Books for Kids: Feelings and Emotions

What’s this weird sensation? Am I feeling angry or am I sad? When kids experience emotions and feelings, they don’t always know how to express them or even less how to manage them. Hello temper tantrums and meltdowns? These books deal with the discovery of the wonderfully complex world of child emotions and how to deal with them with humor, parental love or silly nonsense.

Happy Hippo Angry Duck
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
Can a book on moods be silly? You bet it can, thanks to the always funny Sandra Boynton whose trademark humor does wonders when her posse of moody animals takes center stage. Are you angry as a duck or worried as a rabbit? In sing-songy verses, the book explores a wide range of emotions that will have toddlers in stitches because seriously, who wouldn’t want to be “contented as a frog”? Mime play encouraged at home.

Feelings Flashcards
Written and illustrated by Todd Parr
Adapted from Todd Parr’s beloved little book on feelings, Todd Parr’s Feelings Flashcards are the perfect tool to teach young children about how they feel. Bored to tears? Loud like a dog? With Todd Parr’s bright colors and signature modern look, these cards apply to all types of families and situations. Coming in thick cardboard with round edges, they can also be used as a game to play before bedtime.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus!
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
If “Unfair!” is a word you are familiar with, welcome to the world of a stubborn pigeon who wants to the unreasonable: drive the bus. Preschoolers will recognize themselves in this opinionated volatile who tries every single trick to reach his ends and whose mood changes from sweet to fuming in a matter of minutes. Great interactive read that will invite role play at home.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Written by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz
Some mornings you wake up cranky but when Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, he knows the day is going to be terrible, horrible, no good, very bad. Of course the day is just a series of unfortunate events and Alexander faces what seems to him like the end of the world in complete crankiness. This true-to-life portrait will make young kids relate to their own feelings in front of the small miseries that make up some days.

What To Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
Written by Dawn Huebner, Ph. D., illustrated by Bonnie Matthews
When you child feels anxious, you know how much you’d like to make things better. Sometimes it’s not easy and small worries become mountains without you being able to make any sense out of it. This guide published by the American Psychological Association addresses how kids can identify their worries and how they can make them go away. With simple techniques and easy language, the book will give your child the tools to beat the smallest of worries. Now cram worries!

This review first appeared in the Golden Gate Mothers Group Magazine, April 2012, as the Books for Kids column. I’ve been writing this column since 2005.

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Laure Latham

Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She's passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.

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