Emotions can be overwhelming, especially for little people. So much anger, huge tantrums, confusing sadness, and even anxiety all affect kids as much as they do adults. If your kids struggle with big emotions, these picture books about feelings might be comforting and equip them with coping skills.
31 Sweet Picture Books About Dealing with Big Emotions
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Here are 31 best picture books about feelings:
My Body Sends a Signal
Published: September 10, 2020
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The bookincludes a cute story that kids can relate to, beautiful illustrations thatcapture children’s attention, calming-down activities for kids, instructions toadults on the follow-up activities, emotions cards, feelings cards, coloringpages and related short stories to teach kids empathy.
How Do You Feel?
Published: September 24, 2019
There are a lot of emotions on the playground. A girl is happy when playing with a puppy. Another girl is angry when a boy knocks over her drink. And the boy who knocked over the drink is sorry.
With simple, sparse language and bright, expressive illustrations, Lizzy Rockwell introduces the very young to a wide range of emotions. Detailed art encourages identification and discussion of the different characters’ emotional reactions, and serves as a springboard for introducing the concepts of emotional intelligence, self-regulation, and coping skills.
Toddlers will start to identify feelings in themselves and in others in this simple, clever book by a prominent preschool nonfiction author-illustrator. Sturdily crafted for small hands, this board book features beautiful, detailed spreads of panoramic views of the playground action, while close-ups focus on body language and facial expressions.
Marcy’s Having All the Feels
Published: December 22, 2020
Marcy wanted to be happy. Happy is all she wanted to be. But all her other feelings kept showing up and at the worst times! There was Frustrated and Angry, Sad and Embarrassed, and even Worried and Jealous. Her feelings were there as soon as she opened her eyes each morning, and they followed her around throughout the day. Some days all these feelings just felt like a little too much and she wanted to hide!
Marcy didn’t want to feel angry or jealous. And she didn’t like feeling sad or embarrassed. Why couldn’t she be happy all the time? Then one day when Marcy’s feelings disappear, she learns that her feelings don’t have to control her, and they might even have a function.
Maybe having all the feels might not be such a bad thing. And that one discovery? Well, it changes everything!
I Choose to Calm My Anger
Published: June 10, 2021
This story told from Jackson’s point of view will help open your child’s mind to what it feels like to be angry and how to deal with it. Jackson will teach your child how we are empowered to change our mindset and how we deal with life’s setbacks.
With Jackson in real life examples, your child will learn to develop their understanding of their own emotions. Throughout the story, Jackson will show you how it feels to be angry and then how to cope.
Teacher and Therapist Toolbox: I Choose is an empowering series curated to empower young children to become aware of big emotions.
A new book series developed in tandem with teachers and therapists to help children cope with a range of emotions and teach them that they indeed hold the power to choose their actions and reactions.
So Jackson thanked his friend for his help.
He decided to be stronger than anger itself.
He breathed in and out deeply, then counted to ten,
And thought of a happy place to find his zen.
B is for Breathe
Published: February 28, 2019
From the letter A to the letter Z, B is for Breathe celebrates the many ways children can express their feelings and develop coping skills at an early age. Fun, cute, and exciting illustrations, this colorful book teaches kids simple ways to cope with fussy and frustrating emotions. This book will inspire kids to discuss their feelings, show positive behaviors, and practice calm-down strategies.
I Am Stronger Than Anger
Published: April 29, 2021
Tired of telling your child not to shout or kick things when they are angry? Then this book is the perfect solution for you!
When children are angry, they can manifest their anger through bad behavior. They might shout, cry, throw things and roll on the floor or all of these things combined. That’s why most parents need help managing their kids emotions and feelings.
This book about little Nick:
- contains lovely illustrations and lightly rhyming storyline
- helps children recognize and cope with their anger in a funny way through communication with zoo animals
- offers a variety of calming techniques and is aimed to improve kids self-regulation skills
- teaches children to admit their mistakes and say “I’m sorry”
- includes a bonus coloring page
All About Feelings
Published: June 13, 2019
How are you feeling today? This fun, friendly and reassuring introduction to feelings is designed to help young children recognise, understand and name how they’re feeling and learn to talk about and manage their emotions in helpful ways.
The Tantrum Monster
Published: March 25, 2018
Monster is in a bad mood. Despite our best efforts, reality doesn’t always meet our expectations. There is no need to be upset or mad.
* Help kids explore overwhelming feelings
*Anger is a natural emotion, but it can be difficult to handle
*Learn to control and manage their anger in a positive way
Here’s what readers are already saying about this amazing children’s book:
“A must for any quick-to-tantrum kids” — Kim
“‘This is a good starting point to chat with a very young child about emotions” — Jacob
“This is the best book for the ever-shifting moods of preschool kids. ” — Sam
*Cute illustrations with nice rhyming story
*Not too long, grabs kid’s attention
Why a Son Needs a Mom
Published: April 1, 2021
A touching picture book for kids ages 3-7 and beyond showcasing all the ways a mother will help her child grow, this is the gift for every mom and little boy to celebrate their special bond. Featuring charming animal illustrations and heartwarming rhymes about the loving moments mothers and sons share, Why a Son Needs a Mom is the perfect story to connect mother and son together.
