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The Best Children’s Books For Back to School! Personalized books and more! (Updated, May 2024)

It’s almost time for school again - and you might be wondering if there’s some way to ease the transition for your kid! Going back to school after the summer is never easy - some kids don’t want to leave their parents, some may find it difficult to make friends, and some just don’t cope well with change. Whatever the reason, the pandemic has definitely not helped make things any easier. 

The past couple of years have been strange, disheartening and difficult, there’s no doubt about it. With many states moving back to in-person learning, and some continuing on with virtual learning, it can be difficult for young children to cope with the changes. While there’s not too much we can do to make the situation easier, we can definitely help our little ones be a little more prepared for what lies ahead. 

This is our list of favorite back to school books that you can read with your little ones:

You and the Rainbowbird

Your Child and the RainbowBird
is an inspiring personalized book about kindness, inclusiveness, and celebrating differences. In this story, your child sees RainbowBird being teased by CattyCat and Crew. Upset and in need of support, RainbowBird finds a friend in your child, who figures out a way to help. Together, they show all the Manimals that we are unique and that our differences should be celebrated. "Your Child and the RainbowBird" offers a meaningful lesson that resonates with young readers and encourages a more inclusive world.

You and the Rainbowbird

This personalized book is also an excellent choice for children going back to school, as it teaches them to be kind to everyone and underscores the negative impact of bullying. By instilling values of empathy and support, Your Child and the RainbowBird helps children understand that embracing diversity and standing up against bullying are essential for creating a positive and inclusive school environment.

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney


Back to School Books


Llama Llama Misses Mama tells the story of a shy little llama that has his first day of playschool. At first, Llama Llama doesn’t like anything at playschool - he doesn’t like the kids, there’s too much noise, he doesn't like the book at story time - but most of all, he misses his mama and wonders why she’s left him alone. But soon, he starts to give playschool a chance - he goes outside to play, starts to make friends and enjoys coloring. Suddenly, Mama Llama is back! Llama Llama now loves mama and school too! This book is great to make kids understand that even though you might leave them at school, you’ll always come back, and that school can be a lot of fun too! 


Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey



Sunday Chutney is a book for older children. Sunday’s family moves around a lot, and so she’s always the new kid in school. What makes it a little worse is that she has a lazy eye, and is a bit unusual - she doesn't usually like the things other kids like. This book reinforces the idea that it’s okay to be different, that it may be hard to make new friends, but it can be done, and that kids should be accepting of what makes them truly unique. The book is an easy and quick read and has beautiful Tim Burton-ish illustrations - definitely a great book for a tween who has to start over at a new school. 

We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins


Back to School Books


Penelope Rex is a young dinosaur who’s starting school - but she has one BIG problem - she can’t stop herself from trying to eat her classmates! All the children are terrified of her, and so she feels really alone. Finally her dad gives her some advice - to be nice! Once Penelope realizes that she’s just like her classmates, she stops trying to eat them and finally makes friends. This book is really great for children who are having trouble with other kids in school. It teaches them that all kids are the same, and that they have to be nice to make friends. 


The Proudest Blue: A story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad



The Proudest Blue is about two sisters who go back to school - and on the first day, the older sister, Asiya wears a hijab for the first time. The story is written from the perspective of the younger sister as she recounts her day at school. She hears other children saying mean things about her sister, but notices that her sister is strong and never seems to be bothered by it. The story is written by Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, and talks about how it can be difficult to be a child with a different religion or ethnicity in school. 


I Got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison


Back to School Books


I Got the School Spirit is a wonderfully illustrated and rhythmic story about a little girl’s excitement to be going back to school. She sees school spirit and excitement in everything that she does or sees that’s a part of school - getting ready, her books, the school bus, and even when she helps a new friend feel better. The book has a lot of diverse characters in it, which is great for children to see. This book is perfect for getting your little one excited about going back to school! 


 Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten! by Lisa Robinson and Eda Kaban



In this imaginative story, Emma, who’s moving up from preschool to kindergarten, has some trouble leaving behind her old classroom and her favorite teacher, Capn’Chu. She’s apprehensive of the new space-themed classroom - after all, she is a pirate! Emma eventually decides to give kindergarten a try, after a good talk with her preschool teacher. This book is great for kids that may be moving up a class, or don’t do too well with change. 


