Living / 1 August, 2020 / Ellie Thompson

The Best Books to Prepare Your Child for School

Hundreds of children across the country are getting ready to start or return to school this September, which can be very exciting – or a bit scary! Reading with your child is the perfect way to relax, bond and address some back to school nerves, or join in their excitement for the new term! To help, BookTrust, the UK’s largest reading charity, has pulled together a list of our favourite children’s books (for 5 and under) about starting school, friendships, kindness and enjoying everyone’s differences.

Emily Drabble, Head of Books, BookTrust said “Summer is a great time to read books with your little one and our list will help to reassure and excite them about starting or going back to school. We know that children who don’t have access to books and stories in the early years start school a year behind their peers, a gap that only widens as they get older.

“These lovely stories about overcoming nerves, making special friendships, and the amazing adventures school can bring are perfect to read in the run up to September.”

These books have a range in terms of genre and reading age, there’s something here for everyone.

Jellybean Goes to School

Author: Margaret Roc

Illustrator: Laura Hughes

Jellybean finds her first day of school a little scary, but she soon finds it easier when she makes a friend.

Kindness Rules!

Author: Eunice and Sabrina Moyle

Magic Manners, a large blue elephant with a superhero costume and cape, is here to remind us that kindness rules! This bright, cheery, rhyming board book is great for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning to share and treat others with gentleness.

Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo

Author: Emma Chichester Clark

Lily thinks Blue Kangaroo might be nervous about starting school – but in fact he can’t wait to have fun and make some new friends.

Hello, Friend

Author: Rebecca Cobb

This warm-hearted picture book about making friends is a perfect read for little ones starting school or nursery who might be a bit nervous, reassuring them that there will be lots of other children who will want to make friends.

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School

Author: Ian Whybrow

Illustrator: Adrian Reynolds

It’s Harry’s first day at school. He and his dinosaurs are very excited and perhaps a little bit nervous.

All the Ways to be Smart

Author: Davina Bell

Illustrator: Allison Colpoys

All The Ways to be Smart is an earnest and charming book celebrating the joys of all the wonderful qualities that make children who they are, with a subtle and unique message that getting excellent grades is not what makes you smart.

Princess Arabella Goes to School

Author: Mylo Freeman

This instalment of the Princess Arabella series covers the familiar milestone of starting school, with Arabella’s royal twist. Acknowledging that school isn’t quite what some children might imagine it to be is a good message to include.

Happy to Be Me

Author: Emma Dodd

With simple rhyme and colourful artwork, this picture book celebrates every bit of the human body and reminds us that each and every body is different. Another success from the bestselling author-illustrator.

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