Children’s Books about Recess for Elementary Teachers in 2024

The beginning of the school year is a great time to discuss and explore recess and the expectations surrounding it, but really you can do this any time of the year. This post shares children’s books about recess that you can use for this purpose. All of the picture books on this list lend themselves to this topic really well. Take a peek below to learn more about these children’s books about recess!

Children’s Books about Recess

Below is a list of some of our favorite children’s books about recess to share with elementary students. Check them out!

printable picture book comprehension activities

1. The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neil

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill tells the story of a young girl named Jean. She is the Queen of recess at her school. She is always the one to go first when playing games and will growl at anyone who crosses her. 

One day, a new student, Katie Sue, joins Jean’s class. Not knowing the rules, Katie Sue kicks, bounces and jumps before Jean. When Jean confronts Katie, she is surprised to find that Katie Sue talks back! As Jean chases Katie around the playground, everyone is caught off guard when Katie Sue asks Jean to jump rope with her. At first, Jean is shocked and doesn’t know what to do. With some encouragement from her classmates, Jean starts to jump. From that day on, not only is Jean friends with Katie Sue, but she enjoys playing with her classmates too!

Check out these The Recess Queen teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

The Recess Queen book companion
vocabulary booklet for The Recess Queen

2. Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

The story Rulers of the Playground is about a boy named Jonah. He decides he wants to rule the playground and be king. He claims the slides as his territory and the other kids pinky promise to obey him. Another girl, Lennox, realizes that she also wants to rule the playground. She claims the swings as her territory and makes the other kids promise to obey her. 

Now Jonah and Lennox are king and queen. They each want to be in charge of more and more area until the whole playground is taken over and no one wants to play with them. 

Jonah and Lennox decide that it isn’t fun to rule. They apologize to the kids and stop being king and queen. Now everyone can play on the playground together.

Check out these Rulers of the Playground teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

Rulers of the Playground book cover
Rulers of the Playground worksheets

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of children’s books about recess helpful! You may also be interested in these back to school read alouds. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

printable monthly reading logs

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The Recess Queen book cover
Try this free Starts With a Story book companion based on Alexis O'Neill's picture book, The Recess Queen!