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Little Kids, Big Emotions

Did you know that reading with your kiddos supports the development of emotional intelligence? Well it does! By enhancing vocabulary, creating an openness to experience, and providing safe space for empathic imagination, books open our children to the world of emotions in pretty powerful ways. This month, the #kidlitpicks theme is Little Kids, Big Emotions and we are excited to share some great picture books that address your children’s big and budding feelings! Some books will aim directly at helping kiddos understand and express themselves (a major tantrum-busting skill) by featuring an array of emotions, illustrations, and feeling words. Other books will feature stories that give children the opportunity to imagine themselves in interesting narratives about sadness, hope, joy, fear, angry, and all the rest.

(A big thanks to Katie from @afriendlyaffair for the theme and to Mel from letstalkpicturebooks.com for compiling the list.)


Places To Be, by Mac Barnett and Renata Liwska

“All the ups and downs in life, the zigzags and u-turns, can be difficult to navigate, but with a friend at our side in all those places to be, we’ll get through.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

Feminist Baby, by Loryn Brantz

“She’s a force to be reckoned with!” — Mel from @spiky_penelope

Niko Draws a Feeling, by Bob Raczka and Simone Shin

“It is a celebration not only of the Christmas time celebration, but of the fact that we are not alone in this world, that different is beautiful, and that we are all connected in some way.” — Clarissa from @book.nerd.mommy

Tiny Tantrum, by Caroline Crowe and Ella Okstad

“We all know a little girl like her!” —  Kim from @bookbairn

Brave, by Stacy McAnulty and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

“This primer is a perfect introduction for kids and a great refresher for their grownups.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

In My Heart, by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey

“The die cut hearts are one of the many appealing features of this book.” — De from @books_and_babycinos

The Forever Garden, by Laurel Snyder and Samantha Cotterill

“A wonderful story about friendship and gardening! ” — Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

Emily’s Blue Period, by Cathleen Daly

“For families going through separation or divorce, Emily’s Blue Period is an especially compassionate and helpful book…be sure to have some art supplies ready to make your own collage afterward.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

My Brother, by Dee Huxley

“Older children will appreciate this metaphorical story that is a tender exploration of loss and grief from a sibling’s perspective.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople


A Book of Feelings, by Amanda McCardie

“What sets this book apart is that it not only focuses on different kinds of emotions but also how those emotions may affect them and how to identify and understand them in other people.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

I’m New Here, by Anne Sibley O’Brien

“I think this book is great for both welcoming children to classrooms and also providing American children with an understanding of what it feels like to be new and learn how to speak and write a new language..” — Charnaie from @hereweeread

The Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus, by Edward Hemingway

“It was a great reminder for me that there are times to be firm and strict but there are just as many times to show empathy. Both are important.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader

Everyone, by Christopher Silas Neal “A beautiful and hopeful look at understanding emotion.” — Heather from @kidlitbookbits

The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings, by Anna Llenas

The Color Monster is the perfect emotional primer for young kids. It explores the range of emotions children experience — all through amazing pop-up pages bursting with color!” — Anna from @kidlitcrafts


Today I Feel, by Madalena Moniz

Today I Feel fits in perfectly with the theme. It’s an Alphabet book of feelings.” — Mel from @kids.books.we.love


Annie’s Chair, by Deborah Miland

“In a deceptively simple way, it taps into some of the BIG preschooler emotions around sharing and space..” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

Grumpy Pants, by Claire Messer

“A great door to talk to kids about these grumpy feelings and learning how to deal with them.” — Michelle from @the.book.report

Mel Schuit

Aug 2
to bcc: me
Small correction to one of the posts (had the wrong quote):

Niko Draws a Feeling, by Bob Raczka and Simone Shin

“It is wonderful for opening discussions on feelings, friendship, diversity and, of course, abstract art..” — Clarissa from @book.nerd.mommy

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