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Unique Back-To-School Picture Books...For a Unique School Year

Schools and classrooms will look a little different this year - how do we explain to our kids about what to expect? Our tried-and-true "back to school" picture books are now "old school" (at least for the time being!). But the truth is, there are lots of different ways to learn...and lots of different types of schools, classrooms, and even classmates! Here are some unique picture books that will hopefully put a positive pep in your step and show your child that "school" can mean many different things!

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

by Ryan T. Higgins

Penelope the Dinosaur wonders why nobody wants to play with her - meanwhile, she battles her uncontrollable appetite for small humans.

Kindergarrrten Bus

by Mike Ornstein

A pirate bus driver loses the will to drive the kids to school after his parrot flies away.

Mermaid School

by JoAnne Wetzel

Mermaid students recite their A-B-Seas, eat clamburgers, and hear a made-up story about children who live on land and don't have fins.

Chicken in School

by Adam Lehrhaupt

Zoey the Chicken creates her own school for the barnyard animals after seeing her owner leave for school - lots of books, crayons, and pie are involved...sounds about right.

School's First Day of School

by Adam Rex

A sentient school building voices their insecurities about whether the children will like them.

Chu's First Day of School

by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

Chu the Panda hesitates to tell his classmates about his allergies and ends up sneezing the roof off of the school.

Your First Day of Circus School

by Tara Lazar

Circus School includes trapeze acts, dining with the animals, and clown costumes - the usual.

The Secret Life of Squirrels: Back to School

by Nancy Rose

The author photographs real squirrels in miniature classroom settings - you never thought these animals were cute until now.


by Aura Parker

A stick bug goes unnoticed in a classroom while the other kid bugs use her as a coat rack and other awkward things.

First Day of Groot!

by Brendan Deneen

I am Groot...I AM Groot. I am GROOOOOOT. We also learn Peter Quill is a baker of delicious cookies. I'm a sucker for these movie tie-ins.

Superhero School

by Adam Reynolds

Leonard dislikes learning actual school subjects, but when Ice Zombies take over the school, he realizes his new education can help defeat the villains.

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

by Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky, and Lane Smith

This Seussical School celebrates all manner of terrific teachers and catchy curricula.

Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed

by J.C. Phillips

Wink wants to be a good ninja, but he also likes a good audience - why blend in?

How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?

by Jane Yolen

Dinosaurs showcase the basics of school, such as sharing, standing up to bullies, and following the rules.

Doug Unplugged

by Dan Yaccarino

Robot boy Doug unplugs himself from his learning and goes outside to experience the city - this is what happens during e-learning when parents leave for work!

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