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2019 Fun Freebies & Books for Back to School (Part One)

Hello new school year and hello new books! Read on and check out fresh read-alouds for the first day of school, snag fun freebies and have a chance to win the title of your choice!

Want to win one of these great books for your classroom? Like this post and leave a comment my Facebook Page! One random winner will be chosen next Friday, August 23rd.

Let's start with some back to school books for the littles in your life! Sometimes I think publishers forget that the school/daycare experience starts early for many kiddos, so I was really happy to see some books hit the shelves this year that are appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn


How did Lola grow up so fast?! As always, I love the everyday diversity McQuinn and Beardshaw incorporate into these books. What a wonderful new addition to a wonderful series! My favorite part? How storytime at the library helped prepare Lola for school, of course! 😍

The School Book and The Don’t Worry Book by Todd Parr


Todd Parr’s given us TWO excellent new books for the beginning of the school year! He makes it so easy to talk about feelings and explore tough topics with the littles.

So Big! by Mike Wohnoutka


Bear is feeling pretty good about this back to school business… until he sees the BIG bus, and the BIG kids on the bus, and the really BIG intimidating front steps! Maybe Bear isn’t big enough after all… or is he?

I just love the repetition in this simple text and expressive illustrations. Although it’s short and sweet, older children will enjoy bringing their visual literacy/narrative skills to the nearly wordless text and helping tell the story.

Celebrate this BIG milestone with a little math! How fun would it be to introduce nonstandard measurement after reading this book? Encourage your kiddos to work with a partner and measure their bodies with blocks, string, ribbon, links, cubes, etc!

I just love these self-portrait/height lines featured on Rainbows Within Reach:


Why not take that string and compare our heights to objects round the room? Why not measure ourselves with more objects? Multiple FREE recording sheet options are available for various ages below!


The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes


What adventures await the brave of heart in school? Riding a yellow carriage is just the beginning! Explore the Kingdom of Kindergarten with a confident young hero in this sweet story.

Give your new little kings and queens a chance to get glamorous after reading this picture book! Practice those scissor skills and make some crowns. First Palette has a wide variety of free wearable crown printables!


Take pictures with those cute crowns and commemorate this grand occasion with a class book! Or capture your class’s first self-portraits. Both are options with this fun and free Kindergarten Kingdom Class Book!


Keep the royal fun rolling in math centers with these FREE crown jewel math mats - 4 ways to play!


Why not get crafty while you're at it and construct a shape castle? Template included!


Big Boys Cry by Jonty Howley


Levi’s feeling a little scared on the first day of school, but he does his best to hide his tears, because big boys don’t cry. Or do they? After seeing a wide range of emotions on his way to and from school, Levi learns a big lesson to share with his papa. I just love the emotional honesty and vulnerability in this book. It’s a really moving story for parents and children to read together - recommend it to your families before the first day of school!

Nugget and Fang Go to School by Tammi Sauer


Nugget and Fang face their biggest adventure yet - going to school! Fang isn’t ready, but he learns to get by with the help of some small friends. Don’t we all?

Here’s a free printable Venn Diagram for your firsties! Or enlarge and compare your first day feelings with Fang’s as a whole class:


Codzilla by David Zeltser


Under the sea school adventures continue! Bertie doesn’t like being the biggest codfish in school, but being a bookish Codzilla has its advantages… as Bertie and his classmates discover one day when a shark stops by!

Unicorn is Maybe Not So Great After All by Bob Shea


Do your kids love silly stories? Then they’re sure to fall in love with the zany humor in Bob Shea’s newest Unicorn book! Unicorn is NOT AMUSED when the first day of school doesn’t go as expected. No one pays attention to him at all! Desperate to stand out, Unicorn hatches a plan to capture the attention of his classmates… one way or another. As I’m sure you could guess, the plan backfires in spectacular fashion!

And now for the last and IMHO best back to school book to come out this year (and no I'm not biased just because Jean Reidy is also super nice and lives right by our library)...

Truman by Jean Reidy


Explore the first day of school from a pet’s perspective! When Truman the Tortoise gets left behind, he’ll dare the impossible to reunite with his human, Sarah. Except, by the time his mission is almost accomplished, Sarah’s already back from school!

I can’t even when it comes to coherently expressing my love for this book Truman is such a delightful determined main character. And those illustrations! That vocabulary! So much gentle heart and humor in this story.

My kiddos always loved talking about their pets (or the pets they wished they could have!) Here’s a fun math survey freebie to go along with this book and help your class get to know each other:


Grab ALL of these fun back to school booktivities and ideas for FREE by clicking on the image below:


Don’t forget to check out last year’s post for more books and fun freebies:

If you like what you see here, check out my store! All Back to School resources are half-priced for the month of August. Search B2S or click below:

Like learning about new books and getting great read aloud ideas? Follow my new library land adventures over at Storytime in the Stacks!

See you soon with more fun freebies and back to school books in Part Two... stay tuned!


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