Back to School Read Aloud Books

There’s a lot on children’s minds with the beginning of a new school year. Send them back mindfully with these thoughtful back to school read aloud books. These aren’t your stereotypical back to school reads. They reflect worries children have around a new school year rather than addressing the actual topic of heading back to school. These anxiety books for kids can also prove helpful if you have a worried child.

mindful back to school picture books

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I received review copies of some of these books, but no other compensation and I was not required to review them here. All opinions are my own.

Books to Read Aloud When Heading Back to School

A new school year typically brings a mixture of excitement and worry. Excitement over seeing friends, making new friends, and experiencing new things. Worry about social pressures, loneliness, and not fitting in. These thoughtful picture books help children work through these fears, while reassuring them that everything will be all right in the end.

Fears Around Loneliness and Making New Friends: Chirp

Jamie A. Swenson and Scott Magoon’s Chirp! Chipmunk Sings for a Friend is all about empathy, feelings, and making friends – a great read as we head into a new school year. My inner music teacher loves the music theme to this adorable friendship story. I also live the use of colors to depict emotions in the illustrations.

A Back to School Mindfulness Reminder: Listen

I love this Listen‘s focus on pausing to listen, in the middle of a busy city as well as in the quiet of the night. Author Gabi Snyder’s text explains beautifully how you can take a moment to slow down and truly listen no matter where you are. Stephanie Graegin’s illustrations offer that sense of calm we all need when we seek out a mindful moment. Such a great message for a back to school read aloud book!

Am I too Different School Worries: Geraldine Pu and her lunch box, too!

Growing up, I was often the kid with the unusual lunch, so I really appreciated Maggie P. Chang’s Geraldine Pu and her Lunch Box, Too! The book’s message about the beauty of diversity and inclusivity is for all children, whether they bring lunch from home or pick it up in the lunch line.

Back to school picture books

Fears About Not Fitting In: I Am Enough

Kids often feel insecure about fitting in as they begin a new school year. Grace Byers’ I Am Enough reminds children that they are wonderful just the way they are. Keturah A. Bobo’s illustrations exude warmth and confidence.

Worries About Not Performing Well Enough: I Can’t Do That, Yet

Esther P. Cordova’s I Can’t Do That, Yet teaches children a growth mindset. It’s okay to not be able to do something, because we are here to grow and learn new skills. Maima W. Adiputri’s illustrations inspire hope and the courage to work to learn and grow.

Dealing with School Issues: What Do You Do With a Problem?

I appreciate the way author Kobi Yamada and illustrator Mae Besom don’t shy away from the fact that childhood can be a real uphill struggle in What Do You Do With a Problem. I love the book’s emphasis on looking closely at problems in order to discover possibilities you never would have found without the struggle.

thoughtful reads for back to school

What are your favorite books to read aloud as children head back to school?

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