My School: Books for Young Children

Starting the first day of school, taking the bus, making new friends — lots of adventures await young children at school! These books highlight many of the feelings young children may have at school, especially if they going to school for the first time or have recently arrived in this country.

Related resources

Building with Dad

Illustrated by: Bill Thomson
Age Level: 0-3

Dad's helper is ready to visit the construction site of his new school! Clever rhymes take us through the building project, from the groundbreaking to the finishing touches as the first school buses arrive. Children will pore over Bill Thomson's life-like quality of the illustrations depicting big machines and the construction site.

Carmen Learns English

By: Judy Cox
Illustrated by: Angela Dominguez
Age Level: 3-6

Starting school can be especially frightening if you don't yet speak English. But Carmen is determined to learn English well in order to teach her little sister. With a supportive teacher and growing confidence, Carmen gradually learns the new language. Expressive illustrations complement this recognizable story.

Elizabeti's School

Illustrated by: Christy Hale
Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: Elizabeti was excited and fidgety on her first day of school as she admired her school uniform and shoes and walked to school with her older sister. Once there, though, Elizabeti becomes shy, wishing she had not come. Elizabeti is not sure at all she wants to return, but once she finds that she can use her knowledge at home, she decides to return. While warm watercolors depict a child's first day of school in Tanzania and the text is sprinkled with Swahili words, the emotions conveyed are universal.

First Day of School

Illustrated by: Alexandra Artigas
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

From saying goodbye to Mom to finding a new friend, a young Latino boy experiences a range of emotions on his very first day of school. Spanish version available.

Here Comes the Bus

Illustrated by: Linda Finch
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

A Chinese American girl takes the bus to school and greets her friends, one by one, at each stop. Spanish version available.

I'm New Here

Age Level: 6-9

Maria, Jin, and Fatimah are new to their American elementary school. The words that they hear around them and see on the page are confusing. They each long for the language that they understand and the friends who understand them back home. They feel as though they don’t fit in—they are alone, confused, and sad in their new school. After observing those around them, each new student slowly gains the confidence to interact with their new surroundings. They realize that their peers and teachers are very supportive, welcoming, and excited to learn what these new classmates have to share.

Jamaica and the Substitute Teacher

Illustrated by: Anne Sibley O'Brien
Age Level: 3-6

Jamaica and Brianna are excited about their new substitute teacher. And Mrs. Duval doesn't disappoint — she inspires and engages all the children. So much so, that even when Jamaica makes a bad choice, she decides to confess to Mrs. Duval. Wise and calm, Mrs. Duval helps Jamaica learn from her mistake.

Lucía the Luchadora

Illustrated by: Alyssa Bermudez
Age Level: 6-9

Lucía zips through the playground in her cape just like the boys, but when they tell her "girls can't be superheroes," suddenly she doesn't feel so mighty. That's when her beloved abuela reveals a dazzling secret: Lucía comes from a family of luchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition. Cloaked in a flashy new disguise, Lucía returns as a recess sensation!

Moony Luna

Five-year-old Luna is afraid she'll find monsters at her new school until a kind teacher and her new classmates show her that she has nothing to fear in this touching bilingual story.

New Words, New Friends

Illustrated by: Diego Jimenez Manzano
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

New Words, New Friends is a storybook resource for teachers, librarians and parents to teach young children who speak different languages how to learn and play together. This heartwarming story of friendship that grows under the guidance of a nurturing and mindful teacher is the backdrop for an intentional social story on building communication skills for children in culturally and linguistically diverse preschools, story hours, or child care programs.

Nimoshom and His Bus

Illustrated by: Karen Hibbard
Age Level: 0-3
Language: Cree

Nimoshom loved to drive the school bus. Every day, on the way to and from school, he had something to say to the children who rode his bus. Sometimes, he told the kids silly stories. Sometimes, he taught the kids a new word in Cree. Nimoshom and His Bus introduces readers to basic Cree words. A glossary is included in the back of the book.

Pencil Talk and Other School Poems

Illustrated by: Susie Lee Jin
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

A simple school day is a lot more fun when you add a little poetry! Follow along for a fresh look at spelling tests, recess, music class and more, in this spirited collection of school day poems. Spanish version available.

Pran's Week of Adventure

Illustrated by: Lisa Cinelli
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

When the car has to go to the shop, Pran and his mother, Mrs. Patel, try a new way to get to school each day. The results are a wacky week full of misadventure! Spanish version available.

The Bus for Us

Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Tess can't wait for the school bus to arrive! "Is this bus for us, Gus?" she continues to ask as a taxi, ice cream truck, and fire engine pass by. The repetition of questions and answers throughout the story will make this a great read-aloud for young students and English language learners. Colorful watercolor illustrations complement the text. Bilingual edition available.

The Name Jar

Age Level: 6-9

On the way to Unhei's first day of school, a group of kids on the school bus make fun of her name. When she gets to class, she refuses to tell anyone her name, deciding that she wants to choose an American name instead. The next morning, she finds a name jar filled with pieces of paper and finds that her classmates are eagerly awaiting to see which name Unhei will choose. Yangsook Choi (who chose the name Rachael as a child) offers a moving portrait of the importance of names and identity to all children.

Yoko Writes Her Name

Age Level: 3-6

Yoko is ready for kindergarten! She can write her name, write numbers, and read stories. There is only one problem, though — she does it all in Japanese, and her classmates make fun of her scribbles. Can her new friend convince her that knowing a secret language isn't such a bad thing after all? Wells offers a loving, empathetic story that young ELLs will easily relate to, as well as a thoughtful portrayal of a teacher who embraces her young student's native language in the classroom.