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Back-to-School Support! Four Free Stories plus a Downloadable Guide

Are your kids worried about starting school?

Perhaps they are changing schools or are concerned about how they’ll do in the next grade up. It can be an anxious time.

But we have support for you:

The Sparkle Back-to-School Guide for Parents and Teachers


This guide includes:

  • Four free, downloadable stories, each of which takes the listener through a school-related threshold experience and offers them courage, curiosity, self-confidence, and a sense of belonging.

  • A short, downloadable guide that offers insights into each story, as well as practical recommendations for how parents and teachers can use the stories to create a gentle, graceful, and fully-engaged transition to school.

Stories can be transformative for children and simple, easy-to-use parenting tool. As summer vacation comes to an end and school routines begin, let stories be your support in the big transitions!

  Back to School Guide for Parents and Teachers

Download the Guide.

Four Free Stories

If the children in your home or classroom are nervous about what's to come this school year, give these stories a try! Often you don't have to do anything more than invite them to listen.

Each story takes the listener through a school-related threshold experience and offers them courage, curiosity, self-confidence, and a sense of belonging.

Let our work help your family create a gentle, graceful, and fully-engaged return to school.

Mr. Salamander (from the Back to School Stories Collection)

"Mr. Salamander," from the So Many Fairies series, is about a little girl named Cami who is starting school for the very first time. She does not want to leave her home and magical backyard to go to an unfamiliar place for first grade. As she rests by her backyard frog pond, she meets Mr. Salamander who transforms her apprehension into excitement by telling her a story about a salamander who is quite like herself...

Back to School - So Many Fairies - Mr. Salamander

Teeny the Toadlet (from the Sparkle Sleepytime Series)

Teeny is a little toadlet who is about to go to school for the very first time. When he realizes that going to Toad School includes leaving some of his friends from the pond, and making new friends on land, he grows nervous. His mother reassures him that toads are lucky because they can make new friends at Toad School while keeping their old friends from the pond.

Teeny the Toadlet

Back To School Stories - Zebra Stripes (from the Back to School Stories Collection)

"Zebra Stripes" from the Willowbee Tree series follows six-year-old Clancy. He is starting first grade this year and he worries that he won't fit into the class and find good friendships. Luckily, he meets an African Zebra who has similar worries, and the two of them realize that everyone is unique and special in their own way, and so everyone belongs.

Back to School - Willowbee Tree - Zebra Stripes

Back to School - The Schoolmaster (from the Back to School Stories Collection)

In the By Thistle By Thimble story "The Schoolmaster," a boy named Micajah is looking for a teacher. His family has moved many times: from Concord, New Hampshire to Buffalo, New York to Rapid City, South Dakota to Denver, Colorado and finally to San Mateo, California. In California, he attends the one-room school house of a teacher named Master Simon. Master Simon enraptures the class with a magical geography lesson that draws Micajah into the fold, and brings a sense of belonging to the whole class.

Back to School - Thistle Thimble - Schoolmaster

Looking for a fun Back to School crafts and recipes? Try out these that go along with the stories above.

shrinky dink self-portrait zipper pulls 13 || the willowbee tree

Shrinky Dink Self Portrait Zipper Pulls

salamander pencil pouch patch 15 || so many fairies

Salamader Pencil Pouch

teeny the toadlet sandwich stacker 10 || sparkle sleepytime

Teeny the Toadlet Sandwich Stackers

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About the Author

Lisabeth Sewell McCann
Doer of Many Wonderful and Odd Things (including CEO)

Lisabeth Sewell McCann has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO. Lisabeth and David live in Austin, Texas with their two sons.