It’s hard to believe that summer vacation is almost over. But it’s true. Kids all over the country are gearing up to head back to school. The following books will help your students — new and old — get ready for another year of learning. Synopses provided by respective publishers.
THE LOUD LIBRARIAN, by Jenna Beatrice and Erika Lynne Jones, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, April 11, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 3-7)
Penelope is perfect for the job of student-librarian. Friendly? Check. Helpful? Check. Book lover? Check. There’s just one snag. Penelope is…LOUD. Bookcases may topple and the ground may quake at the sound of her voice, but Penelope is determined to prove she’s perfect for the job and stay true to herself. Can a little librarian with a big voice find a place where she belongs?
Ages 4 and up
ON THE NIGHT BEFORE KINDERGARTEN, by Rosemary Wells, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, June 27, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-6)
On the night before kindergarten, Milo’s dreams are not happy ones and make him worry about all the ways things at school could go wrong. On the morning of the big day, he’s nervous and wants Mama and Daddy to come with him, but they aren’t allowed. How can Milo face kindergarten alone? But over the course of the day, Milo makes new friends and learns new things. Kindergarten turns out to be pretty great!
BITSY BAT, SCHOOL STAR (The Bitsy Bat Series), by Kaz Windness, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, June 6, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Bitsy is a little bat with big star dreams of making friends at her new school. But when she arrives, Bitsy doesn’t feel like she fits in. The other kids sit on their chairs, but sitting upright makes Bitsy dizzy. The other kids paint with their fingers, but Bitsy would rather use her toes. Everyone tells Bitsy she’s doing things wrong-wrong-wrong, so she tries harder…and ends up having a five-star meltdown.
Now Bitsy feels like a very small star and doesn’t want to go back to school. But with help from her family, Bitsy musters her courage, comes up with a new plan, and discovers that being a good friend is just one of the ways she shines bright!
PALACE OF BOOKS, by Patricia Polacco, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, March 7, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
When young Patricia’s family moves to Battle Creek, Michigan, she finds it hard to believe this new place will ever feel like home. But soon she meets the kind librarian Mrs. Creavy and discovers the library’s doors are always open. Now, Patricia has a place to explore and study books about the birds that she loves. Mrs. Creavy even introduces her to the books of John James Audubon and helps Patricia introduce her classmates to the joy of birds by becoming the first member of the Audubon Bird Club of Freemont Elementary.
THE LIBRARY FISH LEARNS TO READ (THE LIBRARY FISH BOOKS), by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Gladys Jose, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Feb. 7, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Library Fish is very happy in her bowl on Mr. Hughes the librarian’s desk. From there, she listens to story time and watches Mr. Hughes teach children the alphabet. He says the alphabet is made of letters, letters make sounds, blending those sounds together makes words, and words make stories.
Library Fish wants to read, too! She starts jumping out of her bowl to practice when the library closes at night. Can Library Fish become a reader all on her own?
DAD GOES TO SCHOOL: READY-TO-READ LEVEL 1, by Margaret McNamara and Mike Gordon, Simon Spotlight; Illustrated edition, April 24, 2007, Paperback, $4.99 (ages 4-6)
It’s Parents Week for Mrs. Connor’s first graders. Each day another parent is visiting and showing what they do. But Ayanna’s dad isn’t like the other parents. Will her classmates like him anyway?
CLASS MOM, by Margaret McNamara and Mike Gordon, Simon Spotlight; Illustrated edition, Oct/ 30, 2012, Paperback, $4.99 (ages 4-6)
In the twentieth installment of the hit Robin Hill School series, Nia volunteers her mama to be in charge of planning a great party for Mrs. Connor’s class. Everyone is excited—but Nia’s mama doesn’t know she’s been volunteered! Nia knows her mother is shy about speaking English, and is much more comfortable with her native Spanish. With the party fast approaching, can Nia and her mama pull off a great party for the first-grade class?
Ages 6 and up
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED AFTER SCHOOL . . ., by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud, Chronicle Books, July 11, 2023, Hardcover, $12.99 (ages 6-9)
It’s a race to do homework—in space! But first, there’s a spaceship jam. Then there’s the moon detour, the Mars alien exploration, and a stop on the gravity-defying International Space Station. And that’s just the beginning! Henry and Ali want to get their homework done—they really do! But how are they supposed to study the solar system when they seem to be swept up in an endless series of interstellar surprises?
SEJAL SINHA BATTLES SUPERSTORMS, by Maya Prasad, Aladdin, May 2, 2023, Paperback, $6.99 (ages 6-9)
Sejal Sinha is looking forward to celebrating Diwali with her family. But when a hurricane appears, Sejal and her cousin Mira learn that the house is in danger from the imminent storm. With the help of Sejal’s favorite stuffed animal, Professor Cheetah, the two girls use Cardboard Box Magic to build their own Hurricane Hunter and fly into the eye of the hurricane!
They learn about a project from the 1960s called Project Stormfury, where a team actually tried to stop hurricanes. Can Sejal and Mira do what the previous Stormfury team couldn’t and battle the superstorm?
Ages 9 and up
SMART: USE YOUR EYES TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN (Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Visual Intelligence), by Amy E. Herman and Heather Maclean, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Oct. 25, 2022, Hardcover, $17.99 (Paperback, Sept. 12, $10.99) (ages 9-13)
What would you say if I told you that looking at art could give you the confidence you need to speak up in class? Or that learning the history of donuts could help you think like a super spy and train like the CIA?
smART teaches readers how to process information using paintings, sculptures, and photographs using methods that instantly translate to real world situations and are also fun!
With three simple steps (1) How to SEE, (2) How to THINK about what you see, and (3) How to TALK about what you see, readers learn how to think critically and creatively, a skill that only requires you to open your eyes and actively engage your brain.
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