Life is full of emotions! And there are times when some emotions can feel too complicated to explain. Even for adults, it can be hard to know what we’re feeling, or why we’re feeling the way we do. One might think that children don’t experience the same struggles because they’re young, but kids are absolutely capable of experiencing strong emotions, too.
Being able to communicate feelings is important for all people when it comes to being able to process and move through emotions. This is especially true for children, too.
Books and stories are an excellent tool for starting the conversation about emotions. They can be used to approach new feelings and experiences in a manner that kids can comprehend and remember. Through books, children can identify with characters and the trials they go through, and apply lessons from stories to their own lives. And even if a specific story isn’t immediately relatable for your child, it can still prepare them for a time when they might be faced with a similar experience in the future.
When choosing books about feelings to read with your child, it’s important to think about your child’s needs and what emotions you want to address. It’s also important to find a book that matches their age level and comprehension. Here are five books with different age ranges that can be used as great tools to get your child talking and thinking about their emotions.
Books For Kids About Emotions
Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney (Ages 2-5)
Written entirely in rhyme, this story focuses on anger and how to overcome frustration, plus how to behave when others are exhibiting the same emotion. With lots of memorable characters and fun illustrations, this is a great book for kids to relate to, and for parents to refer to afterwards.
How Do You Feel? by Lizzie Rockwell (Ages 3-5)
How Do You Feel? covers a wide range of different emotions and teaches children how to recognize these feelings in themselves and others. This book has simple, easy to read descriptions and is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival (Ages 3-6)
Centered around a young girl who experiences worry and anxiety for the first time, this book can help kids recognize the fears they might have and ideas for responding to them. This book is a part of the Bright Feelings series that deals with other similar emotions, but can also be read as a stand-alone book.
Where Happiness Begins by Eva Eland (Ages 3-7)
Through colorful illustrations and simple text, this book teaches kids about happiness and where they might find it, and that it’s okay if they’re not happy all the time. This book is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of sadness as well, and help them think about processing conflicting emotions.
The Great Big Book of Feelings by Mary Hoffman (Ages 5-8)
This book is a great starting point for introducing your child to the spectrum of feelings and emotions they can experience throughout the day. It’s filled with bright illustrations and whimsical charm, and can be the perfect tool for prompting conversations about emotions.
Plan a Family Visit to the Library
A great place to find these books, and others like them, is the local library! At Klamath Family Head Start, we are fortunate to be near the public libraries at all our sites. A quick check-in with the librarian should help you find books related to a specific emotion or situation your child is going through, like moving homes, welcoming a sibling, or making new friends at school — and so much more.
Below are the library addresses near our Head Start locations:
Merrill — 365 West Front Street, Merrill, OR 97633
Lakeview — 26 South G St, Lakeview OR 97630
Bonanza — 31703 Hwy 70, Bonanza, OR 97623
Klamath — 126 South Third Street, Klamath Falls, OR 97601