8 by Eight
School's First day of School has been available for a few years now, but it still holds firm as my favorite back-to-school book. School is a little nervous about its first day. What will the kids be like? What will happen this year? This book is a fun look at a common experience from a completely different perspective. All Are Welcome, Click, Clack, Quack to School, Hello School, and We Don't Eat Our Classmates are new additions to the back-to-school category. All Are Welcome is good for pre-schools and younger grades. Highly recommended as a read-aloud for teachers on the first day of school. We Don't Eat Our Classmates is a very funny book about the repercussions for students who (attempt to) eat their classmates. Spoiler alert: not a good way to make friends. When our dino protagonist discovers how painful being bitten can be -- by the class goldfish, no less -- the message finally sinks in (pun intended). I'm New Here is a story of immigration and what it's like to be in a new school, community, country. The companion book, Someone New, is the same story told from the perspective of students who are not new, but reach out and befriend the students that are. Both books will help students think about perspective and the different experiences their classmates are having. Highly recommended for grades 2-4 as a conversation starter. The Night Before Kindergarten is exactly what it looks like, a revision of the "Night Before Christmas" poem. The night before pre-school and first grade are also available. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten and The Kissing Hand are both staples and no back-to-school list is complete without them. The Kissing Hand is a good going to bed read the weeks leading up to school, especially for anxious kindergarteners. There are lots of activities, suggestions, and resources available for augmenting this story. Heart stickers, hand-cutouts in a lunch box, and more, are tangible reminders to young students on that first day (week, month, year!) that their parents and caregivers love them and are offering support throughout the school year. Happy Schooling!