Back to School Reading List

 

 

Ages 2-4:

ALEXANDRA PENFOLD illustrated by SUZANNE KAUFMAN

ALL ARE WELCOME

BLOOMSBURY CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2019 (PBK) 40PP £6.99 ISBN 9781526604071

A beautiful book about a school where everyone is welcome no matter where they’re from or what they look like. We follow this wonderfully inclusive class through a day at school as the community prepares to celebrate Lunar New year Together and learn from each other’s traditions. A warm, welcoming picturebook that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids. (Age 2-4)

LAUREN CHILD

CHARLIE AND LOLA: I AM TOO ABSOLUTELY SMALL FOR SCHOOL

ORCHARD BOOKS 2015 (PBK) 32PP €9.79 ISBN 9781408351550

This Charlie and Lola book follows Lola as she insists that she is much too small to be starting school, and has far too much to do at home anyway. Of course, big brother Charlie helps to put her at ease. A wonderful story for any child in need of a little reassurance, full of Lauren Child’s stylish mixed media illustrations and the humour that is integral to the Charlie and Lola series. (Age 2-4)

 

DAISY HIRST

I DO NOT LIKE BOOKS ANYMORE!

WALKER BOOKS 2018 (PBK) 40PP £11.99 ISBN 9781406382914

Natalie and Alphonse are back in Daisy Hirst’s new picturebook, and this time Natalie is struggling with her reading. Finding that the words in her storybook look scrambled and wrong on the page, Natalie declares that she does not like books anymore. The struggles of learning to read and wanting proper stories are captured very well in this book, and Hirst’s charming, naïve style is perfectly suited to the subject matter. An excellent book for struggling readers and picture book lovers alike. (Age 2–4)

 

LUCY COUSINS

MAISY GOES TO PLAYSCHOOL

WALKER BOOKS 208 (BOARD) 16PP £7.99 ISBN 9781406309713

Through the iconic figure of Maisy the mouse, Cousins takes us through a day of preschool. For Maisy, that means a day filled with friends and things to do, from the time she hangs her coat up to the time she says good-bye. There’s painting and snack time, stories and nap time (and a bathroom break in between). Soon everyone’s ready to haul out the instruments and make some noise, then head outside for a turn at the sandbox or slide. In a bright, full-size storybook full of familiar scenes, this child-friendly look at a day in the life of a preschooler is one that newcomers and seasoned pros alike will be happy to share. Read also: Maisy Goes to School. (Age 2-4)

 

LYDIA MONKS

MOUSE’S BIG DAY

MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2017 (PBK) 32PP £11.99 ISBN 9781509828432

It’s Mouse’s first day at Twit Twoo School and she’s terribly nervous. In fact, she doesn’t want to go to school at all. But with the help of her friends; Frog; Rabbit; Mole; and Owl, as well as their teacher Miss Hoot maybe Mouse overcome her fears and see just how fun school can be. This is the first in the Twit Twoo School series. Read also: Frog Hops Off!, Rabbit Races Ahead! (Age 2-4)

 

PETER BROWN

MY TEACHER IS A MONSTER (NO, I AM NOT)

TWO HOOTS 2014 (PBK) 40PP £5.28 ISBN 9781509831234

Bobby is absolutely convinced that his teacher, Ms. Kirby is a monster, a big, green, reptilian monster, until, one day, he meets her at the park and realises there might be more to her than stomping and roaring, and disapproving of paper airplanes in class. A funny story with an important message about misjudging others, and seeing that even teachers are people too. (Age 2-4)

 

MÁIRE ZEPF maisithe ag TARSILA KRÜSE

NÁ GABH AR SCOIL/DON’T GO TO SCHOOL

FutaFata 2018 (HBK) 32PP €7.95 ISBN 9781910945278 (as Gaeilge) /ISBN 9781910945384 (English Ed)

A fun story available in both Irish and English that focuses on the anxiety that even parents can feel about starting school. Though Benno can’t wait for his first day of school, up early and ready to go, his Mummy isn’t quite so prepared. In this delightful tale, we follow Benno and his Mummy as they head to school and learn that even if though it might seem scary at first, school is nothing to fear. A perfect story for any child or parent nervous about the start of the school year. (Age 2-4)

 

MARK SPERRIN illustrated by BRITTA TECKENTRUP

NEVER TAKE A BEAR TO SCHOOL

ORCHARD BOOKS 2017 (HBK) 32PP £12.99 ISBN 9781408339725

A perfect story for little people starting school, explaining through rhythmic storytelling what to expect on their new adventure. Mark Sperring tells the tale of a rogue bear and Britta Teckentrup provides wonderful illustrations to accompany it. This book is enjoyable to read aloud and will help children to navigate this daunting next step with positivity and humour. (Age 2–4)

