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Big Feelings for Little Ones

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Picture Books to Help Your Children Better Understand and Handle Their Emotions

Feeling Angry

Allie All Along 
by Sarah Lynne Reul   
When Allie's crayon breaks, she stomps, smashes, crashes, and throws a tantrum, a fuss, and a fit. Her big brother wants to help her feel better. Will punching a pillow, squeezing a toy, or breathing deep breaths help Allie let go of her angry feelings, one layer at a time?

I Hate Everyone 
by Naomi Danis   
A young girl celebrating her birthday has confusing feelings that are making it difficult to be nice when everyone else is in a partying mood.

Simon and the Big, Bad Angry Beasts 
by Ian De Haes  
Whenever Simon gets angry, wild beasts appear to help scare off those who upset him, but he becomes lonely, calms himself, and conjures a new kind of animal friend.

Get on Your Bike                  
by Joukje Akveld
Unable to recall the source of a big fight that has tested his friendship with William, Bobby hops on his bike and furiously rides through the city and countryside, coming to the realization that his friend may have had a point and that both of them need to apologize.

When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt                
by Molly Bang
Sophie's feelings are hurt when the other children laugh at her painting of her favorite tree--but when she explains her painting everybody understands what she was trying to do.

Mean Soup                            
by Betsy Everitt
After a bad day, Horace comes home feeling mean and grumpy, but his mother has a creative cure that brings a smile to even the crankiest readers.

The Day Leo Said I Hate You!                      
by Robie Harris
Having been told "no" by his parents time and time again throughout the day, a little boy's frustration gets the best of him and results in an ugly outburst, in an honest tale about a child's raw emotions with techniques on how to deal with them properly.

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story                                  
by Patrick McDonnell
Louie becomes angry when the story in which he appears is ruined by messes from jelly, peanut butter, and other things that do not belong in books.

Steps and Stones: An Anh’s Anger Story               
by Gail Silver
Angry at his friends for choosing kickball over digging, Anh is visited by Anger, who demonstrates how mindful breathing can soothe and transform strong emotions.

Mouse Was Mad                   
By Linda Urban
Mouse struggles to find the right way to express his anger, modeling the behavior of Hare, Bear, Hedgehog, and Bobcat, only to discover that his own way may be the best way of all.

Sometimes I’m Bombaloo                
by Rachel Vail
A delightful tale of learning how to deal with anger follows Katie, who occasionally loses her temper and becomes Bombaloo, as she learns that a little time-out and a whole lot of love can pacify Bombaloo and make her feel like herself once again.

No More Tantrums                           
by Maria van Lieshout
Babies have tantrums, and do not like being told NO, but part of growing up is learning to ask nicely and accept restrictions--that is what big kids do.

How do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?                
by Jane Yolen
Illustrations and rhyming text explore some of the things that dinosaurs might do when they are angry--and how they should control their tempers.

I Hate Everything (J152.47)
by Sue Graves
After declaring that he hates everything, Sam learns how to deal with his anger and get along with others, in a book that includes discussion questions for parents and children.

Angry Is...  (J152.47)
by Connie Miller
Photographs and short rhyming verses describe how it feels to be angry.

Feeling Anxious or Worried

Be Brave, Little Penguin                  
by Andreae Giles
Pip-Pip, the littlest penguin, is teased for being afraid of the water until, with his mother's guidance, he finally jumps in.

Me and My Fear
by Francesca Sanna 
When a young immigrant girl starts at a new school, she is accompanied by her fear, which grows bigger and bigger every day and keeps her isolated from her classmates, until one day a fellow student makes an offer of friendship.

Teddy Bear Tears                              
by Jim Aylesworth
After going to bed, a little boy has to comfort his beloved teddy bears--Willie Bear, Fuzzy, Ringo, and Little Sam--because each is afraid of something in the dark, and gives patient, loving explanations to allay their fears.

Olive’s First Sleepover                      
by Roberta Baker
Olive goes for a sleepover at her friend Lizard's house and, after she finds that Lizard turns off all the lights to sleep, starts to worry about green ghouls and giant tarantulas.      

The Koala Who Could                                  
by Rachel Bright
Kevin is a koala who clings to his tree, and never comes down to play with the other animals--until one day his tree falls down, and Kevin learns that the ground is not as scary as he believed.

