Back to School Must Have Picture Books

Are you stressing about ways to transition students from summer fun to learning? I totally get it! While some students are so excited to be back in the classroom, others are not. Due to this, they are hesitant to join in on the fun activities the teacher has planned. Luckily, I have the perfect way to support students as they adjust to waking up early and learning new material. Picture books! No matter the age, picture books are an incredible resource to use. So, these back to school must have picture books are ready to help all students enjoy every moment in the classroom! 

How to Catch a Class Pet 

Do some of your students struggle to sit still when they return to the classroom? For many of them, it is probably because they have spent the last few months exploring! Suddenly, they have this expectation to just sit for so many hours. So, I love to include back to school must have picture books that focus on adventure. 

In this hilarious story, the class pets all escape! Yes, this includes everything from lizards to birds. There is even a bearded dragon, which students always love! Now, students get to go on a journey to help catch every class pet. Honestly, this silly story will draw in even your most reluctant listeners!

The Dunderheads 

Did you ever have a nightmare about having a teacher who hates children? Or, did you ever experience this while in school? I sure hope not! 

In this story, there is a teacher who hates kids. Her name is Miss Breakbone. Yes, you read that name right! While she hates all kids, she really hates the ones who struggle to pay attention, doodle, or sleep during class. Since no student wants to spend the year with a mean teacher, the Dunderheads come together. They use their special talents to show their teachers how incredible kids really are. Students will love seeing the power of working with classmates in this fun story.

The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer 

I’ve had students tell me wild stories about their summer vacation! Like sliding down a giraffe or flying through the forest! Sometimes, the stories are so crazy that it is hard to know what is true or not. That is exactly what students will have to decide with this fantastic story. Students will hear all about a treasure hunt filled with high-flying hijinks and outrageous characters. Students will love hearing about this exciting adventure while deciding if it’s true or not. 

back to school must have picture books

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story

Every year, we work tirelessly to inspire students to be themselves. We want them to stand up for what is right and be proud of who they are. Sometimes the best way to do this involves back to school must have picture books! This story allows students to hear about a young girl who grew up in a world where women did not have a voice. However, she refused to listen to this. She proudly used her voice to change the world. After listening to this incredible story, students will feel inspired and empowered to make positive changes around them.

back to school must have picture books

I’m sure your mind is developing so many incredible ways to implement these books! However, I understand how short on time teachers are! I’ve had amazing ideas and just didn’t have the time to make them come to life! So, I love to offer freebies all year long through my Facebook group! Be sure to join Adventures of Teaching: Collaboration for 2nd-4th Teachers for many amazing ideas and freebies! 

The School of Failure: A Story about Success

Are your students so afraid to make mistakes that it holds them back? Or, do you have students who feel their mistakes mean they are not smart? Sadly, all classrooms have students who doubt themselves for various reasons. So, this is the perfect book to show students that success involves mistakes and determination. There are even three fairy tale characters to ensure students build personal connections. Honestly, this is one of my favorite back to school must have picture books to show students to never give up on their goals. 

School People 

For so many students, school is the place that brings them joy and excitement. However, it is not the decorations or playgrounds that are the source of these positive feelings. It is all of the grown-ups that children work with throughout the day. This book contains 15 poems that celebrate these adults. Yes, this includes bus drivers, teachers, custodians, and nurses. There is a beautiful, inspirational poem for all of the caring adults! 

Let Me Finish! 

You will have a classroom full of smiling faces with this story! Just as a young hero gets all comfy to read a great book, noisy animals create an adventure! Sadly, this adventure involves ruining the ending of the story. Thankfully, the young hero actually makes his own ending with the help of the animals. 

Chairs on Strike

Do you ever think about all that chairs endure each day? They have to hold us up and help keep us comfortable. They also have to handle us constantly wiggling around. On top of this, they smell our feet! So, this rhyming book creates so many giggles within our students as the chairs go on strike. Honestly, this is one of the best back to school must have picture books to teach students all about kindness. Best of all, this includes people and things! Students will love the funny story while seeing the importance of being kind. 

Back to school is exciting yet exhausting for students. They are enjoying time with their teachers and friends. However, this also means they are exerting so much energy! So, they need time to sit and enjoy the moment during the day. Luckily, these back to school must have picture books will help students fall back in love with school! 

chairs on strike

For more tips on having a great year, check out these 5 Back to School Amazon Must Haves! They will ensure your classroom is organized and ready for a year of learning. 

If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will also receive freebies for blog exclusive subscribers!  

Picture Books for Children to Celebrate Black History Month

Picture Books for Children

One of the biggest responsibilities as educators, is to open our students’ eyes to the world.  The world of possibilities, the world as it stands, and the world as it once was.  This includes getting deep into our history and educating our students about America’s past, both the things we are proud of and the obstacles in which we have learned from.  In the month of February, we take time to celebrate and learn about the influential black leaders that helped to shape our great country.  American history is black history and what better way to teach about these great men and women, than through picture books for children?   I’ve compiled a list of my ten favorite Picture Books for Children to Celebrate Black History in hopes that you find a few new books to add to your collection!

