Books and ALL Back to School Stuff

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the Christmas and New Year celebrations and now we’re heading straight into ‘Back to School Season’. Does your family decorate and cover school books? I am still deeply in love with ChickPea’s from Year Two! The one featuring my favorite cookbook, ‘Simple’ by Yotam Ottolenghi is my favorite and I asked him to paint a similar image on a canvas for the kitchen.

ChickPea Painted Book Covers for Year Two – A Selection of Many!

New local (and online) commerce lunch boxes name my things They were under the Christmas tree because I am a sucker for the useful gift!

linden children is my other resource for back to school and its Sinchies range it’s great. We also have the MontiiCo Smoothie Cups And they have CHANGED MY LIFE. When we have to go out at 6:30 am, I make a smoothie, oatmeal, yogurt (chia if I’m feeling brave and can crush them enough so the kids don’t detect them) and take them all in the car. There is no condensation on the outside for little kids to yell at and the smoothie stays cold for hours. My kids take forever to wake up (something they definitely inherited from Dan who was AWESOME in the mornings!) and breakfast can take 45 minutes which I just don’t have on work mornings.

Click on the images to read more or buy.

The girls have done beeswax wraps with Nonna for this year, but I can recommend the beeswax wraps from biome – I have some still strong from two years ago.

For labeling I really only recommend stuck on you. As a teacher, I’ve seen *all the labels* over the years and I swear stuck on you They are the ones that really last the distance!

Image Credit: Stuck On You

With lunch boxes, labels, and textbooks sorted, I now turn to my favorite books on school-related topics like starting school, playground politics, anxiety, and friendships. Whether they’re feeling confident or apprehensive, children’s books are a great way to introduce them to new experiences, like starting school or going back to school. Books are a way to enter the world of the classroom from the safety of a bedroom or the lap of a beloved parent or grandparent.

Click on the title links or cover images to purchase.

Books for the Beginning of School and First School Years

‘Your school is the best’ by Maggie Hutchings and illustrated by Felicita Sala, Affirm Press.

‘Monsters school’ series written by Sally Rippin and illustrated by Chris Kennett, Hardie Grant.

With the ‘Monsters school’ series, Rippin has written a series of books for emerging readers, those readers who are right in the middle of the sight word *fun* and the home reader *joy* – these are the perfect gift for a little person starting school or just starting your reader’s journey at home.

‘The Wild Guide to Starting School’ (2022) written by Laura Bunting and illustrated by Philip Bunting, Omnibus Books.

‘Starting school’ (2013), written by Jane Godwin and illustrated by Anna Walker, Penguin Books Australia. My full review and our Notes for Teachers are here.)

starting school

‘Narhwal School of Genius’ by Ben Clanton.

‘The pigeon HAS to go to school!’(2019) by Mo Willems, Walker Books Australia.

‘Ollie and Augustus’ (2019) by Gabriel Evans, Walker Books Australia.

‘Maddie’s First Day’ (2018) written by Penny Matthews. Illustrated by Liz Anelli, Walker Books Australia.

‘I do not want to go to school!’ (2014) by Stephanie Blake, Walker Books Australia.

‘First day’ (2013), written by Andrew Daddo and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley, HarperCollins.

first day

“I’m absolutely too small for school” (2003) written and illustrated by Lauren Child, Candlewick

“Grug Goes to School” (2009), written and illustrated by Ted Prior.


‘Starting school’ (1988), written by Janet Ahlberg and illustrated by Allan Ahlberg, Viking.starting school

‘I have to go to school?’ (2006), written by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Lesley Harker, Hodder Children’s Press.

I have to go to school-

‘Fiona the Pig’s Big Day’ (2006), written and illustrated by Leigh Hobbs, Penguin Books. CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK – Borrow from your local library.

‘I do not want to go to school’ (2000), written by Christine Harris and Craig Smith, Random House Australia. CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK – Borrow from your local library.

‘Millie starts school’ (2001), written by Jane Godwin and illustrated by David Cox, Puffin. CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK – Borrow from your local library.

Books about friendships and school feelings

‘Jessica’s Box’ (2008), written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas, New Frontier Press.

‘hello warrior’ Y ‘hello awesome’ by psychologist Karen Young (illustrated by Norvile Dovidonyte) are wonderful for a detailed yet kid-friendly explanation of anxiety, how to calm it, and even its role in making you an amazing kid. These books have blown my mind – I could sing their praises for days and I use them with children ages 6-16.

‘The big hugs’ series, in particular for the beginning of school, “The playground is like a jungle” and ‘Friendship is like a seesaw’.

‘The Terrible Suitcase’ (2012), written by Emma Allen and illustrated by Freya Blackwood, Omnibus Books. Read my full review of this here. I love this one for those ‘I just want to look like the other kids’ feelings.


‘Twig’ (2015), Aura Parker, Scholastic Press Australia is a beautiful one about being yourself and standing out from the crowd. My full review and craft activity is here. There are also excellent downloads on the Aura Parker website. here.

6 picture books to hug tight: Twig


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