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Children’s Books

This children’s book list includes diverse examples of books that can be used to promote social-emotional skills such as feelings and emotions, friendships, kindness, and problem solving. The list is not meant to be exhaustive. Additional books will be periodically added to the list.

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CoverTitleFeelingsCategoriesAuthorAge GroupContenthf:tax:book_feelingshf:tax:book_traitshf:tax:book_age
Book List A Feel Better Book for Little Worriers cover thumbnail
A Feel Better Book for Littler WorriersWorriedFeelingsHolly Brochmann, Leah Bowen3-6Worries can feel really big, especially when you are little! Children will learn what a worry is, what it feels like, where worries come from, and strategies for coping and feeling better about their worries.worriedfeelings3-6
Book List ABCs of Kindness cover thumbnail
ABCs of KindnessKindness & EmpathySamantha Berger2-5

There are so many ways to be kind! Starting with A and ending with Z! You can brighten someone’s day with a smile, offer to help carry a big stack of books, or remind a friend they belong!

kindness-empathy2-5
Book List All Are Welcome cover thumbnail
All Are WelcomeAcceptance/BelongingAlexandra Penfold, Suzanne Kaufman4-8

All Are Welcome follows a group of children through a day at school where everyone is welcomed. The message of “all are welcomed” is repeated throughout the book illustrating examples of kindness, inclusion, and diversity. The book provides many opportunities for discussions with children, as well as adults, for creating a welcoming environment.

acceptance-belonging4-8
Book List Baby Be Kind cover thumbnail
Baby Be KindKindness & EmpathyJane Cowen-Fletcher0-3

Baby Be Kind is a great book to introduce infants and toddler to what kindness is and simple ways to show kindness. From saying hi to your friend, to being nice to your puppy, or helping someone up when they fall down – children will learn many ways to show kindness.

kindness-empathy0-3
Book List Be Kind cover thumbnail
Be KindKindness & EmpathyPat Zietlow Miller3-6

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, some of the children laugh at her. But one little girl really wants to be kind and help Tanisha feel better. As she thinks about what it means to be kind, she explores many different examples of kindness and discovers that any act of kindness – big or small – can make a difference!

kindness-empathy3-6
Book List Buddy the Bulldozer Learns to Calm Down cover thumbnail
Buddy the Bulldozer Learns to Calm DownAngry, MadFeelings, Friendship, Problem SolvingArica Marshall3-5

When Buddy the Bulldozer gets mad, his engine begins to fume! But Buddy is learning a new way to cool his engine when he gets mad. He can put on his brakes, stop, and take three deep breaths. When his engine is cool, he can think of ways to solve the problem with his friends.

angry madfeelings friendship problem-solving3-5
Book List Calm-Down Time cover thumbnail
Calm Down TimeMad, SadFeelingsElizabeth Verdick

Calm Down Time helps children learn ways to calm themselves when they are feeling big emotions. They can take deep breaths, count to three, ask for a hug or hug themselves, sing to themselves, or talk about their feelings.

mad sadfeelings
Book List Can I Play Too? Cover thumbnail
Can I Play Too?Feelings, Friendship, Problem SolvingMo Williems3-5

Gerald and Piggie are playing a game of catch when they meet a new snake friend who wants to join in and play. Can a snake play catch? Afterall, a snake has no arms! But that’s not a problem! The three friends keep trying until they finally figure out how they can all play catch!

feelings friendship problem-solving3-5
Book List Can You Make a Happy Face! Cover thumbnail
Can You Make a Happy FaceExcited, Grumpy, Happy, Mad, Sad, Shy, Silly, Sleepy, SurprisedFeelingsJanice Behrens0-3

Infants and toddlers can explore a wide range of feelings and emotions such as happy, excited, surprised, and grumpy! The book has engaging photos that illustrate each emotion, encouraging children to make their own fun faces to match the emotions.

excited grumpy happy mad sad shy silly sleepy surprisedfeelings0-3
Book List Eyes that Kiss in the Corners cover thumbnail
Eyes That Kiss in the CornersConfident, ProudAcceptance/Belonging, FeelingsJoanna Ho4-8