From the moment that I saw your beautiful face,
Held you close to my heart in a mother’s embrace,
I promised to help you grow with strength and grace.
My dear one, my sweet son, my boy.
Listening to My Body
Published: November 11, 2019
This engaging and interactive book guides children through the practice of naming their feelings and the physical sensations that accompany them. From wiggly and squirmy to rested and still, Listening to My Body helps children develop a sensations vocabulary so that they can express what they are experiencing. Easy, kid-friendly mindfulness activities are woven throughout to reinforce the teachings.
When Sadness Is at Your Door
Published: January 29, 2019
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are–an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.
In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to “get over” it or indicates that it’s “bad,” both of which are anxiety-producing notions.
Empathy Is Your Superpower
Published: September 14, 2021
Show them the power of caring for others―an introduction to empathy for kids 5 to 7
Learning to understand and care about the feelings of others is one of the most important steps in a child’s development―and it’s never too early to help little ones build those skills. This beautifully illustrated storybook teaches young kids how to recognize and practice empathy through simple real-life scenarios that are easy for them to understand. It’s written with clear language for adults to read aloud and features discussion questions and activities that encourage kids to talk about what they learned and use it in their lives.
Empathy Is Your Superpower features:
- Empathy heroes―Little superheroes Emmanuel and Emma model easy, age-appropriate ways for kids to practice empathy every day.
- Ways to set a good example―Kids will learn to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, lend a helping hand, and inspire others to do the same.
- Using empathy for life―Tips, reflections, and games will help adults foster empathy in children for their whole lives.
Teach kids to be kind and considerate, with a fun and friendly book about the importance of empathy.
Ruby Finds a Worry
Published: September 3, 2019
Meet Ruby — a happy, curious, imaginative young girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry. It’s not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . and a little bigger . . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about.
But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there’s a great way to get rid of them too . . . she just has to share her feelings.
This perceptive and poignant story is the perfect springboard for talking to children about emotions and anxieties.
The Day You Begin
Published: August 28, 2018
There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!
Published: May 25, 2005
How does it feel to be a Pigeon? Well, the bus driver is trying to get him to act happy, but as we all know, this is one bird that is not going to be told what to do! Throughout this hilarious board book, Pigeon runs through his signature gamut of emotions while attempting to thwart his old nemesis.
Published: June 5, 2018
Everyone feels sad sometimes—even flamingos.
When Flamingo announces he’s feeling down, the little girl and Potato try to cheer him up, but nothing seems to work. Not even dirt! (Which usually works for Potato.)
Flamingo learns that he will not always feel this way. And his friends learn that sometimes being a friend means you don’t have to cheer someone up. You just have to stick by your pal no matter how they feel.
Even if they’re a potato.
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too
Published: November 3, 2015
A boldly illustrated picture book read-aloud about how everyone gets sad—ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, everyone . . . even daddies have emotions!
Did you know wrestlers have feelings? And knights. Even superheroes and ninjas feel sad sometimes. In fact everyone has feelings—especially dads who love their children!
Children will love recognizing their feelings in Keith Negley’s bold illustrations which accompany a fun-to-read-aloud narrative.
Parents can joyfully engage with children in a lighthearted discussion about emotions and how they affect us all!
Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
Published: January 4, 2021
Help Children with Worry and Anxiety
“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.”
Anxiety is a subjective sense of worry, apprehension, and/or fear. It is considered to be the number one health problem in America. Although quite common, anxiety disorders in children are often misdiagnosed and overlooked. Everyone feels fear, worry and apprehension from time to time, but when these feelings prevent a person from doing what he/she wants and/or needs to do, anxiety becomes a disability.
This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety. For those worries that are not in anyone’s control (i.e. the weather) a worry hat is introduced. A fun read for Wilmas of all ages!
Includes a note to parents and educators with tips on dealing with an anxious child.
The Boy with Big, Big Feelings
Published: August 20, 2019
The Boy with Big, Big Feelings is relatable for any child — especially for a child experiencing anxiety, extreme emotions, a child identified as a Highly Sensitive Person, or a child on the autism spectrum. Beautifully illustrated and written in rhyming verse, children and adults explore the whole spectrum of feelings and readers navigate the emotional challenges they face throughout the day.
The main character has feelings so big that they glow from his cheeks, spill out of his eyes, and jump up and down on his chest. When he hears a joke, he bursts with joy. When a loud truck drives by, he cries. When his loved ones are having a hard day, he feels their emotions as if they were his own.
The boy tries to cope by stuffing down his feelings, but with a little help and artistic inspiration, the boy realizes his feelings are something to be celebrated. Written by picture book author Britney Winn Lee and boldly illustrated by Jacob Souva, this book is a perfect companion to The Girl With Big, Big Questions.
Published: May 15, 2018
Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it–how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They have lots of suggestions for how to make him feel better. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?
Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson on emotional literacy, demonstrating to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings.
