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A&E >  Books

Water Cooler: Books for back to school

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 7, 2021

Books can help ease stress as the new school year begins.  (Pixabay)
Books can help ease stress as the new school year begins. (Pixabay)

Starting a new school year can be overwhelming. So many things are new, from friends to teachers, subjects and schedules. If your child is feeling a bit stressed or unsure about the new school year, here are a few books that might help put some of their worries at ease.

“A Fine, Fine School,” written by Sharon Creech and illustrated by Harry Bliss – An overzealous principal decides to make Saturday a school day. But that’s not all. He loves school so much that he eventually decides that Sundays should be a school day too, along with holidays and summer break. It appears he has forgotten to give anyone time off and it’s up to Tillie, a student at the school, to explain why students and teachers need breaks.

“All Are Welcome,” by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman – At this school, everyone is welcome. Follow a group of students through the school day as they learn from each other’s culture and traditions while playing side by side.

“How to Read a Book,” written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Melissa Sweet – This is the perfect poetic book to get kids inspired about learning and reading. Filled with mixed media and vibrant colors, this is a great book for visual learners who don’t like a lot of text and love a lot of shapes and colors.

“Be Big!: Beatrice’s First Day of First Grade,” written by Katie Kizer – Beatrice is about to enter first grade, but she’s afraid of showing up as her true, unique self which includes wearing her favorite blue tutu. On her first day of school, she meets Benjamin the butterfly who encourages her to overcome her fears, own her identity and take up space.

“Chrysanthemum,” written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes – Chrysanthemum loves her unique name, but on the first day of school she encounters a classmate who teases her for being named after a flower. Suddenly Chrysanthemum does not feel as confident about herself and her name as she once did, but luckily school has something in store to help her regain her confidence.

“Chu’s First Day of School,” written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex – Chu, a panda known for his giant sneezes, is feeling nervous about his upcoming first day at school. He wonders what will happen, and who he will meet. He hopes that everyone is nice and that other kids will like him. Follow along to see how Chu’s first day of school goes and how it leads him to discover a new hidden talent.

“The Buddy Bench,” written by Patty Brozo and illustrated by Mike Deas – A group of school friends decide nobody should feel left out at recess. They decide to ask their teacher if they can build a buddy bench so students who didn’t have anyone to play with would have somewhere to sit and signify to other kids that they are looking for a friend.

“The Day You Begin,” written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López – It’s very hard to step into a new place where you don’t know anyone. It sometimes takes a leap of faith, but there is often a great reward, like making a new friend. We all need a little bravery to keep going when we feel like an outsider, but many people are willing to meet our bravery half-way.

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