Back-to-School Books to get Your Little One Reception Ready

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Whether you’re tot is starting their first day of reception or heading back to school, these books will get your little one term-time ready.

To some children the idea of starting or returning to school or nursery is really exciting, but to others, it might seem a little scary.To help get your tots reception ready, our pals over at BookTrust have put together a lovely list of back to school books.

We round up the children’s titles championing the fun of starting school. Whether its learning about friendships, or teaching sharing and kindness and accepting everyone’s differences, these books will prepare your little one for a new start at school.

Emily Drabble, Head of Books at BookTrust, explains: “Summer is a great time to read books with your little one and our list will help to reassure and excite them about starting or going back to school.

“We know that children who don’t have access to books and stories in the early years start school a year behind their peers, a gap that only widens as they get older.

“These lovely stories about overcoming nerves, making special friendships, and the amazing adventures school can bring are perfect to read in the run up to September.”

Back to School Books to get Your Tots Reception Ready

Whether they’re heading back to reception or starting school for the first time, these books will get your little one term-time ready.

Mae’s First Day of School

maes-first-day-of-school-reception-readyAuthor: Kate Berube

It’s Mae’s first day of school, but she doesn’t want to go. Instead, she climbs a tree and refuses to come down. This charming, stylish and reassuring picture book acknowledges the anxiety that children might have about starting school.

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Kindness Rules!

kindness-rules-back-to-school-booksAuthor: Eunice and Sabrina Moyle

Magic Manners, a large blue elephant with a superhero costume and cape, is here to remind us that kindness rules! This bright, cheery, rhyming board book is great for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning to share and treat others with gentleness.

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Hello, Friend

hello-friend-books-to-get-reception-readyAuthor: Rebecca Cobb

This warm-hearted picture book about making friends is a perfect read for little ones starting school or nursery who might be a bit nervous, reassuring them that there will be lots of other children who will want to make friends.

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Twit Twoo School: Mouse’s Big Day

twit-twoo-school-mouses-big-dayAuthor: Lydia Monks

Mouse does NOT want to go to school and feels sad when she gets there… but will her classmates help her see how much fun it can be? A gentle and sensitive book for nervous little ones.

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A Friend for Henry

a-friend-for-henry-back-to-school-booksAuthor: Jenn Bailey

Illustrator: Mika Song

Henry’s keen to make friends in his class, but it’s proving a bit of a challenge. His autism is hinted at but not referred to directly, and all young readers will empathise with Henry and find reassurance in the book’s ultimate message of hope.

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All the Ways to be Smart

all-the-ways-to-be-smart-back-to-school-booksAuthor: Davina Bell

Illustrator: Allison Colpoys

All The Ways to be Smart is an earnest and charming book celebrating the joys of all the wonderful qualities that make children who they are, with a subtle and unique message that getting excellent grades is not what makes you smart.

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Too Many Carrots

too-many-carrots-back-to-school-booksAuthor: Katy Hudson

Rabbit loves carrots so much that his whole burrow is full of them, and there’s no room for him to sleep! Katy Hudson explores the themes of friendship and sharing in this charming and beautifully illustrated picture book.

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First Day at Bug School

bug-school-reception-readyAuthor: Sam Lloyd

With bright bustling illustrations fizzing with quirky details and insect jokes, this cheery, rhyming introduction to starting school from a unique bugs-eye point of view is reassuring and fun.

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swapsies-back-to-school-books-receptionAuthor: Fiona Roberton

Although not strictly a back to school book, this clever and minimal little story about three friends, their favourite toys and what happens when you share is very good indeed. The humour and the simple but sparky language is perfectly pitched at little ones.

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Happy to Be Me


Author: Emma Dodd

With simple rhyme and colourful artwork, this picture book celebrates every bit of the human body and reminds us that each and every body is different. Another success from the bestselling author-illustrator.

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