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  This means that Amazon sends me a little pocket change, at no cost to you, if you purchase through on of these links.  This helps keep my site running and funds giveaways for you!)

Picture Books for Children

Picture Books for Children to Celebrate Black History Month

Hey Black Child

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthThis is a perfect picture book for children that really focuses on inspiring young black students to dream big.  This poem, written by Useni Eugene Perkins, is a beautifully simple yet elegant poem that gets us all straight from the heart.  Indulging illustrations help to take us deeper into the words of the poem as well.  I absolutely love this story and believe every child, regardless of color, needs to hear it!

New Shoes

Picture Books for Children to celebrate Black History MonthA wonderfully inspiration story about two young girls who decide to take a problem and create a wonderful solution.  It’s time for school, and Ella Mae wants to try on a pair of new shoes, but due to segregation laws, she’s not allowed.  She wears her new shoes at school but they make her feel depressed and confused.  So Ella Mae and her friend decide to make a change!  They work hard to shine and clean up older shoes and open their own shoe store where all children can come and try on shoes.  A perfect story to show that even as students, our actions and thoughts can make a big impact on our lives and the future and to never give up!  This is also a great story to help tie in growth mindset!

These Hands

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthThe message in this short story is a beautiful one.  A grandfather talks to his grandchildren about all of the amazing things his hands once did and could do, including fighting for civil rights.  In his message to his grandchild, this elder passes on his influence, strength, and wisdom to his grandchildren in a simple, yet powerful way.  He hopes that the message about his hands would help inspire his grandchildren into continuing the fight against discrimination so that one day their hands could do anything their hearts’ desired.

Looking for a fun activity to do for Black History Month?  I’ve got some awesome nonfiction passages that not only focus on some amazing leaders in our country’s history, but also focus on identifying and understanding text features!  Make sure to grab these awesome Black History Month Passages!  

black history month

The Book Itch

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthHave you ever had an itch that you just need to scratch?  That’s what happened to Lewis’s dad, Lewis Michaux Sr.  He had a vision that if black people had access to books, that they would read and help to change the world.  He started with five books and a cart out on the street and worked hard to build his own bookstore in Harlem, known as the National Memorial African Bookstore.  This amazing true story shares the passion and vision of this man and his family and how they influenced their community and the country, with just a book.

With Books and Bricks

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthProbably one of my favorite stories, this books teaches us about one of our more well known black influencers, Booker T. Washington and his story of how he started schools all around the south for black children.  The story begins with him as a young boy and his thirst for knowledge and how he began school at the age of 16 himself.  We learn how Booker decided he wouldn’t give up until all black children had schools of their own to attend.  He saved up every penny he owned to buy the supplies to build his own schoolhouse.  This is a perfect read for younger children!

Boycott Blues

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthThis book is perfect for older elementary students, as the language if very figurative and could be harder for younger students to understand.  With amazing symbolism, this book portrays the story of Ms. Rosa Parks and how she stood against what was wrong, despite the consequences.  The VOICE in this story is hard to miss and truly helps capture the feels and attitudes of the people involved in the story.   The book has a ‘blues’ feel as it tells the story with the antagonist, ‘Jim Crow’.  Such a unique twist to this influential story.

Of Thee I Sing

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthThis adorable letter, written to the daughters of President Barack Obama, is a beautifully written story that asks his daughters questions about their life and their dreams.  In the letter, other American influencers are showcased to help make the point that, they truly can do and be anything that they put their hearts to.  The illustrations in this story are breathtaking as well.

Freedom’s School 

picture books for children to celebrate black history month

Children today take school for granted, but in this beautifully written story, students can see how that was not always the case.  Freedom’s School is a story about Lizzie, a young girl with a huge thirst for knowledge, and her fight to go to school and learn how to read.  With the end to slavery happening, new opportunities were opening up for blacks, including the opportunity to go to school.  However, this too, came with many challenges.  This is the perfect story for children of all ages!

Sit In

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthThis picture book is a celebration of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.  These four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the “whites only” Woolworth’s lunch counter.  The illustrations in this story are truly remarkable and help showcase the passion and power behind the people in the story.  Definitely a must have for every classroom library!

Seeds of Freedom

picture books for children to celebrate black history monthWhen you think of the civil rights movement in Alabama, most people think of terrible violence. But in Huntsville, creativity, courage, and cooperation were the keys to working together to integrate their city and schools in peace. This book shows how this amazing city used peace to overcome discrimination over many years.


These are only a few of the amazing picture books for children out there to help celebrate and teach about black history.  I hope you found a new book to two to add to your library!

Love these books and want to keep the list?  Pin the image below!  

picture books for children to celebrate black history month