School triumphs

Here we are, already in the thick of the school year.

And that means watching your kid face the challenges of academics, friendships and even the pressures of Picture Day!

It’s not easy.

Check out how the characters (both human and animal) in these books find interesting ways to conquer their fears and emerge triumphantly. 

Coasting Casey

This tale of “busting boredom in school” follows the misadventures of a bright, artistic, but frustrated boy who ends up getting in big trouble for drawing on his desk.

When he’s sent to the principal’s office, the head of the school encourages him to overlap his love of the arts with the challenges of learning to, in the end, reach his full potential (or something close to it). 

Ages 5–9 / $9.99 

A Perfect Mess

Anxiety about perfection on Picture Day spirals out of control in this story of a little white rhino named Henry.

His worries about staying clean leave his whole class covered in juice, paint, mud, jelly, ink and much more.

In the end, Henry learns that the best days — and the best friendships — are a little messy.

Age 3–5 / $16.99

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

Madeline is learning to read aloud. And it’s not going very well. Instead of getting smiley-face or gold-star stickers, she receives heart stickers that say “Keep Trying.”

But everything changes when Madeline starts reading to a dog at the local library, a big white pooch named Bonnie.

Bonnie helps her slow down and keep trying.

And there’s more than a gold star at the end of the book to reward both Madeline and Bonnie.

Ages 5–8 / $16.95

Sophie’s Squash Goes to School

Making friends at school takes time.

That’s the gentle message of this sweet sequel to Sophie’s Squash.

Shy and reluctant to make friends beyond her inanimate squash buddies, Sophie is curious about her classmates, especially at recess and during playtime.

But she’s not quite ready to join in the fun.

Gradually, however, a persistent (and equally curious friend), Steven, partners with her on a new and exciting project — squash seedlings for the whole class — opening her up to a world of possibilities.  

Ages 3–7 / $17.99