Book recommendations

Starting school

One of the biggest days of a child’s (and their parents’) lives is the first day at school or Nursery. It is a time of great excitement, wonder and just a bit of trepidation (on all sides!). These lovely books are the perfect way to explore what starting school and nursery might be like. Why not use them in your stay-and-play sessions?

Here are some top tips for parents on how to make the most of the books.

  • Explore the rich and detailed illustrations.
  • Use them to chat about what your child might do when they go to school or nursery.
  • Allow your child to linger over the images and chat – you will be surprised by what they notice and what conversations the books start.

Lulu’s First Day by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw (Alanna Max, 2019)

It’s Lulu’s first day at pre-school and she is very excited! This gentle story sees Lulu having lots of fun at circle time, enjoying stories with friends and playing outside.

 All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2019)

Simple rhymes and colourful illustrations combine brilliantly in this powerful little book. The message is loud and clear – school is a place where everyone is welcome!

Ready, Steady, School! by Marianne Dubuc translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone  (Book Island, 2022)

There is so much to see and talk about in this wonderful book from French author and illustrator, Marianne Dubac. It’s perfect for getting your little one excited about all the learning to come!

Hello Friend by Rebecca Cobb (Macmillan, 2019)

A gorgeously illustrated story about a little girl who is very keen to make friends with a boy in her class. It provides a great starting point for conversations about making new friends, as well as being full of images of school life to help children know what to expect.

Starting School by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (Puffin, 1988)

So old now, this book can almost provide a history lesson for your little ones! However, there is still a lot that hasn’t changed, making this a great way to share school stories and prepare your child for September.

All the Words you Need to Know Before you Start School by Felicity Brooks and Jean Claude (Usborne Books, 2019)

Packed with all the words that your child will come across when they start school, this non-fiction book is a great way to point and name, as well as starting conversations about big school.