The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily Ordinary First Day of School by Albert Lorenz


Back to School Books


There’s no doubt that this book is really unlike any other - on his first day of a new school, the librarian asks John if his old school is like his new school. John launches into a wild, over the top story about wild animals and monsters at his old school. Everyone starts listening to John’s fabulous tale, and he overcomes his fear of his new school. The book is filled with crowded and packed illustrations, graphic novel style conversation and a wild imagination. The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily Ordinary First Day of School is meant for older children that may be starting a new school, or are simply nervous about going back to school after a long break. 


If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen



If I Built a School is about a boy named Jack who explains to his teacher that the way his school is planned is so boring! Instead he says, if he built a school, it would be much more fun. Jack then goes on to describe a really fun, futuristic school in which they learn history through hologram guests, and have pipe chutes that take them to class. They have trampoline basketball courts, and learn about genetics in science. Jack’s school sounds so fabulous that I hope schools actually do look like this in the future! The book is wonderful for getting kids excited again about how school can be fun, and also to validate how they might feel about school being boring! At any cost, your kid will have a lot of fun imagining this school of the future.

If you’re looking for more books that can help prepare your kids for going back to school, you could try these lists (there’s a total of more than 60 books to pick from!):



Are there any other great books we forgot to add? Let us know in the comments! 

General Questions

Manimal Tales is a publisher of beautifully illustrated personalized books. We have personalized books for children and adults. From birthday books to new baby tales, and from bedtime stories to ABC books, we have custom books for all occasions!

We even offer PhotoStories, our personalized picture books with photos.

At Manimal Tales, we fervently believe every child should be the hero of their own story!

Personalized books (or custom books as they are sometimes referred to) allow the reader to become the hero of the story - literally.

The main character in the story is the reader / receiver of the book, and is represented by an avatar that looks like them. There are usually lots of additional personalized details printed in the stories, including the receiver's name, age, family members and more.

Our PhotoStories offer a whole new level of personalization by allowing you to add your own photos into the story and have them printed out with the book.

Browse through our collection of custom books to see which ones work for your loved ones!

It's super easy to personalize your own book!

Browse through our collection of personalized stories and select the titles you want. On the product page, add the details required to personalize the book (name, age, family members, photos etc.). You can then preview the entire book before you buy, so you know exactly what you're going to get!

Once you're satisfied, add the book to your cart, enter your payment details and your unique, one-of-a-kind personalized book will arrive on your doorstep in 6 to 9 days!

The short answer is that it depends on the personalized book title in question!

All books will have your loved one as the main protagonist and their name will be printed on the book cover as well as in the story.

In some of our books like Dreamland and What Will I Be? the (the An ABC Story) your loved one's name is printed on every page.

In our Manimal Tales series, in addition to your child's name, you can select an avatar that looks like your child.

In our custom baby tales, Your Baby's Story and Your Baby's Story (Sibling version), you have to enter names and select avatars for the parents and the siblings as well.

And for our PhotoStories, you can further customize the books by uploading and adding your own photos directly into the book. The stories have been written to incorporate the photos as part of the story itself.

Whichever personalized book you do choose, we guarantee your loved one's will love our custom tales just as much as we do!

We have books for all ages and occasions! On the menu bar at the top of the page you can filter through our collections of personalized books by a variety of different criteria.

We have personalized books for:

- Birthdays

- New babies / baby showers

- Bedtime books

- Back To School / ABC books

- Seek & Find books

We also offer custom books with engaging stories about:

- Friendship and bravery

- Standing up for your beliefs

- Animal rights and adventure

We have personalized books across all ages:

- 0 to 3 years

- 3 to 6 years

- 6 years and above

- Adult stories

Lastly we have our PhotoStories, which allow users to upload photos and have them become part of the story!

- Happy Birthday Personalized PhotoStory

- Your Baby's Personalized PhotoStory

Nothing beats getting a book with your name on it!

Personalized books are treasured and loved by all, and make great keepsakes.

We offer custom books for all occasions, ensuring you will always find a book to meet your needs.

You can always reach us by filling out our Contact Form.

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