Starting school for the first time can be a daunting experience for children. Whilst it’s an exciting milestone, it’s also a very intimidating time of transition for little ones as they get used to new routines, people and surroundings, so it’s crucial they (and you) feel adequately prepared for them to begin the journey.

Books illustrating what their experience may be like can help to reassure children and help them to overcome their worries and fears about embarking on this new educational adventure.

Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust said: “The first day of school is inevitably accompanied with trepidation, nerves and excitement for both the child and the parent. Reading stories about starting school that paint a picture of the experience are a fantastic way to help prepare young children, enable them to familiarise themselves with the environment, and ease them into the early years.”

By now, the holidays will seem an all too distant memory, as parents turn their thoughts to how to properly prepare young children for what lies ahead. Evidence shows an association between three year olds engagement in reading activities (for example being read to by mother or another family member, or being taken to the library) and their understanding and knowledge of aspects of classroom learning, such as colours, letters, numbers, sizes, comparisons of objects and shapes.[i] It’s understood that children aged 0-5 who take part in regular shared reading start school with better language and literacy skills, including a larger vocabulary and more advanced comprehension skills[ii]

“Reading with children before they start school will really give them the best chance of success and confidence in the classroom,” said Diana Gerald. “We hope that our book list will encourage families everywhere to share a great story before term starts.”

BookTrust has put together a useful booklist to help banish any back to school blues:

  • My First Day Leilani Sparrow, illustrated by Dan Taylor. Boxer Books (Interest age: 3-5, Reading age: 4-6)
  • Never Take a Bear to School Mark Sperring, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. Orchard Books (Interest age: 3-6, Reading age: 5-7)
  • Twit Twoo School: Mouse’s Big Day Lydia Monks. Macmillan (Interest age: 3-6, Reading age: 5-6)
  • First Day at Skeleton School Sam Lloyd. Bloomsbury (Interest age: 3-6, Reading age: 5-6)

*For the full list and book reviews click here.

BookTrust helps to support your family’s reading journey with free advice and tips to encourage shared reading. For more information, please visit www.booktrust.org.uk

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Press Contacts: Sinéad Gosai, Press Officer, BookTrust, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +44 (0)20 7801 8849

Full book list

 

My First Day
Leilani Sparrow, illustrated by Dan Taylor. Boxer Books
Interest age: 3-5 Reading age: 4-6

Never Take a Bear to School
Mark Sperring, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. Orchard Books
Interest age: 3-6 Reading age: 5-7

Twit Twoo School: Mouse’s Big Day
Lydia Monks. Macmillan.
Interest age: 3-6 Reading age: 5-6

First Day at Skeleton School
Sam Lloyd. Bloomsbury
Interest age: 3-6 Reading age: 5-6

I am Too Absolutely Small for School
Lauren Child. Hachette
Interest age: 3+ Reading age: 6+

Alfie and the Big Boys
Shirley Hughes. Random House
Interest age: 3 - 8 Reading age: 6+

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School
Ian Whybrow Illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. Penguin
Interest age: 3+ Reading age: 5+

First Week at Cow School
Andy Cutbill Illustrated by Russell Ayto. HarperCollins Children's Books
Interest age: 2+ Reading age: 5+

Topsy and Tim Start School
Jean Adamson.  Ladybird
Interest age: 3-5 Reading age: 3+

Starting School
Allan Ahlberg. Penguin
Interest age: 3-5

Meg Comes to School
Helen Nicoll. Illustrator Jan Pienkowski. Puffin
Interest age: 3-5

Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo
Emma Chichester Clark.  HarperCollins Children's Books
Interest age: 4+ Reading age: 5+

A Big Day for Migs!
Jo Hodgkinson. Andersen Press
Interest age: 3+ Reading age: 5+

Hugless Douglas Goes to School
David Melling. Hodder Children's Books
Interest age: 4+ Reading age: 5+

Bunny Loves to Learn
Peter Bently Illustrated by Emma Foster and Deborah Melmon. Parragon Books
Interest age: 6+ Reading age: 5-8

Jellybean Goes to School
Margaret Roc Illustrated by Laura Hughes. Tamarind
Interest age: 3+ Reading age: 7+

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. We work to inspire a love of reading in children because we know that reading can transform lives. Each year we reach 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading. Every parent receives a BookTrust book in their baby’s first year. Our books are delivered via health, library, schools and early year’s practitioners, and are supported with guidance, advice and resources to encourage the reading habit. Reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on educational outcomes, well-being and social mobility, and is also a huge pleasure in itself. We are committed to starting children on their reading journey and supporting them throughout. booktrust.org.uk