5 Books To Help With Those Back-To-School Jitters

5 Books To Help With Those Back-To-School Jitters

Sponsored by Penguin Random House
back to school jitters

Sponsored by Penguin Random House

Welcome to that wonderful time of year for parents everywhere — back to school! Our kids, however, are probably feeling nervous, excited, and freaking out a bit. This is the perfect time to cuddle up with them and read some wonderfully written, gorgeously illustrated books with real characters that are dealing with real school worries.

Here is a list of some of the best back-to-school books out there. From talking to your littlest one about those first scary days of preschool to a bunch of wise-cracking crayons, these books will help your kids sort through all of their feelings, soothe their fears, and get them giggling besides. You can then drop your kids off at school for their first day with a lighter heart. Just try not to peel out of the parking lot.

The Night Before Preschool

By Natasha Wing; Illustrated by Amy Wummer

Night Before Preschool


Follow along as Billy goes through all of the highs and lows of his first day at preschool, which can be scary stuff for a little person. Everything’s new — new teacher, new routine, and new friends. And when Billy forgets his favorite stuffed animal for nap time, well, we all know how that can go. As a mom, I love reading books like this with simple rhyming and adorable illustrations. The best endorsement of this book, however, is that my 4-year-old literally shouted, “Preschool is going to rock!” after I read it to her.

The Night Before Kindergarten

By Natasha Wing; Illustrated by Julie Durrell


This book follows kindergartners as they start their first day at school, packing their lunches, meeting new friends, and getting to know their teacher. My youngest will be going to kindergarten next year, and I’m not ashamed to say that this book choked me up. I felt okay about it, though, because the parents in the book were all having the exact same problem. My daughter was simply mesmerized by all the pictures, like the book was a secret window to all of the cool stuff kindergartners get to do. When she saw that I was getting a little sad, she just patted my knee said, “It’s going to be okay, Mommy.” Cue sobbing.

The Night Before First Grade

By Natasha Wing; Illustrated by Deborah Zemke

Night Before First Grade

First-graders have got this going to school thing down. But what happens when your very best friend in the world gets put into a different class? This happened to my son in first grade, and it was really tough until he learned to put himself out there and meet new friends. I would have loved to have had this book back then to help him sort out all of his feelings. The very best part about this story, however, is the surprise that best friends, Jenny and Penny, experience at lunch time when they get to see each other again.

The Day the Crayons Quit

By Drew Daywalt; Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Day The Crayons Quit2

The crayons in this book are seriously annoyed with their owner, Duncan. Some feel as if they are overworked, some feel neglected, and nobody is happy, well, except for green crayon because he gets to draw all the cool stuff like dinosaurs and crocodiles. Orange and Yellow are in a fight over who is the real color of the sun, and Gray is mad about coloring in enormous whales. This book is a New York Times best-seller, and since my daughter has asked me to read it approximately 865 times, I completely understand why. The naked peach crayon manages to crack us up each time. The most hilarious part, though, is that my child has actually been talking to her crayons lately because the book has made them so real for her.

The Day the Crayons Came Home

By Drew Daywalt; Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Day The Crayons Came Home

These crayons are seriously funny. Postcards start arriving at Duncan’s door, written by his lost and forgotten crayons. Pea Green yearns to be someone fancier, Brown is offended by having to draw, um, brown things, and poor Burnt Sienna has been eaten by the dog and barfed back up again. P.S. There is a an entire glow in the dark crayon page! Be prepared for having to read this book sitting in the closet so you can turn the lights out and experience this phenomenon.

So happy reading from Penguin Young Readers!

Best of all, you can enter a sweepstakes HERE to win NINE BOOKS (!) from Penguin to get everyone ready to head back to school.