19 Helpful Books About Feelings for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Kids

Helpful Books About Feelings for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Kids
19 Helpful Books About Feelings for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Kids 21

When it comes to social-emotional learning, there is no better way to teach your child than reading and discussing books about feelings.

Children learn through reading and talking about what they’ve read, which is why it’s so important to include feelings books in your home or school library.

From circle time to bedtime, the picture books we have chosen will teach little ones to identify and express their emotions in different ways.

*children’s books about feelings Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Books About Feelings for Toddlers

Grumpy Monkey and more feelings books

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang

It’s a beautiful day in the jungle, but Jim the monkey is feeling grumpy. At first, he denies his feelings as all the animals point out his grumpiness, but then as they encourage him to participate in their activities he realizes he NEEDS to be grumpy that day.

When his friend, Norman, acknowledges that it’s a good day to be grumpy too, Jim starts to feel a little better.

Why We Love This Book: This children’s book about feelings normalizes having bad days – and being OK with it.
Appropriate for ages 2-5
Find this book in
Books about Feelings

THe Crayon's book of Feelings and more feelings books

The Crayons’ Book of Feelings by Drew Daywalt

A cute spin-off of the beloved Day the Crayons Quit series, this board book approaches feelings in a way babies and toddlers can understand. Each crayon expresses a different emotion on every page. The board book design is perfect for chubby fingers looking to turn pages.

Why We Love This Book: It’s perfect for our list of books about feelings for toddlers because of it’s simple illustration of emotions.
Appropriate for ages 1-5
Find this book in
Books about Feelings

Owl Babies and more gender neutral baby books

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

This book subtly reinforces the fact that Mama (and Dada) come back. It also shows that sometimes animals get anxious feelings. For babies, the white owls and dark night forest are mesmerizing before they can see in color.

Why We Love This Book: This is a great one for working parents looking to teach little ones about separation anxiety. I found read it to my children when I went back to work.
Appropriate for ages 1-4
Find this book in
Books about Feelings / Books for 1-year-olds / Book and Game Pairings / Gender Neutral Baby Books

The Feelings Book and more books for 1-year-olds

The Feelings Book by Todd Parr

This is a classic feelings book for 2-year-olds for a reason! Todd Parr uses his signature colorful illustrations to showcase the range of emotions we all feel from time to time. Have your little one make the faces in the book for more fun!

Why We Love This Book: Simple words and pictures help even the youngest children identify emotions.
Appropriate for ages 1-3
Find this book in:
Books for 2-year-olds / Books about Feelings

In My Heart by Jo Witek and more books for 2-year-olds

In My Heart by Jo Witek

Kids need to learn all about their feelings in a way that is safe and comfortable. The tactile pages in this board book will please little hands as the hearts cut in the center get smaller and smaller.

Why We Love This Book: Children will learn to identify feelings with simple words that explain what each feeling feels in their bodies and minds.
Appropriate for ages 2-5
Find this book in:
Books about Feelings / Books for a 3-year-old / Gender Neutral Baby Books

Books About Feelings for Preschoolers

I need a hug and more feelings books

I Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey

When a porcupine decides he needs a hug, he has trouble finding someone willing to hug his spiky exterior. Until he stumbles upon a snake who is looking for love of their own.

Why We Love This Book: It’s a funny lesson about how everyone needs love.
Appropriate for ages 2-6
Find this book in:
Books about Feelings

Sophie Gets Angry, Really, really angry and more books about feelings for preschoolers

Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang

This classic children’s book is an award-winner for a reason. It was one of the first books for children that addressed anger and how to deal with it.

Why We Love This Book: It normalizes anger and helps with social-emotional learning.
Appropriate for ages 2-5
Find this book in:
Books about Feelings

allie all along

Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul

When Allie’s crayon breaks, she turns into a furious, angry red monster. As she throws a fit, her brother helps her conquer her anger little by little. He guides her to punch a pillow, squeeze a favorite toy, take a deep breath, and count backward from 10 until she can be calm again.

Why We Love This Book: It teaches children that sometimes multiple steps need to be taken to help control our emotions and calm down.
Appropriate for ages 2-5
Find this book in:
Books about Feelings

The Color Monster and more books about colors

The Color Monster by Anna Llenas

This adorable book about colors will not only teach your child about colors but will help them identify their emotions at the same time.

Why We Love This Book: We love the idea of making emotions something your child can see because this will help your child identify how they are feeling more literally.
Appropriate for ages 2-5
Find this book in: Books About Colors / Books About Feelings

Go Away, Big Green Monster and other Monster Books for Kids

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly

What a wonderful way to explore fears.  As children turn the pages of this book, they are in charge.  They can build the big green monster and tell him to go away. 

