Back to School Series: Children’s Books about Starting School

Home » Back to School Series: Children’s Books about Starting School

In Australia, Prep/Foundation/Kindergarten is the first formal year of schooling and it can’t come soon enough for PudStar who has been playing school for months now. Of course she is always the teacher in this game, so it could come as a shock when her real teacher tells her it’s time to sit down and listen. I don’t think we’re going to have any fears and tears over school with this one, but we’ve still been reading lots of books about schools, classrooms, teachers and the like.

Whether they are super confident, or feeling apprehensive, children’s books are a great way to introduce new experiences such as starting school or going back to school. Books are a way of entering the world of the classroom from the safety of a bedroom or the lap of a loved parent or grandparent.

There are so many books about starting school, but below are some of my personal favourites. 

‘My First Day at School’ (2013), written by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Michelle Mackintosh, Windy Hollow Books. You can read more about this book here.

My First Day at School Cover

‘Starting School’ (2013), written by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker, Penguin Books Australia.


‘First Day’ (2013), written by Andrew Daddo and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley, Harper Collins.


‘Do I Have to Go to School’ (2006), written by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Lesley Harker, Hodder Children’s Press.


‘Millie Starts School’ (2001), written by Jane Godwin and illustrated by David Cox, Puffin.


‘The Terrible Suitcase’ (2012), written by Emma Allen and illustrated by Freya Blackwood, Omnibus Books. Read my full review of this one here.


‘Fiona the Pig’s Big Day’ (2006), written and illustrated by Leigh Hobbs, Penguin Books.

‘I Don’t Want to Go to School’ (2000), written by Christine Harris and Craig Smith, Random House Australia.

‘Starting School’ (1988), written by Janet Ahlberg and illustrated by Allan Ahlberg, Viking.


‘I am Too Absolutely Small for School’ (2003) written and illustrated by Lauren Child, Candlewick Press.

Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

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  1. Patricia Stott on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Love the list. One of my teachers was asking about returning to school books for grades 3 and 4 – about 9 or 10 year olds. Do you know of such a list? If so, please let me know where it is. Many thanks.

    • Anonymous on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Hi there! Do you know I’ve been wondering the same thing and I’ve not come across anything! I am going to keep on searching and if I find anything I will let you know – because I would also love such a list!

  2. Ian McLean on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    It’s certainly a good crop this year. If you’re looking to supplement your “first day at school” or “school rules” resources, this PhotoPeach digital story is inspired by Meredith Costain & Michelle Macintosh’s new picture book, “My first day at school”. It was brainstormed by our Stage 3 students at the end of last year, after they’d acted as buddies for the Kindergarten Orientation days.

    “Robbie Rules: My first day at school”: (Requires Flash).

    • Anonymous on Feb 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      This is FAB! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Sue Warren on Jan 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Nice selection Megan, well done!

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