9 Perfect Books to Get Your Child Excited About School

perfect books about back-to-school
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Getting ready to send your little one off to school? Whether for a couple hours each week or full time classes, it can be a big change for your child – and you!

I asked parents to see what books got their kids excited about heading to school. Here are their favorites. All are great stories to read and provide a perfect chance to stock up on some extra snuggles!

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The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Mrs. Raccoon took Chester's left hand and spread open his tiny fingers into a fan. Leaning forward, she kissed Chester right in the middle of his palm …

“Now,” she told Chester, “whenever you feel lonely and need a little loving from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, ‘Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.'”

Being apart doesn't mean someone isn't close to your heart. I can't get through this sweet story without watery eyes!

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David Goes To School by David Shannon

David's teacher always said …

No yelling.
No pushing.
No running in the halls.

If your child is good at finding trouble, this book is for you. As a child, David Shannon made a book that consisted only of the words “no” and “David” because he says, “they were the only words I knew how to write and spell.” As an adult, he recreated that story and built a series of books about young David.

This book is a cute look at the reality of how “no's” can stack up for our kids. It is also a great place to open conversation about how, even when things get difficult, they can still win at the end of the day – and that the next day is a clean slate.

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Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

Don't be sad, new little llama!
It's OK to miss your mama.
But don't forget –
when day is through,
she will come right back to you.

This book is part of an awesome series about Llama Llama's adventures. The theme is one that we discuss a lot in our house: It is okay to miss someone, but it is also (more than) okay to have fun at the same time!

{ MORE: Dads Look Different Now. This Book, DADLY Dads, Offers Proof }

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How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Does he interrupt class with his own show-and-tell?
And when in the classroom,
plunked down in his chair,
does a dinosaur fidget,
his tail in the air?

This is another great series for little ones. Each of the dinosaur books asks the reader about all of the wrong ways the dinosaur could do things, then affirms the right way. On the last page, the dinosaur always receives encouragement.

Good work. Good work, little dinosaur.

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Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean

It can be loud and busy in the lunchroom.
Does Pete worry?
Goodness, no!
He sits down with his friends and sings his song:

“I'm eating in my school shoes,
I'm eating in my school shoes,
I'm eating in my school shoes.”

This cute story walks through each part of a typical school day as Pete sings his way through. This book is a great reminder that “new” does not have to be scary.

Bonus: There is a free download of the song available online.

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My New Teacher and Me! By Al Yankovic

I'll bet every great thinker and leader we've got
Could see
all kinds of things other people could not.
So then why get upset if somebody like me
Tries to look at the world just a bit

Yes, the book is by Al Yankovic of 80s music fame – and his imagination is exactly why this book is fantastic. On the first day of school, Billy gets in trouble for his tall tales … until his teacher realizes he just might be able to learn something from Billy, too.

{ MORE: The Free App to Keep Your Early Reader Learning this Summer }

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Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton

“I'm having a bad hair day, Mom.
Maybe I should go to school
tomorrow instead,” said Splat?

His mom combed his hair.
“Purr-fect!” she said.

From the anxiousness of getting ready on the first day, to the bumps that come with getting settled, Splat the Cat will get your little one giggling – and help him see that it all works out in the end.

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The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain

When she climbed off the bus
with Brother at the end of the day,
Sister was the excited one.
“Mama! Papa! Look what I did
in school today!” she said, holding
up her painting.

When Brother Bear heads back to school in the fall, Sister Bear realizes she is starting kindergarten. Despite her worries, she adjusts just fine. This story from the classic series is timeless.

{ MORE: Attention Moms and Dads: Here's How to Fit Reading Back into Your Life }

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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Melon stood just taller than her
dog and was the shortest girl in the first grade.
She didn't mind. Her grandma had told her,
“Walk as proudly as you can and the world
will look up to you.”

So she did.

This book is such a wonderful story about courage and empowerment, sprinkled with a lot of great advice from Molly Lou Melon's grandmother. It is about being your best self and taking the high road, and the rewards that go along with it.

What books do you read your children about school? Share them in the comments!

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9 Perfect Books to Get Your Child Excited About School

Tracy Jensen is a writer, marketer, mother, fundraiser, marathoner, and music lover. A working, single mom of two kids ages six and five, she is notorious for doing things the hard way. In addition to writing for EverydayFamily, she survives suburban exile by blogging about life’s foibles at It Builds Character. She can be found at night ignoring the dishes and playing on Twitter. ... More

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