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners is about a young Asian girl who notices that her eyes are different from some of her classmates. Her eyes look just like her mothers’ and grandmother’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners, glow like warm tea, and crinkle into crescent moons. But best of all, she recognizes that her eyes are beautiful!

confident proudacceptance-belonging feelings4-8
Book List Families cover thumbnail
FamiliesAcceptance/BelongingShelley Rotner3-6

What does it mean to be a family? There are many different kinds of families! This book is a great way to share and celebrate the diversity of families with young children as well as provide opportunities for conversations to help children see beyond their own experiences.

acceptance-belonging3-6
Book List Hair Love cover thumbnail
Hair LoveConfident, Excited, Proud, WorriedFeelingsMatthew A. Cherry 4-8

Zuri is excited! Today is a big day and she wants her hair to be just perfect! And, it’s up to Zuri’s daddy to give her an extra special hair style. After many tries, they finally achieve a style that Zuri not only loves, but also makes her feel very special and confident!

confident excited proud worriedfeelings4-8
Book List Happy Hippo Angry Duck cover thumbnail
Happy Hippo, Angry DuckAmused, Angry, Confused, Content, Excited, Frazzled, Grumpy, Happy, Sad, Terrific, WorriedFeelingsSandra Boynton1-5

Are you happy as a hippo, grumpy as a moose, or worried as a rabbit? Maybe you are sad as a chicken who is clucking sadly. Fun animals represent a wide range of emotions in this interactive story. Children will have fun as they learn emotion words and that emotions can change from day to day.

amused angry confused content excited frazzled grumpy happy sad terrific worriedfeelings1-5
Book List How do I feel? Cover thumbnail
How do I feel? A book about emotionsAngry, Happy, Loved, Sad, ScaredFeelings0-3

How Do I Feel? is an interactive book about emotions. Examples of relatable situations such as dropping your ice cream or someone breaking your toy are described and then children decide how the character might be feeling. An emotion wheel that shows a range of emotions and faces helps children decide which emotion the character might be feeling.

angry happy loved sad scaredfeelings0-3
Book List How Full is Your Bucket? for Kids cover thumbnail
How Full is Your Bucket? For KidsFeelings, Kindness & EmpathyTom Rath3-7

Felix’s grandpa tells him that we all have an invisible bucket and when it is full, we feel great. When it is empty, we don’t feel so good. Felix isn’t sure what Grandpa is talking about! But he soon learns that his interactions can fill or empty his own bucket as well as other people’s buckets. Read along as Felix learns to be a great bucket filler!

feelings kindness-empathy3-7
Book List If You're Happy and You Know It! Cover thumbnail
If You’re Happy and You Know It!HappyFeelingsJane Cabrera0-3

Engage infants and toddlers with this fun, interactive book as jungle animals show what they do when they are feeling happy. Children will learn about feeling happy as they nod their head with giraffe, flap their arms with bird, roar out loud with lion, and jump around with frog!

happyfeelings0-3
Book List I'm Happy-Sad Today cover thumbnail
I’m Happy Sad TodayBrave, Determined, Excited, Friendly, Frustrated, Happy, Jealous, Mad, Nervous, Proud, Sad, Scared, ShyFeelingsLori Britain3-8

Have you ever felt happy and sad at the same time? What about excited and nervous? The little girl in the story gives examples of when her emotions felt mixed up. She concludes that all her feelings are okay and that it is okay to have more than one feeling at a time. She even makes up fun words to represent her feelings such as hapsad, loveappy, and braverous.

brave determined excited friendly frustrated happy jealous mad nervous proud sad scared shyfeelings3-8
Book List In My Heart cover thumbnail
In My Heart: A Book of FeelingsAfraid, Brave, Calm, Happy, Hopeful, Mad, Proud, Sad, Shy, SillyFeelingsJo Witek3-5

A little girl shows us how our hearts can feel many different feelings. She explores a range of emotions, describing what each emotion feels like inside. Happiness makes her want to twirl and sadness makes her feel heavy as an elephant. Can you describe how your emotions make you feel?

