Your favourite authors and illustrators pick the best books for starting school

We spoke to some of your favourite authors and illustrators to find out what books they’d recommend for children starting school in September. Whether your child is nervous about making friends or struggling to build confidence, these books will offer them the reassurance they need as they take their next step. 

Diane Ewen | Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“Reading opens up whole new worlds. This book, one of a series, takes the reader on a journey filled with heart stopping moments, fun, humour, and adventure. In short, reading will enrich your life.”

– Diane Ewen, illustrator of Is That Your Mama?

Buy now
Thiago de Moraes | The Worrysaurus

The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright

“Children often feel anxious when going back to school, but it can be a really hard feeling to put into words, and even harder to work through. This is a thoughtful, sweet and charming book that can give parents and children a chance to start talking about their fears. It’s also a great read and brilliantly illustrated!”

– Thiago de Moraes, author of A Mummy Ate My Homework

Buy now
Kaye Umansky | The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

“I read this sweet story to my daughter when she was about to start reception. She is now 37 and still remembers loving it. It’s a classic tale about an endearing little owl called Plop, who is afraid of the dark. He meets other night creatures who teach him that darkness is a wonderful thing in many different ways. The story is so positive – it shows that fears can be faced and it’s not so hard to fit in. The perfect story to read to children who are feeling a bit unsure.”

– Kaye Umansky, author of This Rock Is Mine

Buy now
Helen Rutter | The Goldfish Boy

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

“My kids and I LOVE Lisa Thompson books. She is my daughter’s absolute favourite author and this story is the first one she wrote so it’s a really good place to start. Once you have read this you will definitely want to read all of her other books. She blends mystery with humour and truth so brilliantly.”

– Helen Rutter, author of The Funniest Boy in the World

Buy now
Emily-Jane Clark | Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice by Aoife Dooley

“This beautifully illustrated graphic novel book is perfect for any child about to move up to secondary school. It is also a realistic insight into neurodiversity, told with a lot of heart and humour!”

– Emily-Jane Clark, author of The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep

Buy now
Sarah Asuquo | The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright

“This brilliant book reminds us that we all have fears and doubts–and that’s ok. However, it encourages us to be brave, bold and find our own voices. It’s beautifully illustrated and written, with fun rhymes to create a light-hearted tone for children to enjoy. It reinforces an important message for children to celebrate their individuality and the diversity of others.”

– Sarah Asuquo, author of Shine

Buy now
Diane Ewen - I Love Me!

I Love Me by Marvyn Harrison

“I think this is a great book for getting children motivated and appreciative of themselves.”

– Diane Ewen, illustrator of Is That Your Mama?

Buy now
Tom Knight | Barbara Throws a Wobbler

Barbara Throws a Wobbler by Nadia Shireen

“I absolutely love Barbara Throws a Wobbler by Nadia Shireen. It’s hilarious, the pictures are wonderful and it teaches us all that we can be the master of our emotions and not let our moods get the better of us. I recently threw a large wobbler on holiday when I was pooped on by a seagull, but I remembered Barbara’s story and I felt much better..”

– Tom Knight, illustrator of When Cookie Crumbled

Buy now
Thiago de Moraes | You're the One That I Want

You’re the One That I Want by Simon James Green

“This book tells the story of a boy that is trying to find his place in the world while dealing with all the change and uncertainty that being a teenager can present. It’s something that a lot of kids going to (or through) secondary school can relate to, but what makes it truly great is how funny and warm the writing is.”

– Thiago de Moraes, author of A Mummy Ate My Homework

Buy now

Shop all our author top picks!

Similar Posts

All categories

Blog home