I love using picture books to teach children about emotions and increase their emotional intelligence. Consider what your child may be struggling to express, or understand, and how a picture book could help.
The Color Monster a Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas
Monster’s colors are all scribbly and mixed-up which means his emotions are, too. The little girl helps Monster separate his feelings on each page with fantastic pop-ups. I love the green calm page showing Monster in a hammock. The next-to-last page has fun pull-up tabs so kids can see inside each of the feelings jars. And the last page is the best surprise . . .
Wild Feelings by David Milgrim
Do you ever feel . . . ? asks this book. Do you feel as stubborn as a mule? as chicken as a chicken? as daffy as a duck? Simple illustrations and metaphorical text show that everyone feels these feelings — and that it’s okay.
Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt
This is a beautifully illustrated book about the stages of grief as shown by a fly trapped in a vacuum bag. I liked this book quite a bit and think it is a great way to share the stages of grief with children.
When I’m Feeling Scared by Trace Moroney
Bunny describes feeling scared. He describes what happens in his body (body trembles and shakes,) what he does (run and hide,) what he does (yell, “HELP,”) and that it’s okay to be scared that everyone gets sacred sometimes. Basic and well-done. More board books in this series: When I’m Feeling Kind, When I’m Feeling Happy, and When I’m Feeling Jealous.
I Am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz
This book explores our inner thoughts. The finches are a noisy flock until Henry wakes up to quiet one day. He thinks thoughts like I think and I am Henry Finch. Thoughts are new to him, and he discovers that he likes thinking for himself, not just being part of the flock.
I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien
Back home Jin and Fatimah knew their languages and were included in their classes. Being new, they now feel lonely and confused. This book gently shows how it feels to be new and the process of making friends.
Poppy’s Best Paper by Susan Eaddy, illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
Kids will learn about jealousy and perseverance in this relatable picture book about Poppy. She wants her paper to be picked as the best in the class. When it’s not, she’s MAD. And jealous. In the end, Poppy keeps working hard and her paper is finally picked. I really love the artwork and the message in this story.
The Things I Love About Me by Trace Moroney
I want this for my kids, and yours, don’t you? Enjoy this self-love, confidence board book about a cute bunny who loves so many things about herself such as her fluffy ears, her big smile, and being a good friend. Warm and fuzzy!
Inside Out Sadly Ever After? by Elise Allen, illustrated by Daniel Holland
Riley experiences many emotions throughout her life which is shown in two memories; one of a picnic and the other of going to school. (joy, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness.)