It is almost that time of year when little and big ones will be stepping up to a new grade or having a graduation. We often celebrate life events and holidays with books for kids.
Whether you have a preschooler, grade school child, high schooler, or college graduate moving on to the next phase of their life, give one of the books on this list to mark the occasion!
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I’m a big Bob Staake fan so I was delighted to see him add a graduation-worthy book to his list of creations. Sometimes that path we travel will be smooth and sometimes it will be bumpy. But, you will always choose your path. The book even comes with a removable dust cover that turns into a poster. Grab The Path by Bob Staake.
The days are long but the years are short. It all feels like a blur because it goes so fast. From a crawling baby to this day of graduation…where did the time go. Blur by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat captures this feeling so well.
Sometimes You Fly by Newbery Medalist, Katherine Applegate is a book starts with the major accomplishments of learning to eat all the way to eating that graduation cake. We have lots of messy starts to accomplish great things. It’s one of my newer favorites.
From Tree to Sea by Shelley Moore Thomas encourages readers to look around the world and learn. Trees show us how to stand tall and soil shows us to support the things around us. It’s a beautiful story for a graduate of any age.
Be Happy! by Monica Sheehan is a wonderful simple reminder of all the things to do for a happy life including: be grateful, be kind and be brave! A perfect book for graduates of all ages.
Reach for the Stars by Serge Bloch shares advice for the journey of life. There is no better time in life to reach for the stars than when you embark on a new adventure.
What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada is a wonderful and inspirational book about nurturing new ideas and watching them grow. It is a great reminder not to discount an idea that seems to big, too hard or too odd. Give it time and space then watch it grow!
Go Get ‘Em Tiger! by Sabrina Moyle is pure celebration and encouragement. It’s just what every new graduate needs. It’s bright and bold and full of positivity so “Go Get ‘Em Tiger!”
How Big is the World? by Teckentrup is the story of a mole who sets off to discover how big the world really is. On his way, he meets lots of animals who have different perspectives on the size of the world. While exploring he realizes he misses his family. He learns that you can always return home. The world is as big as you want to make it!
Another classic author, Sandra Boynton, brings us Yay! You It’s a nice short and sweet book about moving up and moving on with your life. This is a great pick if the graduate grew up with Boynton books when he was little!
The North Star by Peter Reynolds is about knowing which path to follow because it isn’t always easy to know! The reader is encouraged to wonder, observe and dream to find her right path.
The Treasure by Uri Shulevitz might not seem like a traditional graduation gift book, but it has a wonderful message for new graduates. A man travels far away after being led by a dream to find a treasure. He soon learns that the greatest treasures can sometimes be found in the least expected places and might not be so far away.
Only One You by Linda Kranz is one of my favorites. It instills that there is only one YOU in this great big world so go out and make a difference. Beautiful illustrations paired with great advice about life fill the pages of this book.
A more recent find is Little Tree by Loren Long. It’s the story of a little tree amongst other little trees. When it’s time for Little Tree to drop his leaves, he doesn’t want to. All the other trees grow and Little Tree doesn’t because he keeps clinging to his leaves. Eventually, he sees the other trees growing and allows his leaves to drop so he can flourish too. This is a great book about going with the flow of the seasons, having faith that everything will be ok even during turbulent times, and enjoying the growth that will happen naturally.
A newer find is The Knowing Book by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. It’s all about savoring the journey of life. It celebrates all that you know and all the new things you will discover. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful.
Just in Case You Want to Fly by Julie Fogliano reassures us that no matter what we want to try or where we want to go that we always have someone who will be waiting for us at home.
The late Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter Paris Rosenthal wrote a book that every girl deserves to own. It’s a book about celebrating you, your strength, and the important place you hold in the world. It’s called Dear Girl,. Now, there is also Dear Boy.
You Are a Beautiful Beginning by Nina Laden is about celebrating where you’ve been and where the next chapter might take you.
The Wind May Blow by Sasha Quinton is illustrated beautifully with cut-outs in the pages. It’s filled with hope that all challenges can be faced. Storms may brew, the rain will fall, and winds will blow but, you are strong and can weather through the tough times.
Black Boy, Black Boy: Celebrate the Power of You by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond invites us to celebrate ourselves and recognize the shoulders we stand on from Martin Luther King to Elijah McCoy. Full of inspiration and affirmation, this book practically leaps off the pages and into your heart.
I Hope You Will Know by Jaren Ahlmann shares our wishes for children as they grow. These are things we hope they will know on their journey such as forgiving is healing and you are never alone. But, most importantly…you are always loved.
Special Graduation Book Ideas
- Don’t forget to write a special note inside the book for the reader!
- Another idea is to choose one of the books when your child starts school. Each year have your child’s teacher sign the book. When your child graduates from high school, he will have a wonderful memory book!
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Printable and Editable Literacy Certificates (perfect for graduates)
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Susan Bednarz says
I like to give /read “I wish you more” by amy krouse rosenthal & tom lichtenheld. “You can be anything” by charles schultz is another good choice.
This is a great list! Just in time for several graduations I will be attending in the near future.
I also like the suggestions for my 4-year-old granddaughter. Thanks!
Cristy Lean says
I think that books as a graduation gift are a good choice.every senior deserve such of a gift.
Jodie Rodriguez says
Yes, I agree!
Thanks for a fabulous list! This is just what i was looking for!
Jodie Rodriguez says
Crystal, I’m so glad that it will be helpful to you. Enjoy!
What a great book list idea!