End of the Year Picture Books

It’s always been important to me to make the end of the year memorable for my students.

Reading special books during the last few weeks of school is a great way to close out the school year positively and to send kids off with some inspirational messages.

I have used different books for end-of-the-year read alouds throughout the years, but this post includes some of my current favorites.

Some of these end-of-the-year picture books serve as a good discussion starter to talk about hopes and dreams for the future.

Some of these books are perfect to use as a mentor text for a reading or writing culminating type of activity.

And some of them are sweet to use simply as a read-aloud.

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Songbird Mentor Text

1. Songbird

Songbird by Jenn Larson (that’s me!) is a story about Sydney Sparrow, a small bird with an out-of-the-ordinary dream! Sydney wants to become a conductor after hearing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra play in Central Park near her home. With some courage and determination, she works hard, but can she make her dream come true?

I LOVE to use this book to talk to students about their hopes and dreams for the future!


The Last Day of School Mentor Text

2. The Last Day of School

The Last Day of School by Louise Borden follows Mrs. Mallory’s third grade class as they count down the final days of school. With much to be done, the third grade students feel those bittersweet emotions that come at the end of a school year.


The Knowing Book Mentor Text

3. The Knowing Book

The Knowing Book by Rebecca Dotlich is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a young rabbit who travels the world and explores the unknown. Throughout his journey, the rabbit feels comfort in knowing that he has a place he can call home in which he will one day return.


Breathe Mentor Text

4. Breathe

Breathe by Scott Magoon is a sweet tale about a young whale’s first day at sea on his own. Readers follow the whale as he discovers the world around him with a brand new perspective.


How I Spent My Summer Mentor Text

5. How I Spent My Summer

How I Spent My Summer by Mark Teague is a book you might use at the beginning of the year, but it is also fun at the end of the year when talking about the summer ahead. This exaggerated tale shows the imagination of a young student when tasked to write about his summer vacation.

I love using this one as a fun narrative or tall tale writing activity that ALL kids can write about!


I Wish You More Mentor Text

6. I Wish You More

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a light-hearted, positive book about endless good wishes. It’s a nice way to end the year, wishing your students well.


Last Day Blues Mentor Text

7. Last Day Blues

Last Day Blues by Julie Danneburg follows Mrs. Hartwell’s class. Everyone is excited for summer break, but there is just one problem. The kids don’t want their teacher to miss them while they’re gone.


The North Star EOTY Book

8. The North Star

I always LOVE Peter H. Reynold’s books! This one, The North Star, is a new edition of a universal fable. It inspires dreamers, young and old, to listen to their hearts.


The End EOTY Book

9. The End

The End by David LaRochelle can be used as a fun way to have kids talk about memories and events from the school year in reverse, starting at the end of the year, just like this book!

This is another one that’s great to use as inspiration for a writing activity.


Mrs. Spritzer's Garden EOTY Book

10. Mrs. Spritzer’s Garden

Mrs. Spritzer’s Garden by Edith Patton is a metaphor for teaching following Mrs. Spritzer as she cares for her garden. It shows her tending to her garden to watch it grow, just as a teacher nurtures her students throughout the year.


End of the Year Memory Book

Need some end-of-the-year resources? Here is one of my favorites! It’s a print and digital Memory Book your students will enjoy!!!

Click here to take a look.


Here are some more end-of-the-year resources:

End of the Year Literacy Set
End of the Year Award Certificates: Editable
End of the Year Awards: Editable
Time Capsule Don’t Open Until High School Graduation Project


Interested in a few more ideas for the end of the school year? Check out these blogs! 

4 Free Upper Elementary Activities to Get You Through to the End of the Year

End of the Year Spread Some Kindness Letter Writing

Happy end of the year! Thanks for stopping by!

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