In Owl Babies, three baby owls panic when they awaken one night and find their mother gone. They worry about what has happened to her, feel scared about being in the dark and wonder if she is going to come back.

Like the baby owls, most kids get homesick at one time or another or suffer from separation anxiety.  A child might be worried about going to bed alone, getting picked up from daycare, going to school, or sleeping over for the first time. The beginning of a new school year is a prime time for kids to experience fears like these. The ability to act independently is an important skill for preschoolers to learn and some of their favorite book characters can show them how it’s done! Listen below as Martin Waddell reads aloud his story, Owl Babies.

Listed below are more reassuring books for kids suffering from separation anxiety. For children nervous about starting school for the first time, try Read Right Now! Starting School. On this page you can hear a story about a little llama who gets to school and REALLY misses his mama!

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.

FREE Online eBooks about Missing Mommy:


More FREE Online Reading:


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?

Printables, Crafts & More about Missing Mommy:



Going to school for the first time is exciting…and maybe a little scary! In I am Too Absolutely Small for School, Lola is not happy about having to go to school. When her older brother Charlie tells her about all the fun things that go on there, Lola becomes less nervous and starts looking forward to attending her first day. Shellie Rich, Public Services Librarian at Central Library, says this story is a family favorite at her house. “I love this book so much…I am pretty sure it is the best kindergarten book ever. And we still call my twelve-year-old’s school uniform her schooliform because of this book.”

In Llama Llama Misses Mama, little Llama is like a lot of children, anxious about the first day of school. When he is finally in the classroom without his mama, little Llama really MISSES her!

You can listen to Anna Dewdney herself read aloud Llama Llama Misses Mama. Find out what little llama does when he misses his Mama that helps him have a fun day at school anyway! Mama llama helped by taking little llama to school early to see the classroom and visit with the teacher. Charlie helped Lola think about the fun new things she would be able to try at school. These are all great strategies when a child is nervous about the first day of school.

Another great idea is reading books about other kids and favorite characters who are ALSO worried about the first day of school. Stories featuring the Berenstain Bears, Amelia Bedelia, Curious George and more can help your child practice what it might feel like to be anxious about school and learn great strategies for having fun instead!

More FREE online stories about starting school:

Clark the SharkMaria Had a Little LlamaTeacher CatHow to Get Your Teacher Ready for SchoolEmilySchoolAreYouReadyForSchool

More FREE online reading:

More picture book ideas about school:

Printables, crafts & more about starting school:

Berenstain Bears Back to School PrintableBuffalo Ready for Kindergarten Printable

An indyPL reading program for you:

Daily reading to infants, toddlers and preschoolers is the best way to establish a habit that will benefit them for a lifetime,” according to Abby Brown, IndyPL’s Early Literacy Specialist. “If a parent reads one book a night to a child for three years, they will have read 1,095 books!

You can do it and we can help! How to participate in the 1,000 Books by Kindergarten Program

Books about starting school:

Visit any of our locations to check out books or use your indyPL Library Card online to check out e-books and e-audiobooks on your device. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number to begin reading.
The Berenstain Bears Go to SchoolCurious George First Day of SchoolA Day at SchoolEdward Almost Goes to SchoolFranklin Goes to SchoolSnuffy Goes to SchoolAmelia Bedelia First Day of SchoolPinkalicious School RulesBiscuit Goes to SchoolMittens at SchoolMorris Goes to School


Books Recommended by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services


Read Right Now! FARM

Farmer DuckPoor Farmer Duck! He is wiped out from having to do all the work for a lazy farmer. No need to worry, the farmyard animals have the duck’s back and come up with a plan to rescue him from his endless chores and to teach that farmer a lesson! Loyalty is sweet! This story is a funny rural twist on the old favorite, The Little Red Hen.

Listed below are online activities and even MORE farm books – eBooks and printed books you can check out with your indyPL library card.

More FREE online stories about farms:

MaisyMorningFresh From the FarmFarm Tractors at Work

More FREE online reading:

Printables, crafts & more about farms:

Farm TracerH Horse TracerI Love the Farm Mini Bookfarm_animal_booklet_handwriting


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
BooCowCowsCakeFarmDogHurryHurryLlamaLambMooMooOldMacEmberJollyBarnyardToughChicksSilverstreetFarmThump Quack MooGiggleQuackTroubleChickensAmelia Bedelia's First Field TripBiscuit's Day at the FarmFarm AnimalsFarmFarms Around the WorldGoing to a FarmOld Macdonald Had Her FarmOn the Farm at the MarketOtisOur FarmShapes on the Farm

Every Child Ready to Read

Everyday Superheroes

Rescue SquadIn Rescue Squad No. 9 first responders save a girl and her dog from their crashed sailboat during a storm.

Listed below are more early readers and picture books (both print and e-books) about people going the extra mile to help out other that you can check out with your IndyPL library card. The characters do amazing and heroic things, but they do them without super strength or the ability to fly. Sometimes it is a person’s job to help people or perform rescues, but sometimes, people are heroes just caring about and taking care of the people around them. They are regular everyday heroes, just like you!

More FREE Online Reading:


Check out FREE e-books. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive Logo
A Sick Day for Amos McGeeMadeline's RescueBrave Irene

Print Books:

A Castle on Viola StreetAlbert the Fix-It ManAngeloAwesome DawsonBe KindBlizzardBronzeville Boys and GirlsDaddy is My HeroDear Mr. RosenwaldGrace for GusHeroes of the SurfMy Dad My HeroNimoshom and His BusSheila Rae the BraveSidewalk Patrol

Every Child Ready to Read

Not Too Little To Help! Raising Socially Conscious Kids

Can We Help?“Can I help?” is one of the most often repeated sentences of small children. Toddlers and preschoolers are typically curious and eager to learn, willing volunteers to be included in the projects and jobs they see going on around them. This is a great time of year to talk about helping!

Young children understand the concept of support, assistance, and teamwork. When everyone helps out, “many hands make light work.” To help within their own family, kids can pick up toys, select items from a low shelf to add to a shopping cart, or feed the dog. The books listed below will help you take helping out to a new level. Even small children can contribute to their community, the bigger world outside their own home. “Can I help?” Yes, you CAN!

You can find more books & activities about helping out at home at Read Right Right Now! Helping.

Super Deeds – Be a Force for Good! This summer, your family can get started taking action right now! Help the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Department of Child Services and IndyPL provide children in foster care with a backpack filled with 25 books. Use your reading points to select and donate prize books, or donate new and gently used books from home.


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
Just Critters Who CareMiss Fox's Class Goes GreenThe Berenstain Bears Get InvolvedCurious George Plants a TreeOne LoveThese Seas Count
Or, use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN (What’s My PIN?) to set up a Hoopla account to check out FREE e-books. Click on a book jacket to begin.

Fantastic Kids Helping OthersGrover's 10 Terrific Ways to Help Our Wonderful WorldHow Can I Help?Let Me Help

Print Books:

100 Ways to Make the World BetterA Heart Just Like My MothersA is for ActivistJoey and the Giant BoxMr. Tweed's Good DeedsMy Heart Will Not Sit DownOk GoRaising a HeroThe Berenstain Bears Go GreenThe Can Do ThanksgivingSomething BeautifulGood Deed Scouts Help Their NeighborsGood Deed Scounts to the RescueOlivia Helps Mother Nature