Emotions are a part of everyday life, but they can be difficult for children to understand and manage. This is especially true for young kids, who are still developing their emotional intelligence. Picture books about big feelings can be a valuable tool for helping little kids learn about their different emotions, how to identify them, and how to express them in a healthy way. As they get older, this will help them grow in self esteem, emotional regulation, and a positive approach to managing their own feelings.
There are many benefits to reading picture books about feelings. Here are just a few:
When choosing a picture book about feelings, it’s important to consider the child’s age and emotional development. For little kids, look for books that have artwork with good facial expressions and body language and focus on basic emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, and scared. As children get older, choose books that have a relatable story and deal with more complex emotions, such as anxiety, jealousy, and grief.
It’s also important to choose a picture book that has a positive message. You want books that can help little kids to feel good about themselves and their feelings and emotions. Avoid books that promote negative stereotypes or that shame children for feeling certain big feelings.
The best way to get the most out of picture books about feelings is to read them with your child. This gives you an opportunity to talk about the book and the characters’ different emotions. Ask your child how they’re feeling and help them to connect the characters’ emotions to their own feelings.
Kids books about big feelings can be a valuable tool for helping young kids learn about their big emotions and how to manage them in a healthy way. By reading these books with your child, you can help them to develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and resilience.
Now you are probably asking, “What is a good book about feelings I can read with my child?” Here are some of our best books about feelings and emotions for young readers.
Darkness is all Little Candle can see, until someone else notices she needs a boost of hope. Her dim light begins to shine brighter as she remembers she has her own unique gifts and purpose and that everyone has dark clouds from time to time. This encouraging story shows the variety of ways to ask for help, and how to be a hope builder for others, too. Also available on Amazon.
What does worry sound like to a kid? Beat, beat, thump. Beat, beat, thump. Alex feels that pulse in his heart as he faces problems at school, struggles with friends, and fear of new things. In this sweet story, Alex learns to listen to his heart when he feels both anxiety and peace, and he finds out how his powerful and brave heart has brought him through difficult things. Also available on Amazon.
What if we could make a formula to help us in tough situations? Felix always has two things with him wherever he goes: Hank, his stuffed rat, and his Feelings Formulas notebook. Hank is a friend who’s always there, and the Feelings Formula notebook helps Felix figure out how to handle problems and challenging experiences on his adventures. Also available on Amazon.
Grief looks different for everyone. With his supportive family, Little Tree learns to process and accept his father’s death by learning what is really important in life, and that his father’s memory will last forever. This picture book provides a safe and encouraging approach to the hard subjects of loss and death. Also available on Amazon.
There is a lot that is carried in the backpacks of the kids at Sunnyvale Elementary – including things you can’t see, like confusing emotions and big feelings. One day a hot book keeps falling outday and exploding onto everyone: ANGER! It’s time for the students to figure out what is going on underneath those angry feelings. Also available on Amazon.
Diego doesn’t understand why he gets angry and loses his temper. His counselor shares with him about the amygdala, a peanut-shaped part of his brain. Once Diego learns how his brain works, he understands why he behaves this way, along with three tips to remain calm. Also available on Amazon.
Marcy wanted to be happy, but all her other emotions kept popping up and at the worst times! She didn’t like feeling embarassed, jealous, or sad. Couldn’t she just be happy all the time? This children’s book explores how sometimes feeling so many emotions doesn’t feel so good, but every feeling has its value. Also available on Amazon.
“It feels like my head has a monster in it. He tells me all the things I am doing wrong and how I am wrong.” Shame has a face and a name in the Awfulizer. He shows how big and real shame can be for kids, and how it makes them feel along and question their value. This picture book gives the lovely message that ‘even if you make a mistake, it doesn’t mean you are a mistake.’ Also available on Amazon.
“My stomach feels like it’s tied up in a knot. My knees lock up, and my face feels hot. You know what I mean? I’m Wilma Jean, The Worry Machine.” This hilarious book discusses the problem of worryin a way that relates to kids of all ages. The purpose of the book is to give children the strategies needed to feel manage their anxiety. This colorful book has helpful tips for young children in particula. Also available on Amazon.
Author of best-seller Why Smart Kids Worry, Allison Edwards, shows how anxiety whispers fears to kids and then gives ways to silence those worries. With actionable tips throughout, a story that resonates, and playful illustrations, Worry Says What? will help kids (and grownups) change their thinking when fearful thoughts start and turn those thoughts into helpful reminders of all they can accomplish. Also available on Amazon.
