By Katy Searcy, Children’s Department
Does going back to school have your house in a funk? Try a book! Here are thirteen titles for a variety of ages that are sure to get everyone ready for school.
The Class by Boni Ashburn (J E ASHBURN)
Count along with twenty young students from different homes as they get ready for their first day of kindergarten. Some feel eager, some are worried, and some are even grumpy! But they all get dressed, eat breakfast, pack backpacks, and make their way to school, where they will meet their new teacher and become a new class.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg (J E DANNEBERG)
Sarah is afraid to start at a new school. She just knows it will be awful. But both she and the reader are in for a surprise when she gets to her class.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (J E HENKES)
Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (J E PENN)
When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.
You’re Wearing That to School?! by Lynn Plourde (J E PLOURDE)
Penelope is so excited about the first day of school. She can’t wait to wear her rainbow sparkle outfit, bring her favorite stuffed toy for show-and-tell, and share a big picnic lunch with all her new friends. “Oh, no, no!” says her best pal Tiny, who started school last year. He has a few tips for Penelope about fitting in without sticking out.
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex (J E REX)
It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary, and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him? The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea (J F BUYEA)
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary (J F CLEARY)
Ramona Quimby is excited to start kindergarten. Then she gets into trouble for pulling her classmate’s curls during recess. Even worse, her crush rejects her in front of everyone. Beezus says Ramona needs to quit being a pest, but how can she stop if she never was trying to be one in the first place?
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (J F HENKES)
Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.
It’s the First Day of School—Forever! by R.L. Stine (J F STINE)
Everything goes wrong for eleven-year-old Artie on his first day at Ardmore Middle School, from the moment his alarm goes off until the next morning, when everything is repeated exactly the same way.
Recess at 20 Below by Cindy Lou Aillaud (J 371.2424 AIL)
The temperature outside is 20 below zero. Is school cancelled? Nope. How about recess outside? No way! Learn from the kids’ points of view about what it’s like playing during recess when the thermometer says it’s 20 below.
A School Like Mine: A Celebration of Schools Around the World by Penny Smith (J 371.8 SMI)
Where do children in Jordan learn? What subjects do they study in Egypt? From Africa to the Americas, students explain their daily routines in their own words and talk about what makes their schools special to them.
The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney (J 372.91724 MCC)
Your way to school might be by yellow bus, bicycle or car, but around the world children are also getting to class by canoe, through tunnels, up ladders, by donkey, water buffalo or ox cart. Readers will see that the path to school can be “long and hard and even scary” depending on the lay of the land, the weather, even natural disasters.
By Jeffie Nicholson, Adult Services Manager
Book List by Julie Duke, Youth Services Manager
The first day of school is an exciting time for parents and children. Many of us experience different level of anxiety as the summer ends and the school year approaches. Make the beginning of school an easier transition for first-timers and returning students with some of these easy tips!
1. Practice the morning and evening routine. Give yourselves a week or two before school to ‘reset’ your internal clocks and on a sleep to rise schedule that will be the norm for the next 9 months.
2. Let them pick out a school supply with you that will help them get excited about the school year. It can be anything from unique pencils to their backpack. It’s fun to have something special and gives one a sense of control over events.
3. Remind them that everyone is nervous and excited even the teachers! First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a funny picture book that illustrates this point perfectly.
4. Visit the school before the first day. Lots of our local schools have an evening opportunity to visit before the first day so everyone gets to see their classroom and meet each other. You can still visit the playground and walk around the outside of the school. Returning students could have a playdate on the school playground as several are open to use year-round.
5. Talk about it. Be realistic and optimistic. For some, it can be disappointing if the first day isn’t as wonderful as they thought so temper enthusiasm with realism. Be prepared to deal with ‘the teacher didn’t let me lead the line’ disappointments with the fact that there are still 270 days of the school year so plenty of opportunities are left to be had.
6. Read about it. A book about the first day of school is a great gift. The library also has several to choose from to help prepare for the big day. Our favorites include:
o The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Parents may need a box of tissues when reading this one)
o The Ticky-Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant
o Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
o Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
o I Don’t Want to Go Back to School by Marisabina Russo
o Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School by Herman Parish
o Arthur’s Back to School Day by Lillian Hoban
o The Berenstain Bears Go Back to School by Stan Berenstain
o Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson
o How do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen
o First Day of School by Anne Rockwell
o Emily’s First Day of School by Sarah, Duchess of York
o Clifford’s First School Day by Norman Bridwell
o Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Capucilli
7. Take lots pictures and give lots of hugs. Make time that evening to talk about the first day with your child, their work and any special moments that they had on the first day of school.