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5 picture books about starting school

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Starting school is a big step. It's simultaneously exciting and a little terrifying at the same time ! We’ve selected some beautiful picture books for ages 3 to 6 that explore this important moment in different ways. Each book has unique illustrations that enhance the text.

Five stories for children and their grownups to discover.

Book cover: L'école de Léon by Serge Bloch

L'école de Léon, Serge Bloch

It's the beginning of the new school year, and Léon is starting reception. To begin with it isn’t easy, there are all these new habits to learn, as well as meeting his new teacher and classmates, and discovering all his new activities. But soon, it becomes very enjoyable. A gentle book to help children and their carers weather the uncertainty of the first few days at school. With Serge Bloch’s fine lines very reminiscent of Sempé’s illustrations, you are bound to enjoy this lovely book.

Borrow L'école de Léon from the library.

Book cover: Moi j'adore, la maîtresse déteste by Elisabeth Brami and Lionel Le Néouanic

Moi j’adore, la maîtresse déteste,

Elisabeth Brami et Lionel Le Néouanic

This is a fun little guide for pupils. It is a long and humorous list of what behaviour isn’t allowed in the classroom. This square book that fits easily into small hands reminds us of the necessary rules thanks to striking and very lively illustrations. A funny and entertaining read on how to behave.

Borrow Moi j'adore, la maîtresse déteste from the library.

Book cover: Pouce! by Alice Brière-Haquet and Amélie Graux

Pouce !, Alice Brière-Haquet et Amélie Graux

A shy boy goes to school accompanied by... his thumb. But little by little it leaves his mouth as the boy grows in confidence. Narrated by the little boy himself, this is a gentle book that speaks directly to children about growing up and becoming independent. Accompanied by beautiful and flamboyant illustrations in colored pencil by Amélie Graux, this book is perfect for any

Borrow Pouce! from the library.

Book cover: Les reflets d’Hariett by Marion Kadi

Les reflets d’Hariett, Marion Kadi

In the savannah, an old lion dies but his reflection is still left hanging around. He goes into town where he meets Hariett, a very shy little girl who doesn't like school very much . He offers to become her reflection. At school, she will feel stronger and more able to face her fears. Accompanied by Marion Kadi's colorful illustrations that look like real paintings, each spread contains a multitude of small details which you will want to pore over for hours!

Borrow Les reflets d'Hariett from the library.

Read Les reflets d'Hariett on Culturethèque.

Access the teacher's guide on Culturethèque.

Book cover: Rita et Machin à l'école by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod and Olivier Tallec

Rita et Machin à l'école, Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod et Olivier Tallec

Rita has to go to school. But what is her dog Machin going to do while she’s busy working? It's hard to stay quiet in the hallway when all the kids are doing so many great activities. In this episode, the funny duo is at school with no shortage of scrapes to get into. The illustrations in pencil with little red highlights are always as delicate as they are exuberant.

Borrow Rita et Machin from the library.


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