First-day-of-school books!

Is your kid getting ready to go back to school (or maybe to school for the first time)? Ease into it either way with these delightful books that inspire confidence, imagination and, best of all, kindness to others.

Ally-saurus & the First Day of School

When Ally roars off to her first day of classes, she hopes to meet lots of other dino-loving kids.

Instead, she’s the only one chomping her food with fierce teeth and drawing dinos on her nameplate.

Even worse, a group of princess-obsessed girls won’t let her sit with them at lunch. But as the day goes on and she gets to know her classmates, some surprising truths emerge.

Black-and-white illustrations, brightened with colorful shading — and crayon-like embellishments showing what’s going on in each child’s imagination — make this one of our favorite back-to-school finds.

By Richard Torrey

Ages 3–7



The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

Before embarking on his music career about 15 years ago, Grammy-nominated kiddie-rock musician Justin Roberts used to work as preschool teacher in the Twin Cities.

He’s used that knowledge and his longstanding lyrical skills to the fullest in his tale of Sally McCabe who — though small, quiet and often overlooked — takes a brave stand against not just bullying but also rude behavior.

Written by Justin Roberts 

Illustrated by Christian Robinson 

Ages 3–5



Dad’s First Day

In this refreshing story of first-day jitters, Minneapolis-based author-illustrator Mike Wohnoutka — the man behind the Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster and the award-winning MOO! — presents us with a complete role reversal for a father and son on the first day of school.

Dad just isn’t ready for his son, Oliver, to go to school. They had too much fun over the summer. Dad hides in the closet, insists on putting in just one last puzzle piece and gets tummy aches like crazy. Oliver, fully ready to embrace school, teachers him a valuable lesson.

By Mike  Wohnoutka

Ages 4–8



Maddi’s Fridge

Maddi’s fridge is empty. Sofia, her good friend, promises not to tell her secret to anyone. But that proves to be quite challenging — as does sneaking food into school for her friend.

Billed as the first picture book to address child hunger in the U.S., this gem was inspired by the author’s childhood memory of opening her friend’s fridge to find only condiments and a school-lunch milk carton (saved from school for her little brother). Playfully illustrated and full of humor as well as heartbreak, this book encourages gratitude for the food we have as well as generosity.

Ten percent of profits from the sale of the book will be donated to help fight childhood hunger.

Written by Lois Brandt

Illustrated by Vin Vogel

Ages 4–8