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20 Bests Children Books for Back to School ESL Teacher and English as a Foreign Language

I wanted to share some of my favorite books about school with you. Click on the books below to check them out on Amazon. I hope these book suggestions help!

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin and Kimberly Dean

Pete the Cat, Rocking in My School Shoes

Eric Litwin and James Dean

Pete the Cat is back – and this time he’s at school! Pete discovers the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other cool places. No matter where he goes, and even when he’s in a brand new school,  Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song . . . because it’s all good.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

If you take a mouse to school

Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

If you take a mouse to school, he’ll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he’ll want a sandwich to go in it. Then he’ll need a notebook and some pencils. He’ll probably want to share your backpack, too. The famous mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is back for his first day of school!


Cat and Mouse Go to School written by Stéphane Husar

Cat and Mouse Go to school!

Stéphane Husar and Loïc Méhée

This is the Big Day ! Cat and Mouse are going to school for the first time… But arrive late. Fortunately, the teacher is not too strict and the schoolchildren are very friendly with our two new children. A busy day to learn school vocabulary thanks to Cat’s well-stocked school bag.

Time for School Mouse written by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

Time for School, Mouse!

Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

It’s time for school and Mouse can’t find his homework anywhere. But he finding lots of other things in the process ! Time for School, Mouse! teaches kids new words while celebrating the fun of going to school!


Maisy Goes to Preschool Back to School Book by Lucy Cousins

Maisy Goes to Preschool

Lucy Cousins

Preschool for Maisy means a day filled with friends and things to do, from the time she hangs her coat on a special peg to the time she says good-bye. There’s painting and snack time, stories and nap time (and a bathroom break in between). Soon everyone’s ready to haul out the instruments and make some noise, then head outside for a turn at the sandbox or slide.

Froggy Goes to School Book by Jonathan London

Froggy Goes to School

Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz

Froggy’s mother knows that everyone’s nervous on the first day of school. “Not me!” says Froggy, and together they leapfrog to the bus stop — flop flop flop. Froggy’s exuberant antics will delight his many fans and reassure them that school can be fun.


The School Book by Todd Parr

The School Book

Todd Parr

With his trademark bright colors and bold lines, Todd Parr introduces readers to a perennial source of childhood anxiety and excitement both: school! From morning routines to meeting new people to learning and playing together, Todd explores all the different things that can happen in school. Welcome to school– a place for everyone to grow!

Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill, a lift-the-flap-story

Spot Goes to School

Eric Hill

Spot Goes to School is a classic book by Eric Hill. Spot’s first day at school turns out to be an exciting adventure as he and his friends take their first steps into the world of learning. This book is the perfect for toddlers and children learning to read, or children learning English.

Printable activities


The Night Before First Grade Book about School by Natasha Wing

The Night Before First Grade

Natasha Wings and Deborah Zemke

It’s the night before the Big Day. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing

The Night Before Kindergarten

Natasha Wing and Julie Durrell

It’s the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying good-bye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won’t be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is!


Mouse's First Day of School written by Lauren Thompson

Mouse’s First Day of School

Lauren Thompson and Buket Erdogan

One bright morning, Mouse discovers a whole new world. There are colors to paint with: red, yellow, blue and letters to spell with: A B C and best of all, new friends to play with! Wherever could they be?

Monsters Love School A Book by Mike Austin

Monsters Love School

Mike Austin

Summer is over, and now it’s time for the biggest adventure of all… Monster School! Celebrate the first day of school  and join these colorful, hilarious and energetic monsters as they go to school for the first time. Reading and writing and learning your monster history has never been so much fun!


There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by Lucille Colandro

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books!

Lucille Colandro and Jared Lee

That lovely old lady has returned just in time for the first day of school. Now she’s swallowing items to make the very best of her first day back. And just in time for the bus… With rhyming text and funny illustrations, this lively version of the classic song will appeal to young readers -a fun story for the first day of school!

Sorry Grown Ups You Can't Go to School written by Christina Geist

Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School!

Christina Geist and Tim Bowers

It’s just another school morning…until Mom, Dad, Grandma, and even Bow-wow the dog beg the kids to let them come to school, too! Dad can tie his own shoes – why can’t he come? Mom is all ready with her brand-new backpack–she’s allowed, right? No! Only kids and teachers!


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom alphabet book by Bill Martin Jr

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

A told B, and B told C, “I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree” In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no—Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! Countless children—and their parents—can joyfully recite the familiar words of this beloved alphabet chant.

David Goes to School Book for Little Learners

David goes to school

David Shannon

David’s teacher has her hands full. From running in the halls to chewing gum in class, David’s high-energy antics fill each schoolday with trouble-and are sure to bring a smile to even the best- bahaved reader.


Red A Crayon's Story Book by Michael Hall

Red: A Crayon’s Story

Michael Hall

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book is about finding the courage to be true to your inner self.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

The Day You Begin

Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway.


Timothy Goes to School Back to School Book by Rosemary Wells

Timothy Goes to School

Rosemary Wells

Timothy is very excited about starting school–until he meets Claude. Claude sits next to him, and he wears all the right clothes, says all the right things, and garners all the praise from his teacher and classmates. Timothy is feeling down, until he meets a girl who’s having the same problem with her seatmate….”Children will easily relate to this tale, in which humor and realism effectively mesh.”

We Don't Eat our Classmates Back to School Book by Ryan Higgins

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Ryan T. Higgins

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

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