Back to School, Backpack!


By Simon Rich

Illustrated by Tom Toro

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD




Hardcover $18.99 $23.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 11, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A hilarious yet reassuring back-to-school picture book by humorist, novelist, and TV writer Simon Rich–a clever and sweet follow-up to I’m Terrified of Bath Time, where a child’s backpack frets about first-day-of-school jitters! 

In this hilarious yet reassuring back-to-school picture book, a backpack deals with first-day-of-school nerves and feeling out of place. Filled with crowded hallways, lonely cafeteria tables, toilet stalls, and the signature existential angst of Simon Rich, this fun read-aloud will have kids braving classrooms with a smile (and maybe taking better care of their trusty backpacks…).

  • “This funny romp will leave readers feeling empowered for their own first days.”
  • “Matching the style of I’m Terrified of Bath Time, Rich and Toro rally again…An amusing title to send young readers back to school with a giggle.”
    School Library Journal
  • Toro’s…illustrations extend the text’s themes with engaging, empathetic details. The combination is sure to boost readers’ confidence as they navigate their own classroom return.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • “A charming reassurance to young kids that the first day of school is scary for everyone, including backpacks, and they do not have to carry their worries alone.”
    Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
  • "[In] this offbeat picture book about fears and friendship...lots of laughs lead up to a...reassuring conclusion."
    The San Francisco Chronicle

On Sale
Jul 11, 2023
Page Count
40 pages

Simon Rich

About the Author

Simon Rich has written for “Saturday Night Live,” Pixar and “The Simpsons.” He is the creator and showrunner of “Man Seeking Woman” (FXX) and “Miracle Workers” (TBS), which he based on his books. His other collections include Spoiled Brats and Ant Farm. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker.

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Tom Toro

About the Illustrator

Tom Toro is a cartoonist, author, and award-winning children’s book illustrator whose work has been a popular feature of The New Yorker for over a decade. His drawings also have appeared in The New York Times, the Paris Review, and other national publications. He is the creator of the syndicated comic strip Home Free. Tom’s books include How to Potty Train Your Porcupine (Little, Brown), A User’s Guide to Democracy (Celadon), I’m Terrified of Bath Time and Back to School, Backpack! in collaboration with Simon Rich (Little, Brown), and Tiny Hands (Dock Street Press). He is the recipient of the 2023 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award, the 2024 Kentucky Bluegrass Award, and was a finalist for the 2019 and 2022 Reuben awards for gag cartoonist of the year. He serves as the current chair of the Northwest Chapter of the National Cartoonist Society. His literary fiction has been shortlisted for the Disquiet International Literary Prize, and he contributed a dozen essays to The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons. Tom has been profiled by NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Huffington Post. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, kid and cats.

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