOVE!
Our Class is a Family – Shannon Olsen
One of my favorite new Back to School books this year and a perfect one for building community within your classrooms, creating a home away from home, and making students feel safe, included, and loved.
I Got the School Spirit – Connie Schofield-Morrison
A young girl greets the new school year with an abundance of positive energy! Bouncy text, lots of sound words, and boundless enthusiasm in this one! Would make a great first day read-aloud. I Got the Rhythm and I Got the Christmas Spirit are the two other books in this series.
Bunny Braves the Day – Suzanne Bloom
When a little bunny is nervous about starting school, his big sister hops right in to help him overcome his fears. I really liked how it was a sibling, not an adult, who helps ease the nerves.
Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten – Laura Purdie Salas
First day of kindergarten told from the viewpoint of a shy child. This is particularly good for children with sensory issues and how to make plans to help with those school challenges.
We Will Rock Our Classmates – Ryan T. Higgins
Follow-up to the very popular We Don’t Eat Our Classmates (see below), and while not quite as cute as the first one, there is still a lot of fun and heart with Penelope Rex and the kids of Mrs. Noodle Man’s kindergarten class as they prepare for the class talent show.
All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold
A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids starting and returning to school. All children need to know they are welcome in their classrooms and feel a sense of belonging. In rhythmic phrases, this story emphasizes the inclusiveness, acceptance, and celebration of all cultures. The perfect book for the first week of school to promote a positive classroom and school community.
The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!– Mo Willems
Mo Willems is back with another pigeon book just in time for back to school! The Pigeon Has to Go to School is a laugh-out-loud hilarious story focusing on fears about going to school for the first time. Not preachy and a great ending. A perfect back to school read! LOVE this!
You’re Finally Here! – Melanie Watt
In a Mo Willams “Pigeon” style, this bunny speaks directly to the reader, telling them how LONG he has been waiting for them. Melanie Watts’ style is fun, playful, and very easy to read aloud because the humour keeps readers engaged in the story.
We Don’t Eat our Classmates – Ryan T. Higgins
Oh my goodness – SUCH a funny book! Yes, there are many “back to school” books to choose from… but this is definitely the one I recommend. So fresh and funny, but teaches empathy so beautifully. A perfect read-aloud or gift for that young one who might be experiencing “back to school jitters”.
Steve, Raised By Wolves – Jared Chapman
LOL! This book is hilarious and would make a brilliant back to school read-aloud for any grade! Young Steve is literally raised by wolves. Mother wolf sends him on his first day of school with this advice: “Just be yourself!”. So Steve proceeds to do just that – howling in class, shredding homework, marking his territory, drinking from the toilet and pouncing on his classmates! His behavior does not go over well! In the end, Steve saves the day and helps to find the class pet. Great book for discussing appropriate school behavior as well as what it means to “be yourself”
The Day You Being – Jacqueline Woodson
Wow. Powerful and perfect. A beautifully illustrated and told story of encouragement and empowerment for kids who feel different from others, one that urges them to tell their stories and lift their voices. A great back to school book for creating a positive class community.
A Few COVID Tales….
Germs vs. Soap – Didi Dragon
The perfect how-to children’s book for Covid Times, when proper hand washing is more important than ever. Love the clever, memorable language, and playful illustrations and humour.
If You Can’t Bear Hug, Air Hug – Katie Sodmak
Super cute book that provides alternative ways to greet each other and show that we love them during this new world of social distancing. Perfect book for the first week back to school!
A Unique Start – 6 Ft. Apart – Emily Oquendo
A perfect classroom read aloud for the first day or week back at school during the COVID-19 crisis. This book addresses some of the changes that students will see around school during the 2020-2021 school year and a great one for parents and/or teachers who have to talk about this difficult time with their children. Written in a very relatable way without being too preachy
Thanks for stopping by! Hoping you found a title or two that caught your eye!
Sending positive thoughts to each and every one of you as you prepare for back to school this year.