afraid brave calm happy hopeful mad proud sad shy sillyfeelings3-5
Book List It Will Be Ok cover thumbnail
It Will Be OkayBrave, Embarrassed, Nervous, Scared, Silly, WorriedFeelings, Friendship, Kindness & EmpathyLisa Katzenberger 4-7

Giraffe and Zebra meet every day to walk to the watering hole. One day, Zebra finds Giraffe hiding in a tree because he saw a spider and he is scared! Giraffe experiences many feelings while Zebra patiently waits, showing empathy and kindness, until his friend feels brave enough to climb down.

brave embarrassed nervous scared silly worriedfeelings friendship kindness-empathy4-7
Book List Jabari Jumps cover thumbnail
Jabari JumpsNervous, ScaredFeelingsGaia Cornwall 3-7

Jabari has passed his swim test and is ready to jump off the diving board! He is a great jumper and he is not scared at all! Well, maybe just a little scared. His dad assures him that it is ok to feel a little scared and tells Jabari what he does when he feels scared. It has something to do with surprises and Jabari loves surprises! He gives it a try and – he jumps!

nervous scaredfeelings3-7
Book List Join in and Play cover thumbnail
Join in and PlayFriendshipCheri Meiners 4-8

Making friends and playing with others can be lots of fun but, it is not always easy to do. Join In and Play gives children ideas and strategies for asking someone to play, joining in play, taking turns, and even what to do when someone says “no, you can’t play”. It’s all about how to make a friend and how to be a friend.

friendship4-8
Book List Julian is a Mermaid cover thumbnail
Julián is a MermaidAcceptance/BelongingJessica Love 4-8

Julián loves mermaids! While riding the subway with his abuela he notices three women with fishtail dresses and hair in brilliant colors. It was magic! When Julián gets home, he makes his own mermaid costume out of curtains and ferns. His abuela gives him a special necklace to add to his costume and surprises him by taking him to join in the Mermaid Parade.

acceptance-belonging4-8
Book List Language That We All Can Speak cover thumbnail
Language That We All Can SpeakExcited, Happy, SurprisedAcceptance/Belonging, Feelings, FriendshipK. Read4-7

Olivka has moved to a new town and is excited about her new school. She wonders what the children will be like and if she will make new friends. Olivka discovers that the children at her school are very diverse, which is a new experience for her. Everyone is so welcoming! Olivka knows that it will be a great day and that kindness is a language we can all speak.

excited happy surprisedacceptance-belonging feelings friendship4-7
Book List Little Fox Has Feelings cover thumbnail
Little Fox Has FeelingsAmazed, Angry, Calm, Happy, Loved, Sad, Safe, Scared, SorryFeelingsDidi Dragon2-6

Fox has discovered something amazing! She has feelings! All kinds of feelings! Fox takes us on an adventure where she experiences many different feelings throughout the day. She learns that while her feelings let her know what is happening inside her and around her, she decides how to act on those emotions.

amazed angry calm happy loved sad safe scared sorryfeelings2-6
Book List Meesha Makes Friends cover thumbnail
Meesha Makes FriendsFriendshipTom Percival 3-6

Meesha loves to make things! But when it comes to making friends, she doesn’t know what to say, what to do, or how to join in. She decides to make her own friends out of anything she can find. When the children see Meesha’s “friends” they want Meesha to show them how to make them. For the first time, Meesha knows what to say and do to make friends!

friendship3-6
Book List Meeting Mimi cover thumbnail
Meeting Mimi: A Story About Different AbilitiesAcceptance/Belonging, FriendshipFrancie Dolan4-7

It is Mimi’s first day at her new school and everyone is excited to get to know her. As she introduces herself, she shares that she likes books, ducks, has a disability and that she likes questions. At first the children are very quiet and just stare. But it doesn’t take long before they begin to ask many questions as they welcome their new friend Mimi.