The Worry Box                                  
by Suzanne Chiew
Murray Bear is supposed to go to the waterfall with his sister, Molly, to meet a friend, but Murray is worried. “What if it’s too LOUD?” he cries or “Or what if I get swept away!” So Molly tells him about her special worry box. “When I’m worried about something,” she says, “I write it down, and then put it inside.” She offers to help make one for Murray, and he takes it on their journey—but will it really help? 

Dad and the Dinosaur                      
by Gennifer Choldenko
A boy keeps a toy dinosaur in his pocket to help him be brave like his dad--but when the dinosaur goes missing, Dad knows just what to do.

All by Myself!                        
by Geraldine Collet
Five chicks whose mothers have left them to look for grain keep together as they worry about whether their mothers will ever come back and whether the fox will get them.

by Richard Collingridge|
Hearing a scary noise in his room at bedtime, little Richard runs away through the streets, over the hills, through the forest and into the fields before arriving at a magical jungle, where his stuffed lion helps him find the courage to face his fears.

There Might be Lobsters                  
by Carolyn Crimi
A little dog's paralyzing anxiety gives way to bravery when someone smaller arrives in need during a whooshy, splashy, overwhelming day at the beach.

Llama Llama Misses Mama              
by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama experiences separation anxiety on his first day of nursery school.

The Night Lion                                  
by Sanne Dufft
A young boy's tall hat and toy sword make him feel big and strong, but they can't drive away his fears at night, until his grandmother gives him a special toy to help him face his bad dreams.

My First Day of Nursery School                  
by Becky Edwards
On the first day of preschool, a little girl misses her mother, but on the second day, after having so much fun, she is excited to go back, in a comforting tale about an important step in a child's life.

Don’t Worry, Bear                            
by Greg E. Foley
When Caterpillar explains to Bear that he is making a cocoon to live in for the winter, Bear worries for his friend and keeps watch to make sure that he is okay, yet when Bear finds the cocoon empty one day, Bear gets an amazing lesson from his old and new friend, a beautiful silk moth. 

Wemberly Worried                          
by Kevin Henkes
A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything, finds that she has a whole list of things to worry about when she faces the first day of nursery school.

I Am (Not) Scared                             
by Anna Kang
Two fuzzy creatures go to an amusement park and discover that being frightened may not be as scary as one thinks.

Ready for Anything                          
by Keiko Kasza
Initially quite excited about going on a picnic with his friend Duck, Raccoon begins to consider all the terrible things that could happen, like getting stung by bees or running into a dragon, but patient Duck holds fast and finds just the perfect words needed to ease his friend's worried mind.

The Tip-Toeing Tiger                        
by Philippa Leathers
Everyone knows that tigers are sleek, silent, and totally terrifying . . . most tigers, that is. But no one is afraid of Little Tiger. He’s just too small and clumsy to frighten anyone. Determined to prove that he is terrifying, Little Tiger sets out on tiptoe, creeping through the forest to find someone to scare. He gets yawned at and laughed at, but Little Tiger won’t give up. Is there any animal in the forest who will find him just as sleek, silent, and totally terrifying as the bigger tigers?

Something Might Happen               
by Helen Lester
Fearful of all the strange and weird things that could happen to him in the big world, Twitchly Fidget doesn't bother to venture outside his dark and dreary underground home until his Aunt Bridget Fidget makes a visit and teaches him a much-needed lesson in courage.

A Babysitter for Billy Bear                           
by Miriam Moss
Billy Bear worries about several things when his mother goes out and leaves him with a babysitter for the first time.

The Kissing Hand                              
by Audrey Penn
When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

After the Fall                                     
by Dan Santat
After falling off the wall, Humpty Dumpty is very afraid of climbing up again, but is determined not to let fear stop him from being close to the birds.

Walter Was Worried                                    
by Laura Seeger
Children's faces, depicted with letters of the alphabet, react to the onset of a storm and its aftermath in this picture book, accompanied by simple alliterative text.

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do              
by Ashley Spires
This delightful picture book perfectly depicts what children go through when confronted with something difficult. With humor and endearing artwork, Spires sensitively portrays Lou procrastinating, making excuses, imagining alternatives and denying she cares. Ultimately, Lou faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a growth mindset. All the while, Lou's friends model compassionate friendship by offering to teach her how to climb and then moving the game. 

When I Feel Worried                        
by Cornelia Spelman
A young guinea pig describes situations that make him feel worried, and what he can do to comfort himself. 

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book              
by Alexandra Stadler
When Beverly Billingsly receives her new Piedmont Public Library card, she can't wait to borrow a book, but when she forgets to return her book by its due date, she fears that she will never be able to borrow a book again.