Ready to harness the power of your brain? Discover the surprising role of our eight senses, differences between the two brain “teams”, and more! Using a diverse group of characters, Jessica Sinarski takes complex neuroscience and turns it into fun illustrations, helpful metaphors, and practical strategies. Also available on Amazon.
This encouraging picture book helps kids understand their emotions, giving them coping skills for communicating and managing feelings more effectively. With cheerful illustrations and an easy counting format, 1-2-3 My Feelings and Me invites kids and grown-ups explore feelings together. Also available on Amazon.
Supportive and reassuring, this colorful, billingual picture book helps young children learn practical social skills for managing anger and discovering that when they calm down and work through their big feelings, they can feel at peace again. Also available on Amazon.
It is Sports Day at school, and everyone feels different. Mateo feels nervous, Sally feels excited, Caleb feels sad, and Manisha feels angry. Soon they all discover that feelings are like the weather – sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, but always changing. This book on mindfulness teaches kids emotional awareness. Also available on Amazon.
Having a variety of feelings at once is normal, but it can be confusing. With charming artwork and gentle messaging, a young girl discusses her many layered emotions, ultimately concluding, “When I have more than one emotions inside of me, I don’t have to choose only one. I know that all of my emotions are okay at the same time.” Also available on Amazon.
Kids can get frustrated when they can’t do something or can’t have something they want. This picture book give practical strategies to help kids spot the warning signs of frustration, try to calm down, ask for help, and break into smaller parts frustrating tasks. Also available on Amazon.
We all get angry sometimes, including kids. In this children’s book, readers will find ways to handle their feelings and feel at peace. Tips for cooling down and dealing with anger are clearly explained, from doing an “angry dance” and using breathing techniques to asking for help from caring and trusted adults. Also available on Amazon.
The Anger Workbook for Kids provides proven and engaging activities based in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help children control anger, regulate their feelings, handle conflict, and express emotions in healthier ways. Also available on Amazon.
This updated edition gives the latest strategies for calming anxiety, worry, and fear so you can be your best and reach your goals. You will discover new skills to help deal with social media and school, create a healthy self-image, recognize fearful thoughts, and stay calm in challenging times. Also available on Amazon.
With this workbook, you’ll learn effective skills based in positive psychology and mindfulness to help you handle difficult feelings, get distance from negative thoughts, and increase your awareness of the present moment. You will also learn practical exercises like mindful meditations, yoga, sleeping tips, walking, and healthy eating to help you care for your body and mind. Also available on Amazon.
By using proven-effective dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness for Teen Anger you will learn the difference between unhealthy and healthy types of anger. You will understand how to make better choices and stop overreacting, find emotional balance, and be more aware of your emotions and thoughts in the moment. Also available on Amazon.
This book uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you recognize the anxiety under your anger, accept difficult feelings rather than ignoring or fighting them, and learn positive self-regulation and coping strategies to help you find emotional balance. You will also learn how to “train your brain” to pause and consider before reacting, and how to choose peace over chaos when faced with the things that trigger your anger or anxiety. Also available on Amazon.
This fully updated second edition gives even more strategies for handling tough emotions, and includes new ideos on how to accept your feelings, body-based practices for finding peace, and tips to help you discover the things that make you feel fulfilled and happy. Also available on Amazon.
When your brain thinks there is danger nearby, you will go instantly into one of three zones – fight, flight, or freeze. You’re in The Flood Zone. This book explains how to identify feelings, learn what triggers those emotions, and provides practical tips to manage feelings in a healthy way. Also available on Amazon.
The behavior we see on the outside rarely tells the whole story. Those actions often show a deeper desire and need. Join Dan St. Romain as he shares relevant stories about his dog, LaRoux, and ties fifteen key points and practical strategies we can use as we encounter different behavior needs. Also available on Amazon.
A great resource for courselor, educators, and parents! Packed with clear definitions, facts, stories, and talking points, this book is rooted in the understanding that relationships are the priority – it only takes one committed grown up to help a kid heal and build grit through co-regulation. Also available on Amazon.
Do you have another book about feelings you like to share with young kids?
Here are a few additional tips for parents on how to help children understand all the feelings:
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