3 Back to School Books for Preschoolers in 2019

A good “back to school” book is as much a part of the routine as school supplies and backpacks. We read them to prepare our munchkins – and ourselves – for the transitions that August and September bring. For most kids, the early years of preschool are focused on social/emotional growth. There will be ABCs and 123s, but the big lessons are

  • Learning to separate from a parent

  • Learning how to develop friendships

  • Learning how to share space & materials

  • Learning to accept others, whether they look like you or not

  • Learning to navigate new routines & schedules

These three books cover these lessons with relatable stories and illustrations. Read for giggles, inspiration and comfort. We’ve included quick summaries below as well as moments of connection for each book.


The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn't like it? What if the teacher doesn't like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?! Oh how we love Mo Willems. We all have a little pigeon in us. Kids will identify with his concern, outrage and eventual enthusiasm.

Connect: Create your own pigeon. Click here to download a free coloring page, then get creative with markers, crayons, feathers, glitter & glue.


School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?

We love this book for its inversion of the obvious. The school itself is nervous about the first day – not the teachers, or the kids or the parents. This reinforces the concept of perspective to little kids. 

Connect: Watch the story come to life. Click here to watch the book read on YouTube. Then kick it up a notch with your own mini lesson. Download this free printable and count circles, squares, rectangles & triangles.


If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he'll want a sandwich to go in it. Then he'll need a notebook and some pencils. He'll probably want to share your backpack, too.

It’s a school-themed twist on a classic. This is less about preparing you munchkin for school than it is about just having fun.

Connect: Create your own paper plate mouse. Cut one large plate in half for the face, then glue two smaller plates behind for ears. Cut two eye holes, color with markers or watercolors then glue on whiskers and a nose. Click here for inspiration.

Valerie Schimel