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Books about starting school or nursery

To help prepare your child to start school or nursery we've put together a list of some of our favourite starting school and nursery books.

Starting school booklist

Starting school or nursery is a big step. Your child might seem excited or nervous, or both! Reading books about starting school or nursery will support them to understand what's going to happen, and will start conversations about how they're feeling too.

Stories about starting school and nursery:

Time to go to Nursery

by Penny Tassoni, illustrated by Mel Four (Featherstone)

This book explains what the day will look like, from saying goodbye, to meeting other children and learning new things. It shows children what exciting activities might be on offer.

Starting School

by Janet and Allen Ahlberg (Puffin)

Full of humour and fun, this reassuring read will help children and parents get ready for the first day of school, and find out what to expect from the rest of their first term.

I Am Too Absolutely Small for School

by Lauren child (Orchard Books)

Charlie's little sister Lola is not sure she's big enough to go to school ... Lola says, "I am absolutely not BIG. I am still really quite small. I probably do not have time to go to school. I am too extremely busy doing important things at home."

Lulu’s First Day at School

by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Alanna Max)

Book-loving Lulu is excited to start pre-school. It will be like storytime at the library, but she will stay by herself. Everyone gets up super early to make sure they are ready. There's so much to do that in no time at all, Mummy is back to collect her.

Never Take a Bear to School

by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup (Orchard Books)

A funny story that will reassure anxious children. Taking a bear to school is a BAD idea. Will this little boy find the courage to face the first day of school alone? Bear will always be waiting at the end of the day, with a great big hug!

I Have to Start at School Today

by Simon Philip, illustrated by Ged Adamson (Simon & Schuster Children's UK)

Starting school can be a scary business. From rhinos at the gate to bears who won't share, there are all SORTS of things that could go wrong. Luckily, Grandma is on hand to point out that there's no need to fright, as things could just as easily . . . go right!

Topsy and Tim Start School

by Jean Adamson, illustrated by Belinda Worsley (Penguin Random House)

Join Topsy and Tim on their first day at school. Topsy and Tim are taught about the school bell and where to hang their coats and school bag. With a map of Topsy and Tim's village, the story also highlights their route to school, preparing children for the daily journey.

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School

by Ian Whybrow, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds (Puffin)

It's Harry's first day at school. When Harry's dinosaur friends don't join him in the classroom, Harry's not so sure he's going to like school, but the dinosaurs come to the rescue and Harry and his new friend learn just how much fun school can really be!

Stories about feelings:

Tilda Tries again

by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

One day Tilda's world turns completely UPSIDE DOWN. Things that were once easy now seem incredibly challenging. This is a story about coping with difficult situations. It's an ideal book for helping children to build resilience and embrace a 'can do' approach to life.

The Invisible String

by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Little, Brown Young Readers, US)

This book offers a very simple approach to overcoming loneliness, separation, or loss with an imaginative twist that children can easily understand and embrace.

The Don’t worry Book

by Todd Parr (Little, Brown Young Readers US)

This book speaks out to kids who are feeling the weight of the world, offering solutions and comfort, as well as giggles.

The Colour Monster

by Anna Llenas (Templar Publishing)

Colour Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through colour. Can you help the Colour Monster feel a little less mixed up?