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Top 10 Best Books for Children Starting School

When your child first starts school it's a big milestone, both for them and for you as a parent too. To some children the idea of starting school is incredibly exciting but to others it might seem a bit scary. 

We've picked out a few of our most reassuring reads to help you and your child face the first day of school without any wobbles at the school gates (we'll allow you a little tear of pride though!). These books will show children what to expect from their new school and make this milestone feel like the grown-up new adventure it is.

1. Peppa Pig: George's First Day at Playgroup

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When Peppa's brother George joins her at playgroup, she doesn't want him to be there! But Peppa's friends like George and decide they want little brothers, too. Will Peppa change her mind? This reassuring tale will help children understand what a first day at preschool, nursery, playgroup or school might be like. Featuring the much-loved Peppa Pig characters, this is guaranteed to comfort and delight little ones.

2. Lift and Look School 

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Simon Abbott | Toddlers

This lift-the-flap title makes the experience of learning what to expect on their first day of school fun and exciting rather than scary. It shows children that they will get to enjoy fun craft projects and go on school trips. Lift and Look School is a reassuring book for any child who is nervous about starting school or has a lot of questions about what to expect.

3. Starting School

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Janet and Allan Ahlberg | Toddlers 

This picture book from Janet and Allan Ahlberg provides a funny and heart-warming take on starting school to chase the nerves away. The book focuses on a group of children going through their first term at school so young readers will know what to expect. If you're looking for a reassuring book that will remove the mystery of the first day for your child, this is an excellent choice. 

4. Always in My Heart

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Roisin Hahessy | Toddlers

This lovely book shows young children how to deal with separation anxiety which some children just starting nursery or school may struggle with. If your child needs a reassuring reminder that even when they are away from you, they don't need to feel stressed and unhappy then this is the book for them.   

5. My First Experiences Collection

Amber Stewart | 3+

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This collection features six story books all themed around different milestones in your child's life. My First Day sees Puddle take on his first day at school and includes a list of Ten Top Tips for kids who are about to take on their own first day. The other books in the collection see various animal characters encounter different experiences in their lives like learning to swim and letting go of their comfort blanket. This fantastic collection is just the thing for those who are unsure about the milestones heading their way, including going to school for the first time.

6. Topsy and Tim Start School

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Jean Adamson | 3+

Follow fun-loving twins Topsy and Tim as they start their first day at school and experience all sorts of new things, from learning where to put their coats to exploring the classroom and making new friends! Kids will love the bright, contemporary artwork and recognisable, charismatic characters.


7. I am Too Absolutely Small for School

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Lauren Child | 3+

Bestselling author Lauren Child presents a beautiful Charlie and Lola classic, but this time, little Lola is starting school! She's very nervous though, and Charlie must try to persuade her that her fears, including about the dreaded 'schooliform', are completely unfounded. This gentle and helpful story is perfect for children who are worried about going to school for the first time.

8. Collins Starting School Ages 3-5

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Collins Easy Learning | 3+

This bright and engaging Starting School book will help prepare children for that big first day! With lots of fun activities, useful information and colourful illustrations, it will boost your child's confidence and help to develop the skills they need. The book includes questions that allow children to practise important skills, colourful activities that make learning fun and will motivate children to learn at home, as well as lots of helpful tips.

9. Alfie at Nursery School

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Shirley Hughes | 3+

Shirley Hughes' Alfie stories have been loved by children for generations and in this particular Alfie book he experiences what nursery school is like. Alfie enjoys playground games, takes part in the concert and gets himself into a sticky situation when his little sister Annie Rose decides she wants to join nursery school too!  

10. Starting School Sticker Book

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Felicity Brooks | 5+

With over 100 stickers, children will love familiarising themselves with all the things they need to know and do when they start school. They'll help the characters get dressed, pack bags, hang up coats, change for PE, participate in art class, and enjoy lunchtime, playtime, story-time and home-time! This book is guaranteed to delight little ones and prepare them for new experiences at school.

The first day is an amazing milestone to share with your child. These ten books should help both you and your child feel reassured and ready to handle those first day nerves. We know you'll be thinking about them until home time but these lovely picture books should encourage you, just as much as them, that their first day will be an amazing opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills.

Good first day of school books and story books:

  • Peppa Pig: George's First Day at Playgroup
  • Lift and Look School by Simon Abbott
  • Starting School by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Always in My Heart by Roisin Hahessy
  • My First Experiences Collection by Amber Stewart
  • Topsy and Tim Start School by Jean Adamson
  • I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
  • Collins Starting School Ages 3-5 by Collins Easy Learning
  • Alfie at Nursery School by Shirley Hughes
  • Starting School Sticker Book by Felicity Brooks