Back to School, Backpack!


By Simon Rich

Illustrated by Tom Toro

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD




Hardcover $18.99 $23.99 CAD

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 and writer. Over 200 of his cartoons have been published in the New Yorker since 2010, as well as the New York Times, Playboy, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. Tom’s essays have appeared in The New Yorker Cartoon Encyclopedia, and his short stories have appeared in the New Haven Review,Slush Pile, and Litro. Tom attended NYU graduate film school, where he cocreated films that played at Sundance, Tribeca, and Cannes. Tom has been interviewed and profiled by NPR, the Huffington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, kid, and cat.

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