Book Bites: back-to-school

Valerie Koehler, the owner of the Bluewillow Bookshop has put together some of the best reads for August.

Spencer Goes To School by Michelle Romo (Workman Publishing)

Spencer the cat stars in another die-cut board book, introducing young children to what happens at school, including early vocabulary.


Hello Preschool by Priscilla Burris (Nancy Paulsen Books)

A class full of children experience their first day of preschool, where they introduce themselves to their teacher, sing a good morning song, play at recess, and learn their letters and numbers.

New Kid Welcome by Suzanne Slade (Rodale Kids)

In the first half of the book, the student tells us that they don’t want to be nice to the new kid or welcome them into their group simply because they seem different. In the second half, the same lines of the story are placed in reverse order. When read this way, the student encourages us to say hello to someone new, saying they will share their table and snacks. With a simple flip of the story, feelings of intolerance give way to those of inclusion and kindness.

Puppy Bus by Drew Brockington (Abrams Books)

A boy, worried about his first day at a new school, finds himself on the wrong bus, a bus full of puppies bound for Puppy School–and discovers that despite the strange food and even weirder bathroom Puppy School is a lot of fun.

Monster On The Bus by Josh Lieb (Razorbill Books)

It’s the first day of school.  The school bus can be a little intimidating for first-time riders! Will you have a friend to sit next to? Will the driver be nice? . . . and in the case of this bus ride, will that monster eat your backpack? As the wheels go round and round, the bus gets more and more off course. Is that. . .a T. Rex sitting in the back?
KINDergarten by Vera Ahiyya (Random House Studio)
Leo, a quiet kid who is not ready for his first day of kindergarten, ends up having a great day when he makes a kindness pledge and discovers he knows a lot about being kind to others.

How To Start First Grade by Catherine Hapka (Random House Books for Young Readers)

Steve is excited and happy to be starting “real school” until Hannah, who just moved from Alaska, captures everyone’s attention and his response lands him in the principal’s office. A fun independent reading book.

My First Day of School by Alyssa Capucilli (Simon Spotlight)

Beginning readers can learn what to expect on the first day of school. What will it be like? You will meet the teacher and new friends. You will sing songs, play, learn, and so much more!”
The First Rule Of Climate Club by Carrie Firestone (G.P. Putnam and Sons)

When twelve-year-old Mary Kate joins a special science pilot program focused on climate change, she and her friends come up with big plans to bring lasting change to their community.
In The Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo (Quill Tree Books)

Arriving in America, the so-called beautiful country, Anna, a young Taiwanese girl, finds it anything but beautiful as she and her family struggle to make a place for themselves in this world and learn the true meaning of home.