acceptance-belonging friendship4-7
Book List On Monday When It Rained cover thumbnail
On Monday When It RainedAngry, Disappointed, Embarrassed, Excited, Lonely, Proud, ScaredFeelingsCherryl Kachenmeister 3-5

On Monday When It Rained is about a little boy and what happens to him every day for a week. The boy talks about what happens to him each day and how it makes him feel. Whether he is feeling excited, lonely, or embarrassed, the real life images of the little boy’s face are very expressive and illustrate a range of emotions. Can you guess how he is feeling?

angry disappointed embarrassed excited lonely proud scaredfeelings3-5
Book List Poor Little Rabbit! Cover thumbnail
Poor Little RabbitFeelings, Kindness & EmpathyJörg Muhle 1-3

Poor Little Rabbit is an interactive book about helping Little Rabbit feel better when he falls and hurts his elbow. From blowing gently three times, to trying a band-aid, to stroking his ears and wiping his tears – children will learn ways to show empathy and kindness while caring for someone who is hurt.

feelings kindness-empathy1-3
Book List Remarkably YOU cover thumbnail
Remarkably YOUCaring, Courageous, Shy, Silly, TimidAcceptance/Belonging, FeelingsPat Zietlow Miller 4-8

Whether you are little or big, quiet or loud the message is clear in the illustrations and text of this book. You are remarkably YOU! Help children see all the ways they can be their remarkable little selves. They don’t have to change to be like others, they just need to believe in themselves and the things they do best.

caring courageous shy silly timidacceptance-belonging feelings4-8
book cover
Rex Wrecks It!Feelings, FriendshipBen Clanton 2-5

Gizmo, Sprinkles, and Wild love to build things and Rex loves to wreck everything they build. Is there any hope for making playtime fun for everyone? Gizmo has an idea, and it involves getting Rex to help them build a big, strong, and awesome block structure! Will Gizmo’s idea work?

feelings friendship2-5
Book List Roaring Mad Riley cover thumbnail
Roaring Mad RileyAngry, Happy, Mad, SadFeelings, FriendshipAllison Szczecinski3-5

Learn how to pause and cool down with a little help from some friendly dinosaurs! Riley gets roaring mad when Parker accidently knocks his blocks down. But Mr. Rex shows Riley that there are many ways to calm down even when you are roaring mad. Riley learns how to keep calm by taking deep breaths, counting to 10, shaking it out, and thinking happy thoughts.

angry happy mad sadfeelings friendship3-5
Book List Stella Brings the Family cover thumbnail
Stella Brings the FamilyAcceptance/BelongingMiriam B. Schiffer3-8

Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration. But Stella is worried because she has two dads. Her classmates have lots of question! But all is well! The day of the event, Stella shows up with her fathers, uncle, aunt, cousin, and Nonna; one student brings his two moms, and another child invites his grandmother since his mother is away.

acceptance-belonging3-8
Book List Strictly No Elephants cover thumbnail
Strictly No ElephantsAcceptance/Belonging, FriendshipLisa Mantchez4-8

A little boy is excited about taking his tiny pet elephant to Pet Club Day. When he arrives, he sees a note on the door that says strictly no elephants! As they walk away, they meet a little girl with a pet skunk who was also not allowed at Pet Club Day. The boy and girl decide to start their own club and the note on their club says All Are Welcome!

acceptance-belonging friendship4-8
Book List The Colors of Us cover thumbnail
The Colors of UsAcceptance/BelongingKaren Katz3-7

The Colors of Us celebrates similarities and differences through the eyes of a young girl who wants to paint a picture of herself using brown paint to match her skin. Her mother takes her on a walk to show her that there are many beautiful shades of brown. When she gets home, she paints pictures of all her friends, creating and naming all the colors of us!

acceptance-belonging3-7
Book List The Feelings Book cover thumbnail
The Feelings BookBrave, Cranky, Lonely, Scared, SillyFeelingsTodd Parr1-3

The Feelings Book illustrates a wide range of feelings in a simple, relatable way. Sometimes we feel silly, sometimes we feel brave, sometimes we feel really mad, and sometimes we feel like trying something new! The book’s format and silly illustrations provide fun opportunities for great conversations around our ever -changing feelings.