Published: September 16, 2013
Do you have a feeling that’s visiting today?
Can you open your door and invite it to play?
Visiting Feelings harnesses a young child’s innate capacity to fully experience the present moment. Rather than labeling or defining specific emotions and feelings, Visiting Feelings invites children to sense, explore, and befriend any feeling with acceptance and equanimity. Children can explore their emotions with their senses and gain an understanding of how feelings can lodge in the body, as conveyed by common expressions like “a pit in the stomach” or “lump in the throat.”
Children can cultivate this emotional intelligence and nurture a sense of mindfulness. In essence, mindfulness is tuning into yourself and paying attention to the present moment without judging or analyzing what you are thinking or feeling. Practicing mindfulness can enhance many aspects of a person’s well-being, help develop insight and empathy, and enhance resiliency.
Taking the time to practice mindfulness as a family is a remarkable gift for parents to give to their children, and will help children as they navigate the teen years and adulthood.
Includes a “Note to Parents” to provide more information about emotional awareness, and suggests ways to seamlessly incorporate mindfulness practices into your child and family’s daily routines.
The Rabbit Listened
Published: February 20, 2018
When something sad happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen . . . which is just what Taylor needs.
With its spare, poignant text and irresistibly sweet illustration, The Rabbit Listened is about how to comfort and heal the people in your life, by taking the time to carefully, lovingly, gently listen.
Published: April 1, 2007
Bird wakes up feeling grumpy. Too grumpy to eat or play — too grumpy even to fly. “Looks like I’m walking today,” says Bird. He walks past Sheep, who offers to keep him company. He walks past Rabbit, who also could use a walk. Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox join in, too. Before he knows it, a little exercise and companionship help Bird shake his bad mood. Praised by the Wall Street Journal as “comic perfection,” this winsome, refreshingly original picture book is sure to help kids (and grown-ups) giggle away their grumpies, too! Bird’s impeckably crafted, hilarious melodramas continue in the Grumpy Bird board book, Boo Hoo Bird, Hungry Bird, and coming in 2018, Sleepy Bird.
Little Monkey Calms
Published: November 1, 2014
Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down. He sings a quiet song, cuddles with his blankie, and learns how take deep breaths. A relatable book for toddlers that teaches self soothing in an effective way. Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down.
The Pout-Pout Fish
Published: March 18, 2008
Deep in the water,
Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuck
In a permanent pout.
Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?
Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading “dreary wearies” isn’t really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in this fun fish story that’s sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.
Published: August 13, 2013
BEWARE OF CRANKENSTEIN! He’s a little monster of crankiness that no one can destroy! MEHHRRRR!!! He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein. When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic–or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day! This hilarious and relatable tale of grumpiness gone awry will turn toddler tantrums to giggles in no time.
Llama Llama Mad at Mama
Published: September 6, 2007
Yucky music, great big feet.
Ladies smelling way too sweet.
Look at knees and stand in line.
Llama Llama starts to whine.
Does any child like to go shopping? Not Llama Llama! But Mama can’t leave Llama at home, so off they go to Shop-O-Rama. Lots of aisles. Long lines. Mama is too busy to notice that Llama Llama is getting m-a-d! And before he knows it, he’s having a full-out tantrum! Mama quickly calms him down, but she also realizes that they need to make shopping more fun for both of them. Parents and children are sure to recognize themselves in this fun-to-read follow-up to the popular Llama Llama Red Pajama.
Published: February 1, 2006
Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It’s way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he’s well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel’s emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute.
Day after day he watches and waits, and waits and watches, until one day … his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk.
But as Scaredy Squirrel leaps into the unknown, he discovers something really uplifting …
The Colour Monster
Published: September 1, 2015
We teach toddlers to identify colors, numbers, shapes, and letters—but what about their feelings? By illustrating such common emotions as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calm, this sensitive book gently encourages young children to open up with parents, teachers, and daycare providers. And kids will LOVE the bright illustrations and amazing 3-D pop-ups on every page.
The Feelings Book
Published: September 21, 2005
Sometimes I feel silly.
Sometimes I feel like eating pizza for breakfast.
Sometimes I feel brave.
Sometimes I feel like trying something new…
The Feelings Book vibrantly illustrates the wide range of moods we all experience. Kids and adults will appreciate Todd Parr’s quirky intelligence as he pays special attention to the ever-changing, sometimes nonsensical emotions that we all feel. Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to discuss their multitude of feelings in a kid-friendly, accessible format, told through Parr’s trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes.
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings
Published: October 14, 2014
Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside, with language that is lyrical but also direct to empower readers to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions.
With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this gorgeously packaged and unique feelings book is sure to become a storytime favorite.
The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling. Read them all!
Hello in There: A Big Sister’s Book of Waiting
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings
Brave As Can Be: A Book of Courage
All My Treasures: A Book of Joy
In My Room: A Book of Creativity and Imagination
With My Daddy: A Book of Love and Family
My Little Gifts: A Book of Sharing
My Tree and Me: A Book of Seasons
There they are: 31 great picture books about feelings! Which of these books have you read and loved? What did I miss?