Rainy Day                  
by Dan Yaccarino
In Rainy Day, Glub-Glub worries so much about getting wet that he almost misses all the fun of frolicking in the rain.

When I Feel Worried                                   
by Cornelia Spelman
A young guinea pig describes situations that make her worry, what being worried feels like and how she can stop worrying. Includes a note to parents and teachers.

Love Waves                           
by Rosemary Wells
While they are at work, a mother and father send powerful "love waves" to their child at home, in a book that offers reassurance and comfort to any youngsters experiencing separation anxiety and missing special people when they are away. 

Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the World
by Mo Willems
Sam and Kerry, the two most fearful kids in the world, discover the horrors that are each other and resolve to do something big about it. 

Feeling Happy

Prickly Jenny                                     
by Sibylle Delacroix
In a bad mood, Jenny does not know what she wants to do, but refuses whatever is suggested to her.

Little Home Bird                               
by Jo Empson
Little Bird loves his home, where all of his favorite things are. Why would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.

A Perfect Square                  
by Michael Hall
A perfect square that is perfectly happy is torn into pieces, punched with holes, crumpled, and otherwise changed but finds in each transformation that it can be something new, and just as happy.

This Beautiful Day                            
by Richard Jackson
Undaunted by the rainy weather, three children take their happiness outside and seem to chase the clouds away as they jump, skip, and dance together. 

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons            
by Eric Litwin
Pete the cat loves the buttons on his shirt so much that he makes up a song about them, and even as the buttons pop off, one by one, he still finds a reason to sing.

by Patrick McDonnell
Struggling to find happiness in her underwater world, Little Hoshi, a starfish, wishes she could shine like a star, but her friends in the ocean convince her that true happiness is found within. 

The Tiny King                        
by Taro Miura
Feeling lonely in a well-guarded, oversized castle where he eats sumptuous meals he cannot finish alone, rides on a horse that throws him and sleeps poorly at night, a tiny king marries a big princess and becomes the father of several children who fill his castle with right-sized happiness.

100 Things That Make Me Happy                           
by Amy Schwartz
An uplifting tribute to 100 everyday things worth celebrating, listed in rhyming couplets that depict a preschooler's everyday world, highlights pleasures that range from slippery floors and dinosaurs to goldfish and a birthday wish.

The Happiest Book Ever!                             
by Bob Shea
This book wants to be the happiest book ever, and it has lined up all its friends--including you--to help! But wait--what's up with that frowny frog?

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? (J158.1)
by Carol McCloud
The concept of bucket filling is an effective metaphor for encouraging kind and considerate behavior and for teaching the benefits of positive relationships.

Feeling Jealous

Theo’s Mood                         
By Maryann Cocca-Leffler
On "Mood Monday," students describe their moods after the weekend, but Theo doesn't know what to say because he has a new baby sister and is feeling so many emotions all at once.

It’s All About Me!
by Nancy Cote
A little boy is upset and jealous when his baby brother is born, but his parents reassure him that he is still special.

Barfburger Baby, I Was Here First!
by Paula Danziger
Five-year-old Jonathon is not pleased when neighbors and relatives come to visit and admire his new baby brother.

Smile, Principessa!
by Judith Enderle
A sister is jealous when her baby brother starts getting all the attention in the family photographs.

by Ruth Krauss
A jealous puppy has a solution for his young master's object of affection. 

by Michael Rosen
A dog trying to make sense of the world of humans is puzzled then jealous when a new baby arrives on the scene, but a friendship with the girl dog next door leads him to a new understanding.

Princess Sparkle-Heart Gets a Makeover
by Josh Schneider
Amelia and her dog are best friends . . . until Princess Sparkle-Heart comes along. Soon, Amelia and Princess Sparkle-Heart are doing everything together: having tea parties, attending royal weddings, keeping each other's secrets. Princess Sparkle-Heart may be an awesome princess doll—but is she any match for a jealous canine?

Feeling Sad

The Cow that Laid an Egg
by Andy Cutbill
Aware that she lacks many of the skills her fellow barnyard cows possess, Marjorie is left feeling sad until a group of caring chickens with a plan comes up with the perfect solution to make her realize just how special she is.

The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfield
When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn't know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn't feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that's not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. 

By Kallie George
Refusing to cry even though everyone cries sometimes, a tough little phoenix receives help from his reassuring guardians, Sun, Wind and Cloud, while learning how to express his feelings.

