10 Picture Books to Start the School Year

  1. Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

This book is about the number Zero. Zero feels that he has no value compared to all of the other numbers. He is struggling to find a way to fit in. Then, with the help of his friends, he realizes that he is not an empty number. Instead, he can help his friends count higher than they ever could on their own! This book is an excellent way to remind your children that everyone is important. Everyone has value. Together, everyone can combine their talents and go places they could never have gone on their own.

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

2. One by Kathryn Otoshi

This book is about colors . . . all of the colors are friends, except Red. Instead of being friendly, Red picks on all of the colors. No one stops him until One comes along. One stands up to Red, showing him that it is not right to push the other colors around. In the end, Red learns that he can have friends if he will just be friendly. As the school year begins, children can be reminded being unkind to others is not acceptable. Instead, if they want to have friends, they need to be friendly to everyone. Children can also be reminded that they need to stand up for themselves and for others when someone is being unkind. It is important that everyone seeks to be friendly to all.

One by Kathryn Otoshi

3. Two by Kathryn Otoshi

This book is about the lucky number Two. Two was best friends with One, but soon One becomes friends with others. It seems that Two must choose . . . will she try to fit in with the odds? Or will she leave with the evens? Two does not want to have to choose. Instead, she is able to convince the odds and evens that they can all be friends. What an important lesson! This book will remind children that it is okay to have more than one friend. In fact, we should be friendly to everyone! We should also be a peace-maker, seeking to join people together rather than breaking them apart.

Two by Kathryn Otoshi

4. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

This book is an excellent book to read with your little one who is off to school for the first time. In the story, the young racoon is reminded that even if he is apart from his mother, she still loves him and looks forward to his return. To help ease the jitters on his first day of school, the mother places a kiss on the young racoon’s hand. Now, whenever he is missing his mother, he can put the kissed hand up to his cheek and remember that his mom loves him. Mamas, this would be a great book and practice for your little one who might be heading off to school or daycare for the first time. Teachers, this would be a great way to begin on the first day of school to remind your sweet students that school is safe and fun, but their parents love them and are excited to see them at the end of the day.

5. Scribble Stones by Diane Alber

This is a cute little story about a stone who knew that he had a special purpose in life . . . he just didn’t know what it was yet. When the Scribbles came along, the little stone realized his purpose . . . to be colorful and make others smile. Soon, the whole pile of stones were colored, decorated, and headed around the world to share joy with others! What a wonderful way to remind your students that they each have a purpose and the ability to bring joy to others!

Scribble Stones by Diane Alber

Bonus: Scribble Stones Art Guide

Scribble Stones Art Guide

6. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

7. You Are Special by Max Lucado

You Are Special by Max Lucado

8. If Only I Had a Green Nose by Max Lucado

If Only I Had a Green Nose by Max Lucado

9. The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff

The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff

10. What Am I Feeling? By Dr. Josh & Christi Straub

What Am I Feeling? by Dr. Straub