25 First Day Read Alouds All Successful Teachers Should Know About

picture books to read aloud on the first day of school

It's the first day of school and your brand new students are excited and nervous.  

They were probably up all night worrying about - Will I like this new classroom?  Will I learn a lot? Is the new teacher nice?  Will I make any friends?  Or maybe even - Will everybody accept me and be nice to me?  Will I enjoy coming here each day?  Will I feel important and motivated to learn?

Just imagine.....

Maybe Sarah was bullied last year and is hoping this year will be different.  Maybe Eli hated reading and hopes his new teacher will let him choose his own books.  Or maybe Trenton is a transfer student and looks different from the others.

Whatever the worry is,  it's your job (and mine) on the first day of school to ease that anxiety and to show your brand new students that this is going to be the #bestyearever.

But knowing exactly how to do that is tough.

That's where picture books come in.  

Yes, even big kids still love and need to hear the crucial messages that picture books deliver.

Where can you find these books that share messages of love, respect, diversity, perseverance, growth mindset and more?  Those perfect books that will show your brand new students that this year will be different? This year will be better!

thank you mr. falker

Right here that's where!  

How did I find these amazing picture books that NEED to be read on the first day of school?

I asked over 500 veteran teachers on my Instagram account for their recommendations and I'm going to share their responses with you.  Right now!

(Click HERE if you're not already following me on IG.)

Actually, I'm going to do more than just share their responses, I'm linking up the covers of 25 books they recommended (in order of popularity, first to last) so that all you have to do is click on the ones that look perfect for your classroom. Each link will take you directly to Amazon. (This post contains affiliate links.)

I know how busy you are planning for that perfect first day, I want to make finding your read alouds as simple as possible.

And now I'm off to add several of these gems to my cart as well.  Oh Amazon, you get me every time!

Here's to the #bestyearever!



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Thanks for reading.  If you have a favorite first day read aloud that didn't make this list please share it in the comments below. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission (that I spend on buying more books for my students) if you make a purchase using these links.


  1. I am super interested in all of these books - but I can't see any of them! The pictures/links aren't there. Help!

    1. the kissing hand link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXT1ANWka4A
      First day Jitters link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMGCDrk3nqQ
      The books are there online as read alouds on youtube.
      Hope this helps

  2. I love this list! I have many of these in my collection that I read the first few days of school. Two other great ones are What Do You Do With An Idea? and What Do You Do With A Problem?
    Both have great messages to teach the children.

  3. This is a great list. A favorite of mine is Monsters Love Underpants. It always gets the kids laughing.

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