By Jessica Sanford
The freshness of a new school year is exciting (sometimes scary) and filled with possibility. Here’s a list of stories and books to energise, entertain, encourage and support. All the best for the year ahead, friends.
A confident start
Starting School, by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker
Come with Tim, Hannah, Sunita, Joe and Polly on their first day at school as they pack their bags, meet their teacher and classmates, play and discover a new routine.
Stories to inspire
The Isabelle Stories, by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Robin Cowcher
Six year old Isabelle lives with her dad and her cat Steve and enjoys looking after her baby cousin, Bibi. In these stories she navigates friendships, family and meeting the new girl at school.
Love to learn
How We Came to Be: Surprising Sea Creatures, by
Discover the fascinating evolution stories of unique underwater animals. How they’ve survived and changed over millions of years and why.
Stuff to Know When You Start School, by DK
A colourful book about life skills, such as washing our hands, being polite and understanding emotions.
New Kid, by Jerry Craft
Jordan Banks is in the seventh grade and loves to draw. When his parents enrol him in a private school across town, instead of the art school of his dreams, he must fit into two different worlds – navigating his new school, while staying true to himself and old friends in his neighbourhood.
The Children’s Book of Birdwatching, by Dan Rouse
Look, a bird! With this guide you and your child can learn the names of all your favourite feathered friends. Also includes activities on how to attract them and create a safe place in the garden where they can thrive.
Old Friends, New Friends, by Andrew Daddo, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
A new class and new classmates can be daunting, especially for kindy leavers venturing into year 1. Read about the excitement of making even more friends in a brand–new class and catching up with old friends in the playground.
Amelia Gray is Almost Okay, by Jessica Brody
Twelve year old Amelia Gray has moved around her whole life because of her dad’s job. When her dad decides to stay put, Amelia must think about what she’s never had to before – fitting in, making friends and carving out a place for herself.
The Berenstain Bears’ School Days, by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Get ready for the year ahead with the Berenstain Bears. This 6–in–1 collection features stories, activities, stickers and lunchbox friendly recipes.
The NSW Government has put together an eBook with practical information and guides to getting ready for primary school. Find it here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/parents-and-carers/going-to-school/preparing/starting-primary-school/e-book-getting-ready-for-primary-school
Jessica Sanford is a librarian and writer living on the Central Coast. She has a passion for literature and writes fiction and non–fiction. Jessica was the winner of the Wyong Writers’ 2021 Short Story Competition and has also been long listed for the Furious Fiction prize. She’s currently working on a novel set in rural NSW. https://jessicasanfordwriter.com