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First Day of School

Written by Anne Rockwell

Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

HarperCollins (2011)

The first day of school is full of new things. New is exciting! But it can also be scary. What will school be like this year? Get ready to share in the excitement of the first day of school with friends old and new! 


“ Excited and scared as he prepares for school, Nicholas sees his friends in the park and at the store, and as the kids remember last year's class with Mrs. Madoff, they hope they will be together again. The uncluttered, brightly colored pictures capture the children's nervousness as they anticipate what's ahead as well as their excitement as they prepare for their first day: Eveline's mother measures her for a new white dress; Jessica makes her own lunch and packs it in her new Comet Girl lunch box; Michiko has brand-new bouncy sneakers; and Evan is finally old enough to have his own house key. On the first day of school, Nicholas gets his wish: he and his best-pal are indeed in the same class. A cheerful, reassuring offering that nicely covers the range of first-day jitters. ”

— Booklist

“ Nicholas and his friends are going back happily to their second school year. This narrative angle allows Anne Rockwell to mention last year's fears — walking down the long hallway to the classroom — yet show just how well everything worked out. The children's school arrivals and departures are various, with grandparents and baby sitters being part of the process. Their preparations certainly involve purchases — like backpacks and lunch boxes — but they also involve what they now know or have learned to do for themselves. ”

— Chicago Tribune

“ A group of children prepares for the upcoming school year and reminisces about last year’s first day of school. Haircuts, new lunch boxes, bigger shoes, fancy backpacks, and a few nervous feelings are the topics of conversation with these culturally diverse kids. Their calm dialogue and kind words for one another make this a nice addition to any back-to-school bookshelf. Pleasing, peaceful illustrations contain just enough details to spark conversations and may help to ease the tense feelings that often accompany the arrival of a new school year. ”

— School Library Journal