Cheer Up, Mouse!
by Jed Henry
Mouse's friends try everything to keep their friend from feeling low--flapping and fluttering in the sky, splashing and paddling in the water, leaping and loping in the grass--but nothing seems to cheer him up.

Hurty Feelings
by Helen Lester
Fragility the hippo is big and strong, but her feelings are so fragile she can't even take a compliment, until Rudy the bully decides to push Fragility a little too far.

Feeling Sad
by Sarah Verroken
On a gloomy day, Duck feels sad until a frog gives him some advice that cheers him up.

Sad Is... (J152.4)
by Cheyenne Nichols
Photographs and short rhyming verses describe how it feels to be sad.

Feeling Scared

When Lions Roar
by Robie Harris
A reassuring story about a young child who faces his fears to make his world a safe place again follows his efforts to be brave in the face of booming thunder, a big barking dog and other scary things.

Who Feels Scared? (J152.46)
by Sue Graves
When Jack's friends get frightened at a sleepover until they learn what causes the scary noises and how everyone fears something, they demonstrate how to handle fears, in a book with a story for children to retell and suggestions for parents.

Sheila Rae, the Brave
by Kevin Henkes
When brave Sheila Rae, who usually looks out for her sister Louise, becomes lost and scared one day, Louise comes to the rescue.

Chico the Brave
by Dave Horowitz
Hearing stories about the legendary Golden Chicken from a father who is trying to bolster his son's confidence, a fearful Chico the chick, doubting that anyone could be that brave, embarks on an unexpectedly adventurous journey into the mountains in search of the Golden Chicken's wisdom. 

The Fun Book of Scary Stuff
by Emily Jenkins
A little boy tells his two dogs about all the things, both real and imaginary, that scare him, and together the three come up with a solution that will help the boy face his fears. 

Scared Is... (J152.46)
by Cheyenne Nichols
Photographs and short rhyming verses describe how it feels to be scared. 

Understanding Different Emotions

Far Apart, Close in Heart (PICTURE BOOK)
by Becky Birtha
Children who have a parent in prison express their feelings of sadness, anger, worry, and embarrassment and suggest that talking to others and keeping in contact with the missing parent helps them deal with the situation.

Priscilla Gorilla
By Barbara Bottner
Priscilla is obsessed with gorillas. But when her ape-like behavior gets her sent to the Thinking Corner, Priscilla wonders if she is really channeling her inner gorilla, or just being a troublemaker.

How Do You Feel?
by Anthony Browne
A lighthearted introduction to emotions that helps youngsters identify and recognize their feelings of happiness, sadness, surprise and more.

by Jacques Goldstyn
This is a charming, touching story about an imaginative boy whose best friend is an oak tree named Bertolt. The boy admits to being an outlier among his peers, but insists that while he is alone, he is never lonely. Being independent suits him, and he considers his difference to be his advantage.

One of Those Days
by Amy Krauss Rosenthal
Children show that even though everyone has bad days, including unpleasant Sad for No Reason Day, Itchy Sweater Day, or Annoying Sibling Day, there is always the possibility of a better day tomorrow.

Wild Feelings
by David Milgrim
This lighthearted look at feelings tenderly and humorously sketches the emotional range—from awkward to unnoticed, to really, rrrreally mad, ultimately reassuring children that these are normal, natural feelings that we all have.

Animals Have Feelings Too!
by Karen Lee Stevens
Exploring emotions from A to Z.

I Love my New Toy!
by Mo Willems
When Elephant accidentally breaks Piggie's new toy, they both experience intense feelings before coming to realize how important their friendship is.

My Blue is Happy
by Jessica Young
Child-friendly text and evocative images combine in a story that invites readers to explore the infinite possibilities of emotional expression through color, discussing how people respond differently when seeing colors and how these experiences help broaden the world in wonderful new ways.

By Janan Cain
Illustrations and rhyming text portray children experiencing a range of emotions, including frustration, shyness, jealousy, and pride.

The Bad Mood and the Stick
by Lemony Snicket
Curly's bad mood travels from person to person, unexpectedly leaving opportunities for forgiveness, laughter, and love in its wake.

Happy (J152.4)
by Mies van Hout
Clear, strong lines and radiant colors show 20 different emotions a young child typically experiences, with each double-page spread devoted to one fish that illustrates a particular emotion accompanied by its name in lettering that expresses the same feeling.