I am a huge fan of using books as a resource to open discussion with kids about all manner of situations and problems. This collection of books about emotions was sparked by the popularity of the Managing Big Emotions series (scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the collection of printable posters from the series), and the books featured are great for helping children learn to identify emotions, for discussing situations that might spark the various range of emotions and also for helping children to identify strategies for managing their own emotions. Helping young children learn to identify and manage their feelings provides them with a stronger emotional foundation and can lead to increased self confidence and sense of self esteem. It really is an important investment!
When I’m Feeling books by Trace Moroney The Five Mile Press
The When I’m Feeling series includes books exploring a range of emotions – angry, jealous, kind, scared, lonely and loved, and they are one of my favourite resources for introducing children to emotions and strategies for expressing our feelings in ways that are appropriate and acceptable to ourselves and others.
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis (1998) Harper Collins
Exploring a wide range of emotions and reasons they can differ vastly even within the same day, this is a great book to read with early primary/elementary aged children.
When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang (2004) Scholastic
Sophie gets mad, really mad, with her sibling and then runs off alone for some time to calm down, returning home shortly after to her family. This provides a great introduction to the importance of taking time and finding ways to calm down – a perfect match for this Managing Big Emotions series.
All Kinds of Feelings by Sheri Safran (2012) Insight Kids
This lift-the-flap book adds an interactive dimension to any discussion about feelings. As well as showing children it’s okay to trust and express their feelings, it also invites children to consider why emotional reactions happen. It finishes with an emotions spinner and wipe-clean whiteboard face for children to draw a range of emotions.
Feelings by Aliki (1986) Greenwillow Books
Aliki uses comic style illustrations and brief text to explore a range of commonly felt emotions, each in it’s own short story.
My Many Coloured Days by Dr Seuss (1996) Knopf Books for Young Readers
The fabulous illustrations and simple rhyming couplets bring any discussion about emotions with young children to life.
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood (2010) HMH Books for Young Readers
There are many different types of quiet and this book is perfect for inviting discovery and discussion with children about the emotions behind each of the different kinds of quiet – be it nervousness, excitement, concern or silent awe. This truly is a lovely book.
There Are No Animals In This Book (Only Feelings) by Chani Sanchez (2013) POW!
My girls love this fun narrative that’s just a little bit silly! I love that this book engages children with contemporary art to teach them about feelings.
Theo’s Mood by MaryAnn Cocca-Leffler (2013) Albert Whitman & Company
I love this book for exploring the complexity of emotions with young children. How can Theo possibly feel happy and sad and jealous and proud all at the same time!?? It’s a great story to share with the new big brother or sister in your family too.
Do you have a favourite book for exploring emotions with children?