 

JANET AND ALLEN AHLBERG

STARTING SCHOOL

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE (PUFFIN BOOKS) 2013 (PBK) 32PP £6.99 ISBN 9780723273462

In this brilliant picturebook, the Ahlbergs take us through a class’s first term at school, all the way from their first day to their school nativity play and the Christmas break. This wonderful book provides answers for all sorts of questions a new student might have about how schools work and what their day is going to be like. A great read from the creators of classics such as The Jolly Postman, Peepo! and Each Peach Pear Plum (2-4)

Ages 5-8:

CLAUDIA BOLDT

BROTHERS FOREVER

JONATHAN CAPE 2018 (PBK) 32PP £6.99 ISBN 9781780080338

Lee and Barnaby are brothers. Some days they get on, some days they don’t. But things change when Barnaby starts school and tensions run high. Will they remember that brothers are forever after all? This touching and honest story is told with Claudia Boldt’s trademark style and wit, and will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has a brother or sister. (Age 2-4, 5-8)

 

NEIL GAIMAN illustrated by ADAM REX

CHU’S FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2014 (PBK) 32PP £6.99 ISBN 9781408847046

The second of the Chu books from the team of Gaiman and Rex, we follow Chu the young panda during his first day of school as he deals with his worry that he won’t make friends due to his uniquely powerful sneezes. A funny story about the fear of not fitting in at school, sure to make children laugh and put them at ease.  (Age 5-8)

 

KERSTIN BRICHZIN illustrated by IGOR KUPRIN

FELIX’S NEW SKIRT

MINEDITION 2018 (HBK) 32PP £12.99 ISBN 9789888341580

Felix likes wearing skirts. He likes the way they feel and how he’s more comfortable in them. Everything is easier when he wears them. But when he starts school, he realises not everyone feels the same and he must believe in himself like never before. This is a wonderful picturebook about self-acceptance and family love. Igor Kuprin’s illustrations have a timeless, dream-like feel, along with a fluidity that especially draws the eye to the skirts and dresses. Highly recommended.

(Age 5–8)

 

DAVID MACKINTOSH

MARSHALL ARMSTRONG IS NEW TO OUR SCHOOL

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2011 (PBK) 32PP £6.99 ISBN 9780007361427

Marshall Armstrong is a new student who doesn’t seem to fit in. He dresses funny, eats weird food, and doesn’t even take part in recess. Unsurprisingly the other children don’t seem to know what to do with him. But things aren’t always what they seem, and it soon becomes clear that being different doesn’t have to be a bad thing. A fun story about not prejudging others just because they’re not like you, and the importance of being yourself. (5-8)

ROB BIDDULPH

SHOW AND TELL

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2019 (PBK) 32PP £12.99 ISBN 9780008317911

A wonderful story from Rob Biddulph about a class’s extremely unique show and tell. In this beautifully illustrated picturebook the objects on display grow more and more elaborate as the students compete to win the prize for the most impressive presentation. Lively, textured illustrations depict twenty-five diverse children whose offerings include Big Ben and even the moon! A great book to show children that sometimes the smallest, most unassuming things are the most magical and that each of us has something to offer.  (Age 2-4, 5-8)

MARIE-LOUISE FITZPATRICK

THE NEW KID

HODDER CHILDREN’S BOOKS 2015 (PBK) 32PP £6.99 ISBN 9781444908190

Ellie is the new girl in town, and even though the other kids have asked her out to play, they laugh at her and make her feel excluded because she’s the only one wearing a coat. But Ellie’s got a big imagination and can do amazing things with her coat, and it isn’t long before the other children are following her lead and joining in. This book is great for any child who is moving schools and is worried about making friends and not fitting in, with an equally important message for other children about empathy and the power they have to make newcomers feel welcome. (Age 5-8)

MO WILLEMS

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

WALKER BOOKS 2019 (PBK) 40PP £6.99 ISBN 9781406389012

Another book starring Willems’ spirited Pigeon as he deals with the stress he feels about starting school. Parents of young children may relate to the pigeon wanting to be a baby again, while children will laugh at his fear that he will learn so much, his head might pop off. A brilliant read-aloud book with simple and distinctive illustrations and the pigeon’s brilliantly funny voice. (Age -5-8)