We need bravery to try new things. For many children, starting school brings a roller coaster of emotions. Caregivers can help to support a child’s social and emotional health by reading books that prepare them for new experiences, and there are a lot of “back-to-school” (or starting a new school) titles to choose from. Here are some of our CLP favorites that can inspire children to approach the school year with bravery.  

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Butterflies on the First Day of School

Rosie can’t wait to start kindergarten. But suddenly, on the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly, and she’ll feel better soon. As the day goes on, Rosie frees all her butterflies, and even helps another shy student let go of hers, too.


Determined to execute the perfect cannonball dive, a boy tries to follow everyone’s advice but finally hears Nan, an expert and former champion, who advises doing it his own way.

The Day You Begin

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself, but later he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider. You can also check out this title as an eBook or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

Isabel and Her Colors Go to School

English just feels wrong to Isabel. She prefers her native Spanish. Her first day at her new school is uncomfortable, until she employs her crayons and discovers there’s more than one way to communicate with new friends. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.


A wordless picture book about an imaginary world behind the walls in Thao Lam’s signature paper collage style.