Anger, happiness, sadness, anxious—so many big feelings for our children to figure out! Sometimes it helps to read a story about a character going through those very same emotions. These 6 picture books provide a great opportunity to snuggle in close with your little one and open a new door to communicating about feelings. Give one a try today!
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Five Minutes, by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
There is not a child in this world that hasn’t slumped their shoulders and dropped their head in frustration when their parent has told them they have to wait “5 more minutes”. This is the perfect book for laughing about and empathizing with the roller coaster of emotions many young children go through as they learn how to be patient, and about how five minutes can feel like a lifetime, and like the blink of an eye.
How Do You Feel?, by Lizzy Rockwell
It can often be hard for kids (or adults!) to put a strong emotion into words. This picture book gives the reader an opportunity to guess how each character is feeling through vibrant images and clues. Are they sad? What in the picture makes you think so? An excellent tool for using faces and body language to discern how a friend is feeling, and to also show that other kids feel those very same strong emotions.
Ping, by Ani Castillo
In an age dominated by social media and technology, it’s important to teach our children how to deal with the expectations and emotions that come with communicating with others face to face. Through adorable illustrations, a child learns the important of reaching out to others in a positive, healthy way. It encourages readers to reach out and seek connection—and to understand and accept that you can only control what you put into the world; and not how others respond to it.
Lionel and the Lion’s Share, by Lou Peacock, illustrated by Lisa Sheehan
Sharing is hard. Even for adults! But Lionel, the lion, has to learn the hard way that people might not want to be around him if he’s always thinking about himself and getting his “lion’s share.” A wonderful reminder that more isn’t necessarily better.
Ruby Finds A Worry, by Tom Percival
Anxiety is something that grows and grows when left unaddressed. Ruby learns this quickly when her new “not-so-friend” worry won’t leave her alone. It’s only by sharing her feelings with others that she’s able to control the beast that was stealthily taking over her life. Told through black and white drawings with pops of purposeful color, this story may help those little ones who can’t seem to stop worrying about the, “What if’s…”
People Share With People, by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Molly Idle
This is the book I wish I’d had when my kids were toddlers. Told in adorable rhymes with simplistic but appealing illustrations, this book teaches kids the rules of sharing. From why it is important to share, to things we shouldn’t share, like toothbrushes and hats—this book is a great conversation starter for parents and children. It’s also a great resource in the classroom for teachers to talk about the harder aspects of sharing. A helpful explanation of a concept that can be challenging for even adults to understand!
What books have helped you teach kids about how to handle big feelings?