Why We Love This Book: This book is so helpful for kids who may not be able to express their fears but, it can help them conquer them just the same.
Appropriate for ages 1-4
Find this book in: Monster Books / Books for a 2-year-old / Books about Feelings

Feelings Books for Kindergarteners

The Rabbit Listened

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

This is one of my favorite books for 4-year-olds. I gift it all the time. When Taylor is sad, every animal tries to help by offering different advice from shouting to crying but they don’t make the sadness go away. But the rabbit sits there and listens. What a lesson for kindness, empathy, and dealing with emotions!

Why We Love This Book: A wonderful way to explore sitting with sadness.
Appropriate for ages 2-6
Find this book in: Books for a 4-year-old / Books about Feelings

I Don't Draw, I color and more feelings books

I Don’t Draw, I COLOR!  by Adam Lehrhaupt

This is a lovely book that explores creativity as opposed to artistry.  I love how the child in this book can express feelings and emotions with colors.  

Why We Love This Book: Often, it is so difficult for children to express themselves verbally and I love how this book gives another way to do this.  
Appropriate for ages 4-8
Find this book in: Books about colors / Books about Feelings / Books for 5-year-olds

Llama Llama Misses Mama and more of the first day of school books

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

It’s Llama Llama’s first day of preschool and he is overwhelmed with feelings. He is trying to get used to the new toys and new surroundings but he just misses his mama.

Soon he learns that it’s OK to love mama and have fun at school too. This was recently turned into a Netflix book adaptation starring Jennifer Garner.

Why We Love This Book: A solid introduction to preschool separation anxiety and how kids can deal with it.
Appropriate for ages 2-7
Find this book in: Books About Feelings / Anna Dewdney Books / Books for a 3-year-old / First Day of School Books

Way Past Jealous and more feelings books

Way Past Jealous by Hallee Adelman

For social-emotional learning, we love the Way Past series of books by Hallee Adelman. Each book is focused on a different big feeling, how it makes kids feel, and how they can help manage it. This particular one focuses on Yaz being jealous of her friend’s ability to draw.

I love the cute pictures and easy way of explaining the emotions that Adelman uses in the book. It’s a must-have set of feelings books.

Why We Love This Book: The story names both the emotion, how it makes kids react, AND how it feels in little bodies.
Appropriate for ages 5-9
Find this book in: Feelings books

Best Children’s Books about Feelings and Emotions

A bad case of Stripes and more books about feelings

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

For little Camila, the first day of school doesn’t go according to plan when she wakes up covered in stripes! The reason? Camila is so worried about how people think of her that she breaks out in stripes!

Soon she’s not allowed to go to school, she’s being poked by doctors, and taking pills from experts, until a little old lady teaches her to accept herself and learn not to worry about what others think.

Why We Love This Book: It’s a great way to discuss self-esteem.
Appropriate for ages 5-9
Find this book in: Back to School Books / Children’s Book about Feelings

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and more books about feelings

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judy Viorst

Alexander and his bad days have been beloved for decades. This classic children’s book is one of the best books about feelings that exists.

I know in my house, that we used this picture book to talk about bad days and how it’s perfectly normal to have them.

Why We Love This Book: Funny, unique illustrations help with social-emotional learning.
Appropriate for ages 5-9
Find this book in: Feelings Books / Classic Kids Books

Niko Draws a Feeling

Niko Draws a Feeling by Robert Raczka

There are so many wonderful things about this book.  Nico loves to draw but he doesn’t draw like other kids do.  He draws what he feels inside.  If only we could all express ourselves this way. My kindergartener loved it so much that he asked me to read it to his class.

Why We Love This Book: This wordless picture book allows children to explore bullying in their own voice.
Appropriate for ages 5-9
Find this book in: Books for a 4-year-old / Feelings books

I Walk with Vanessa

I Walk with Vanessa by Karascoët

After a little girl watches her new classmate get bullied, she enacts a plan to welcome Vanessa and show her kindness.

This wordless picture book brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it. My son’s second-grade teacher used this in her curriculum last year too. This is not only an amazing back-to-school book but it’s also a great book to teach about kindness.

Why We Love This Book: This wordless picture book allows children to explore bullying in their own voice and teaches kindness.
Appropriate for ages 5-9
Find this book in: Books about Feelings / Wordless Picture Books / Back to School Books

Which of these children’s books about feelings are you planning to read?

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