brave cranky lonely scared sillyfeelings1-3
Book List The Kissing Hand cover thumbnail
The Kissing HandFearful, Lonely, Loved, NervousFeelingsAudrey Penn2-6

Chester Racoon is nervous about going to school for the first time. He doesn’t want to leave his mother, his toys, or his friends! But his mother shares a family secret that will reassure him of her love any time he feels a little lonely or fearful.

fearful lonely loved nervousfeelings2-6
Book List The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh cover thumbnail
The Many Colors of Harpreet SinghBrave, Courageous, Gloomy, Happy, Nervous, Sad, ShyFeelings, FriendshipSupriya Kelkar3-5

Harpreet Singh loves his colors. He has a different color for every mood and occasion and always makes sure that his patka matches his outfit. When Harpreet’s family moves, everything changes. Harpreet wears white every day to school. What will it take to get Harpreet to wear his bright colors again?

brave courageous gloomy happy nervous sad shyfeelings friendship3-5
Book List The Pout-Pout Fish and the Mad Mad Day cover thumbnail
The Pout Pout Fish and the Mad Mad DayAngry, Calm, Despair, Disappointed, Mad, Sad, Scared, WorriedFeelings, FriendshipDeborah Diesen3-7

Pout Pout Fish is having a bad day! A feeling begins to fill his gills and it is getting bigger and bigger. Pout Pout Fish is mad and he is getting madder and madder and doesn’t know how to stop! With a little help from his friends, Pout Pout Fish learns ways to stop his mad and feel as good as new!

angry calm despair disappointed mad sad scared worriedfeelings friendship3-7
Book List Together We Can! Cover thumbnail
Together We CanFeelings, Friendship, Kindness & EmpathyCarly Hart3-7

Together We Can is all about friendships. The children in the story explain what friends are, how to make friends, and how to be a friend! It’s about sharing, playing, being kind, and working together. Some friends may dress differently, speak a different language, or use a wheelchair to get around. Our friends are all different and each one is special!

feelings friendship kindness-empathy3-7
What If I Know My Feelings? Book Cover thumbnail
What If I Know My Feelings?Angry, Brave, Friendly, Grateful, Happy, Sad, Scared, Serious, Shy, SillyFeelingsMichelle Nelson-Schmidt1-5

What If I Know My Feelings? is a great book for having conversations about different feelings and what you might do with those feelings. For example, “What if I feel shy? I can watch until I am ready to join in.” There is a different feeling and example on each page which can be expanded on with conversations about what children do when they feel that feeling. 

angry brave friendly grateful happy sad scared serious shy sillyfeelings1-5
Book List When I Am Cuando Estoy cover thumbnail
When I Am/Cuando EstoyAngry, Bored, Frightened, Happy, Lonely, Sad, Surprised, Tired, WorriedFeelingsGladys Rosa Mendoza2-5

When I am/Cuando Estoy not only teaches children vocabulary words for emotions, but also suggests what they can do when they are feeling those emotions. The book has situations that young children will relate to and be able to discuss how they feel in those situations and what they do when they feel that way. The book can be read in English and Spanish.

angry bored frightened happy lonely sad surprised tired worriedfeelings2-5
Book List When We Are Kind cover thumbnail
When We Are KindKindness & EmpathyMonique Gray Smith3-5

When We Are Kind shows children how they can be kind to themselves, others, animals, and the earth through simple everyday acts. The book encourages children to think about what it feels like to be kind to others and what it feels like when others are kind to them. How does it make them feel? The main message of the book is the importance of being kind.

kindness-empathy3-5
Book List You are a Lion and Other Fun Yoga Poses cover thumbnail
You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga PosesMindfulnessTaeeun Yoo2-5

Yoga is a great way to help children learn to calm their bodies, relax, and focus. Children will have fun trying to imitate the animal poses illustrated in the book They can flutter like a butterfly, bark like a dog, hiss like a snake, or roar like the lion king of the jungle!

mindfulness2-5
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