My Favourite Books for Starting School

I believe that so much of life can be explained through reading picture storybooks. They are rich in meaning and offer an invitation for the whole family to discuss the changes, routines and emotions experienced when a little one starts schools. Below I have shared my absolute favourite picture storybook, as well as some ideas for how you can use them to help prepare your school starter for the big day!

First Day by Andrew Daddo & Jonathan Bentley

First Day is a fun and colourful book about the morning of the very first day of school! The mum and little girl in the story have breakfast together, get dressed and walk to school. It is a wonderful book and as a family, you might like to come up with your own schedule for the morning of the first day of school. It is a great idea to have this planned in advance so that everyone is on the same page! This story also talks about the different emotions you and your little one might experience on that first day. I love that they have said that both the mum and little girl will have to be a bit brave. Remember your little one starting school is emotional for the whole family!

Starting School by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker

Wow, this book is full of beautiful and rich illustrations that will open up so many conversations about what school is like! It is a great Aussie book and depicts a very common Foundation classroom and school. This is a great book to identify some skills that your little one needs to start school feeling confident. For example, on the Snack Time page you can have a discussion with your child about opening and closing their own lunchbox, do they know what food is for lunch and what is for recess, can they open any wrapped or packaged food? Another example is on the In the Playground page you might like to discuss with your school starter why the children in the picture are wearing hats, if they are wearing a jumper and are feel hot what can they do, what if they are thirsty? These are all great discussion points for building impendence and confidence.

Will You Be My Friend? By Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram

Will you be my Friend is the sequel to the much loved and very popular book Guess How Much I Love You. Again, we are joined by Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare, as well as a new friend, Tipps the Little Snow Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare discovers Tipps and asks her to play and they quickly become good friends. This is not only a beautiful story with a wonderful story and stunning illustrations, but it is also a wonderful way to open up a discussion about making new friends at school.

I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child

Who doesn’t love a good Charlie and Lola book?! I adore these two quirky and adorable children and the adventures they get up to! (My daughter is named Lola, so these books are extra special to me!) In this book, Charlie is trying to convince Lola that school is fabulous! Lola is not too sure at the start, however, comes around to the idea and ends up having such fun on her first day of school. This is a great book for talking about what your little one might be worried about on their first day.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst &Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

This is an absolutely beautiful story about how we are all connected even when we are apart. The author, Patrice Karst, wrote the book after her own experience of dropping off her son for preschool every day. Her son struggled with separation anxiety and was very upset, however after explaining about the invisible string between them Karst’s son felt comfort at knowing that no one is alone in the world. A perfect story to share with your little ones and sharing that you too share an invisible string.

Wombat Goes to School by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley

This is one of my all-time favourites! It is a delightful story about a wombat that finds himself inside a school for a day! From the classroom to the basketball court, your little one is going to love giggling at the mischief that this little wombat gets up to. The illustrations by Bruce Whatley are so rich and provide a great springboard for discussion about what your little one might see at their school. 

I hope reading these books and having those important discussions with your little ones helps to prepare them for the big day of starting school.

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