The Best Back to School Books for Kindergarten

It’s August!  The weather is hot.  The sweet smell of summer continues to linger in the air.  Ice cream, watermelons, swimming pools and flip flops are still on everyone’s mind.  And yet, the first day of school is fast approaching.  Parents, children, and teachers are preparing for an exciting new school year.  Anticipation (and possibly a bit of trepidation) is building.  There is nothing like a great picture book to increase enthusiasm, calm your nerves, and complement your beginning of the year activities.  Check out these wonderful back to school books for kindergarten.  They are all teacher approved and a great way to help ease your students into school.

back to school books for kindergarten

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The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand is a children's book about a raccoon.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak: A sweet story about a little racoon named Chester who is about to start kindergarten but doesn’t want to leave his home, his mother, or the things that are familiar to him.  To help ease Chester’s worries, Mrs. Racoon lets Chester in on a family secret…The Kissing Hand.  Now whenever Chester is feeling anxious or alone, all he has to do is press the palm of his hand to his cheek and feel the warmth of his Mother’s love.  This lovely story with beautiful illustrations is a great read for children getting ready to start anything new, especially kindergarten.

The Night Before Kindergarten

The Night Before Kindergarten is a children's book.

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing: Another wonderful book in Natasha Wing’s The Night Before… series.  This book is cute, fun and lyrical.  It is a perfect read for kids getting ready to start kindergarten; and its message “kindergarten is cool” will help turn your child’s anxiety into excitement. 

Wemberly Worried

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes: Poor Wemberly worries about everything.  So, when it’s time to begin school, she worries more than most; “What if the teacher is mean? What if the room smells bad? What if I can’t find the bathroom? What if I hate the snack?” Once at school, Wemberly’s teacher introduces her to Jewel, another student and fellow worrier.  By the end of the day, which comes sooner than expected, the teachers calls, “Come back tomorrow.”  Wemberly happily replies “I will. Don’t worry.” 

Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come!

Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come is a children's book.

Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come by Nancy Carlson: This short, sweet book is about a little mouse named Henry who is about to start kindergarten.  Henry is full of excitement and anticipation, until he arrives at school.  “It is so big.  I want to go home.” cries Henry.  But once he looks around and sees the art center, familiar letters and numbers, and meets a new friend, Henry decides he wants to stay a while.

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is a children's book.

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate: One of my all time favorite beginning of the year kindergarten books!  Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is an adorable book, full of rhyme and perfect for reviewing the alphabet.  While Miss Bindergarten is busy setting up her classroom for the first day of kindergarten; “Adam Krupp wakes up.  Brenda Heath brushes her teeth.  Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker”… and of course the notable Miss Bindergarten gets ready for kindergarten.  By the time all 26 kindergartners are ready for school, the classroom is full of colors, letters, toys, books, and more.  I highly recommend this book to all kindergarten teachers, who can relate to the remarkable Miss Bindergarten.   

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! is a funny children's book.

The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems: My 5 year-old daughter adores this book!  We started reading it before she started preschool and are reading it again as she prepares for kindergarten.  Another hysterical book from the Mo Willems series about that adorable big-eyed pigeon.  This hilarious book will have your children laughing out loud as the pigeon lists the many reasons he does NOT want to go to school; “What if the teacher doesn’t like pigeons? What will the other birds think of me? What if I learn too much!?! My head might pop off!”  What will it take to convince this pigeon to go to school?  . . . How about a school BUS!?!

Countdown to Kindergarten

Countdown to Kindergarten is a children's book.

Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee, Pictures by Harry Bliss: There are only ten days left until kindergarten.  This soon to be kindergartner is not excited.  She has heard all about the many rules of Kindergarten (from a first grader).  Rule #1 You have to know how to tie your shoes. By yourself. You’re not allowed to ask for help. Ever.  Rule #2 You’re not allowed to bring your cat…  The little girl’s anxiety builds as she counts down the days.  Finally, when the first day of school arrives, the little girl realizes the information she had received is not quite accurate.  

If You Take a Mouse to School

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Joffe, illustrated by Felicia Bond: That famous little mouse from If you Give a Mouse a Cookie is back.  This time he is ready for school!  Laura Joffe and Felicia Bond work their magic once again in this wonderfully silly tale about the series of events that take place if you take a mouse to school.  This book is fun and a great way to introduce your kids to this adorable little mouse.

First Day Jitters

First Day Jitters is a children's book.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, illustrated by Judy Love: Everyone can empathize with Sarah as she struggles to get out of bed for the first day at her new school.  She doesn’t know anyone…it will be hard…her head hurts…  Your students will love this surprise ending.  Spoiler alert-Teachers can be just as nervous for the first day as their students.

More Blogs from 4 Kinder Teachers

I hope you find these back to school book recommendations helpful!  For some more back to school tips, read our blog, 7 Tips for a Successful First Day of Kindergarten.  You may also want to check out 11 Fantastic Good Morning Songs for Kids.

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