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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Candlewick Press, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

18 Books to Help Kids With Their Big Emotions


This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Candlewick Press but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.

books about big emotions for kids"
books about big emotions for kids
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell

From the moment our kids are born, they’re trying to communicate how they’re feeling. It starts with the basics—feeling hungry, tired, wet, or cold—but as our babies grow into children, they begin to experience emotions they don’t quite yet have the words to articulate. Learning how to share their toys or navigating someone hurting their feelings is when things start to get a little bit trickier in terms of expressing and processing emotions. These instances oftentimes result in tears, temper tantrums, clinginess, or acting out. I mean, sometimes, even as full-grown adults it can feel impossible to put how we’re feeling into words, right? So it’s totally understandable why these are their initial reactions.

However, it’s important to try our best as parents to teach them healthy ways to express these new and complicated emotions as early on as we can. The moms on our team are big on utilizing books to introduce complicated concepts to our kids. Books about emotions are fun and digestible tools that help our little ones acknowledge their feelings, notice changes in their body when they feel a certain way, and put a name to what we think they’re feeling at a certain moment. Books can be helpful companions in learning emotional regulation for both parents and kids, so we rounded up some editor favorites and highly-rated books to help you help your kids with their big emotions.

Books About Self Acceptance

Michelle Knudsen & Kevin Hawkes
Luigi, the Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten

The New York Times best-selling creators of Library Lion come together again to deliver the adorable and heartwarming story of Luigi the Spider. Luigi’s story touches on the experience of pretending to be someone you’re not with humor and depth, endearing characters, and the assurance that the right people will accept and adore us, unconditionally, just as we are. This story is a beautiful way to show your kiddo that who they are is more than enough.

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Heather Avis
Different—A Great Thing to Be!

Children are naturally aware of the differences they encounter at school and in other everyday relationships, they just need to be given tools to understand and appreciate what makes us all “different.”

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Books About Anxiety

Lauren Castillo
Just Like Millie

Through emotionally honest prose and beautiful illustrations, Lauren Castillo explores one girl’s shyness and social anxiety—and how one dog’s love helps her open up—in a touching story that reminds readers of how the right companion can make the world feel like a less frightening place. Just Like Millie is perfect for littles who are struggling with a big life change and need a little support navigating a new environment.

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Loren Long
Little Tree

In this story, a tree is afraid of losing his leaves until he sees the other trees growing bigger and stronger. A great book for kids who have a hard time with change.

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Tom Percival
Ruby Finds a Worry

Ruby learns the worst thing and the best thing to do when you find a worry. A great dialogue opener if you suspect your little one worries more than others.

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Anger and Frustration

Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama Mad at Mama

In Llama Llama’s rhyming fashion, we see Llama Llama’s frustration mount into a tantrum while on an errand with his mama.

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Molly Bang
When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry…

In this award-winning book, we see a range of emotions in Sophie, including ways to move on from anger.

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Mo Willems
I Love My New Toy

Best friends Elephant and Piggie have to deal with some big feelings when something happens to Piggie’s favorite new toy.

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James Dean
Pete the Cat: Robo-Pete

When Pete’s friends don’t want to play what he wants, he invents a Robot to play with him, but things don’t work out exactly as Pete planned.

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Books About Love and Empathy

Diane Adams and Claire Keane
Love Is

Relatable to parents as much as kids, this sweet book shows love in action.

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Jonathan Stutzman and Jay Fleck
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug

Tiny T. Rex learns how to help a friend who is sad in a way he didn’t expect.

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Cori Doerrfeld
The Rabbit Listened

This charming story covers the confusing and difficult emotions that can come when unexpected things happen.

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Books About Courage

Tom Percival
Perfectly Norman

Norman was a perfectly normal kid until he grew a pair of wings. A heartwarming story about what happens when you have the courage to be yourself.

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jabari jumps book
Gaia Cornwall
Jabari Jumps

An adorable story about working up the courage to do something that scares us.

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Jaimal Yogis
Mop Rides the Waves of Courage

Mop’s friends and dad help him acknowledge his feelings of fear, let them pass through without judgment, and get ready to tackle the big waves that scare him!

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Books About Curiosity

Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist asks all the questions, to her parents’ exasperation. An editor favorite, this heartwarming tale explores where curiosity can lead.

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Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel

For kids who wrestle with the big questions, this book is poignant and beautifully illustrated.

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Bernard Waber
Ask Me

This is a heartwarming and inviting story of how asking questions can lead to the very best conversations.

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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Candlewick Press, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.