Mixed Media Books for Back to School and New Beginnings

Books for Back to School and New Beginnings


Baa, Baa, Tap Sheep

Baa, Baa, Tap Sheep

By Kenda Henthorn

Illustrated by Lauren Gallegos

Sleeping Bear, 2022, $17.99

A big day ahead calls for a good night’s sleep, and these lambs are sure to ease your little one into lullaby land. The rhyming text follows 10 sheep as, one by one, they glide, tap, rap, droop, yawn and finally snuggle down and close their eyes. A restful palette of cool blues and lavender soothes the eyes; and in addition to the winsome woolly creatures, illustrations occasionally spotlight a trio of human kids as they drift peacefully to sleep.

ages 3 – 6

Hurry, Little Tortoise, Time for School!

Hurry, Little Tortoise, Time for School!

By Carrie Finison

Illustrated by Erin Kraan

Random House, 2022, $17.99

Is your morning a rush to get everyone to school, preschool or day care on time? This charming book de-escalates the drama and can help bring humor and calm to the chaos. Excited for the first day of school, Little Tortoise sets out by foot. She is determined not to be late but is soon passed by fellow students Cheetah, Llama and even Snail. When a crisis abruptly halts her, who comes strolling along but her teacher, Mr. Sloth! The two pick up their pace and arrive on time – hooray! – while still managing to beat a surprise student known for speediness.

Peaceful Me

Peaceful Me

By Sandra V. Feder

Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

Groundwood, 2023, $19.99

A sudden transition can feel unsettling, whether it’s the seasonal shift from lazy summer to back-to-school busyness or the regular morning catapult from cozy bed to classroom bustle. Sandra Feder’s lyrical text and Rahele Jomepour Bell’s gentle colors combine to help youngsters slow down and identify the times and places that help them feel grounded and calm, and it models how they might achieve this state – through taking slow, deep breaths, imagining favorite things or seeking out a quiet space. This beautiful book is perfect for all ages, be the reader a harried adult or a hurried child.

ages 7 – 9

Henry Like Always

Henry, Like Always

By Jenn Bailey

Illustrated by Mika Song

Chronicle, 2023, $14.99

Jenn Bailey follows her award-winning picture book debut, “A Friend for Henry,” with a chapter book that continues the titular character’s school adventures. Henry feels most comfortable with quiet and routine, so when his teacher Mrs. Tanaka announces that the students will be participating in what is to Henry a noisy, disruptive school parade, his stomach feels like it has a “volcano in it.” Henry goes on, though, to find a solution that relieves his distress and works for the whole classroom. Be they neurodivergent or neurotypical, many kids will relate to Henry and the classroom dynamics and cheer his win-win outcome.

Henry, Like Always



By Amanda Gorman

Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Amanda Gorman, #1 bestselling author, poet, and activist joins forces with award-winning artist Christian Robinson on a new children’s picture book, also being published in Spanish, ”ALGO, ALGÚN DÍA’! In this stunning picture book, Gorman and Robinson share how even the smallest gesture can have a lasting impact. Gorman says, “I wrote ‘SOMETHING, SOMEDAY’ to show that though it might be difficult, when we work together, even the smallest acts of kindness can lead to the largest positive change.” Get the book today at penguinrandomhouse.com or at a wonderful independent bookstore in the D.C. area, politics-prose.com!