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6 great books about starting school for kids and their grown ups!

Louise Lavery is a content writer and the online content manager for Families Magazine. Louise taught senior English for over ten years with a focus on the promotion of literacy development in adolescents who have processing and behavioural difficulties. In her “spare” time she is a freelance writer, a young adult novelist and chief wrangler of the world’s cheekiest three-year-old boy.

Are you looking for books about starting school?

Explaining new concepts and ideas through story books is a wonderful way for your children to learn. Reading to and with our children helps them build not only their literacy but their understandings and connections with the world around them. When it comes to changes in a child’s life, starting “big school” or kindergarten is pretty up there!

Meet J.R. Poulter

We met a multi-award winning Brisbane author who ticks all the right (or write!) boxes. J.R.Poulter is a former senior educator and librarian. She’s an English tutor and an editor. And she’s a mother of five. You could safely assume she’s qualified!

J.R. has developed a series of stories published by Word Wings Books that tell beautiful stories depicted artistically by illustrators and designers from Queensland, USA, Brazil and Italy. These are the kinds of stories you read again and again as they explore complex concepts to do with tolerance, communication, behaviour, separation anxiety, coping with change and emotional expression.

Look alikes

 books about starting school

Look Alikes introduces the idea that your child will be exposed to a broader range of people, identities, cultures and backgrounds. Your child will grasp the concepts of ‘same’ and ‘different’ in a new way that speaks to ideas of tolerance and diversity. The playful rhymes help your child to understand that though skin colour and appearance may be different we still have many similarities. You can find Look Alikes here.

How do you do?

 books about starting school

How Do You Do uses animal sounds to explore ideas to do with communication and polite greetings. This will help with your child entering the world of school with many different teachers, teacher-aides, adults and staff. The story is funny, sweet and memorable – the perfect recipe for a meaningful lesson. You can find How Do You Do here.


books about starting school

Toofs was co-written by a senior childcare professional and explores the behavioural issue of biting. If you’re the parent of a biter you’ll relate to the stress that goes with this problem. Woven into this funny, rhyming tale are real-life strategies that parents can use to help their kindgergarten aged child move past this difficult phase. You can find Toofs here.

Getting Home

 books about starting school

Getting Home has environmentalist messages to do with protection of habitats and global warming. It can also be read to help children explore feelings of separation anxiety, risk-taking and consequences. A multi-layered story often provides excellent conversational points to explore the more difficult ideas that our kids come up against. 

The Sea Cat Dreams

 books about starting school

The Sea Cat Dreams helps children understand the inevitable nature of change and how we can not only cope with it but embrace it as a positive force. Starting school, changing school, moving house and divorce are just some of the changes that our children are faced with – this is an excellent book to help provide perspective when it all might seem too chaotic. You can find The Sea Cat Dreams here.

Wiggle and Oink

 books about starting school

Wiggle and Oink is the perfect book to help explore identity. Boy and girl friendships are explored in this text. The ideas that it’s alright to be friends with girls and it’s okay to show your feelings are lessons that little boys often struggle with. This is a great book for any boy, particularly if this will be their first real experience in a mixed group. You can find Wiggle and Oink here.

The importance of connection

Small children don’t grasp ideas the same way we do – they need to look at new concepts from many different angles to try and understand something we may take for granted. Reading books about starting school like J.R. Poulter’s allow us to help them clear these hurdles and bring us closer together at the same time.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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