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Teaching Emotions: 6 Picture Books

Teaching emotions and explaining feelings to children is essential. A child cannot self regulate without recognising and starting to understand how they feel. It is also important for children to start to understand how their actions affect others. There are many ways to approach this but one of my favourite ways is to incorporate storytelling. Below is a selection of 6 great books to include in storytime to reinforce emotions.

books for teaching emotions

Books for Teaching Emotions through Stories

A child cannot self regulate without recognising and starting to understand how they feel. Click To Tweet

Bloom

This is a lovely book that frames the importance of kindness and being positive through the lens of a flower growing. Lovely illustrations really support the storytelling. I found this book really calming and a great one for a bedtime/calm down story. For children who take things very literally, this may not be appropriate.

Bloom page scan I love you so much quote

Buy Bloom Here.

Worrysaurus

Worrysaurus book cover scan link anxiety children

The worrysaurus worries about everything. This is a useful book to read with children who are anxious about something. Their worries will not be the same as the worrysaurus but the message that it is okay to worry and things can be faced is reinforced throughout. Teaching emotions and dealing with anxiety sometimes needs to be done explicitly other times it can be reinforced more subtly. The worrysaurus is great for both approaches.

Buy Worrysaurus here.

Cyril the lonely cloud

Being a rain cloud Cyril isn’t the most popular person to turn up. All he wants to see is a friendly face. Cyril feels unwanted and just wants to find a place to be accepted. This will resonate with many children that struggle to find a friendship or peer group.

cyril the lonely cloud book cover emotions

Buy Cyril The Lonely Cloud Here

Sometimes I feel

Sometimes I feel book cover emotions childrens book

This is a big hardback book with lovely art work. Feelings are explored through the use of poetic verses. Each page features an animal as a simile for a feeling. Sometimes I feel is one of the best books I have found for teaching emotional literacy.

Buy Sometimes I feel… Here

The Colour of Happy – The Perfect Book for Teaching Emotions.

The colour of happy book cover emotions teaching

This is such a brilliant book. Each page is coloured to match the emotion the boy is feeling. Each new situation presented almost poetically. There is so much value on each page. If you use zones of regulation with a bit of creativity you could link the two colour systems. Children of two + will enjoy this. Older children with SEN will not be patronised by this. It is clear on first read and each revisiting reveals more subtlety as the child’s understanding of emotions develops.

Red angry zones of regulation story book

Buy The Colour of Happy Here

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears

little mouses big book of fears images emotions children teaching

We loved the tactile elements to explore in this book. So many bits to explore it’s almost like a scrapbook. Each page is an opportunity to discuss a situation and teach emotions using the mouse’s fears rather than the child’s. I wouldn’t recommend this for bedtime reading due to mentions of monsters under the bed etc. Also, be mindful using it with very anxious children. Great for discussion and the teaching of emotions rather than “reading” as such. Each page is very busy It even has a map and I love maps so it gets my vote.

mouse emotions

Buy Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears Here


I hope you enjoyed reading about our recommended picture books for teaching emotions. What are your go to books?

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