Beautiful Back-to-School Books

As the first day of school approaches, it seems not even pandemics or forest fires will take away the excitement of going back to school. After a 6-month hiatus, our appreciation and love for classroom teachers has never been stronger.  As the first day of school approaches, we’ve been diving into our these beautiful back-to-school books.



The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson

The Day You Begin is a touching story about how intimidating it can feel when we meet new people but how eventually our similarities and differences are woven into beautiful friendships.

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you until you begin to share your stories.



Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Melon is a hero for all of us who have had to deal with a bully at school. Despite a bully’s attempt to put her down, Molly Lou Melon shines so brightly that even he can’t help but fall in love with her.

Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too.

Molly Lou Melon’s Grandma


by Kevin Henkes

We can all learn from Chrysanthemum’s experience of letting others define our self worth. This story is also a testament to the powerful role teachers play in children’s lives.


The King of Kindergarten

by Derrick Barnes


This story is so full of optimism! It also makes a wonderful tool to practice confidence and friendliness for the first day of school. As you read this story with your child, have them practice:

  • Holding their head high and greeting everyone with a “brilliant, beaming, majestic smile.”  
  • Waving, smiling, and saying, “Hi, everybody!”
  • Asking, “Marie (insert a friend’s name), do you want to play with me?”
  • Sharing with new friends by saying, “Want a pudding, Howie?”


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten

by Joseph Slate

This is such a fun story to practice alphabet sounds and build anticipation for that first BIG day. After we read this, we thought of our own names and what we would be doing at school:

Liam Evren counts to seven… 

          Mabel Ayleen dresses up like a queen.


David Goes to School
by David Shannon


This book is a beautiful teaching tool to outline basic expectations that all students will have at school.

  • Use a quiet voice and a calm body when inside the school
  • Stay in your seat at work time
  • Raise your hand when you have a question or something important to share
  • Keep your hands to yourself
  • Pay attention
  • Wait your turn 
  • Respect school property


We love reading this one in Spanish also because even though my kids speak very little Spanish, the fantastic illustrations make it easy to understand.

Reading “back-to-school” stories is not only exciting, it also serves in transitioning your family back into “school mode.” It’s also a great way for parents and children to begin a dialogue about school together, a conversation you’ll want to continue all year long.


About Brianna Kendall

Brianna is the Curriculum Designer of Mighty Books + Brains. She combines her ten years of education experience, Masters in Teaching from Hamline University, Yoga Training, and her love of children’s literature to curate lessons that ensure children fall in love with learning from a young age.

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