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 emotional awareness series, and the picture books featured here are great for helping children learn to identify a range of emotions, for discussing situations that might spark these various emotions and for helping children to identify strategies for managing overwhelming 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!
16 Picture Books about Feelings and Emotions
Picture books are great for exploring with tiny tots but these stories are also wonderful for initiating discussion with children in preschool, kindergarten and even children in the early years of primary/elementary school. Each title is linked to an Amazon page (these are affiliate links) where you can find reviews and age recommendations for those you might not be personally familiar with.
|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.
|All Kinds of Feelings by Sheri Safran (2012) Insight Kids
This interactive book adds a fun, physical response to discussions about feelings. As well as showing children it’s okay to trust and express their feelings, it invites children to consider why emotional reactions happen.
|Feelings by Aliki (1986) Greenwillow Books
Aliki uses comic style illustrations and brief text to explore a range of commonly felt emotions, with each featured 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.
|In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek (2014) Harry N Abrams
A beautiful book that describes a range of emotions and how they make you feel physically, with simple language that children will relate to.
|The Feelings Book by Todd Parr (2009) Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Todd Parr introduces young children to a range of feelings with his signature, colourful illustration style and simple text.
|The Color Monster by Anna Llenas (2015) Sterling Children’s Books
Perfect for engaging children in discussion about emotions, The Color Monster relates each emotion to a colour. A kind little girl helps a friendly monster to identify and sort his mixed up emotions.
|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 a new big brother or sister too.
|A Book of Feelings by Amanda McCardie (2015) Walker Books
Siblings Sam and Kate know what makes them happy, but they can’t be happy all the time! Follow them (with their parents and dog, Fuzzy Bean) on a journey through emotions and the everyday situations that can impact upon the way we feel.
|Glad Monster Sad Monster by Anne Miranda and Ed Emberley (1997) LB Kids
A fabulously interactive exploration of emotions featuring Ed Emberley’s classic monsters. Preschoolers will love this one.
|The Way I Feel by Janan Cain (2005) Parenting Press
Vivid, expressive illustrations are paired with clever rhymes to describe a wide range of emotions (silly, disappointed, bored, angry, etc).
|The Great Big Book of Feelings by Mary Hoffman (2017) Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Each two page spread features lots of different children, in lots of different situations, making The Great Big Book of Feelings a fun way to explore emotions with preschoolers and bigger kids.
|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.
Do you have a favourite book for exploring emotions with children?