These books about feelings are perfect to read during an All About Me theme for preschool and kindergarten!
How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
We love every book we’re read in the How Do Dinosaurs series! It’s great fun to see giant dinosaurs misbehaving in their bedrooms (slamming the door, throwing toys, kicking chairs), but it’s also comforting to see them calm down, pick up their messes, and apologize.
Mouse Was Mad, by Linda Urban
Which animal knows the best way to be angry? Bear stomps his feet, Rabbit is hopping mad, and Bobcat screams. What will Mouse do? We love the adorable illustrations and cute story.
Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard
This book is perfect to read when your preschooler wakes up cranky! It’s about a little bird who’s so grumpy nothing seems right. Thankfully his animal friends help him come out of his bad mood with some exercise and companionship. Funny!
The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain
What I like about this book is all the emotions it explores in a way that kids will understand. I could do without some of the pages – like the one suggesting kids are scared of the dark and thunderstorms. I also felt the book’s illustrations and text were too loud and harsh. The font was so wacky it was hard to read. Not a favorite.
My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss
Many a classroom teacher has used this book to springboard a discussion on emotions, but we just couldn’t get into it. The pictures are not by Seuss himself, and while I like the idea of comparing feelings to colors, the text itself didn’t engage my preschooler. Potentially troubling is the fact that the colors black and brown both have negative connotations. But it’s worth checking out to see if it will work for you.
The Grumpy Morning, by Pamela Duncan Edwards
This book was a little boring for me, but it could be a hit among younger preschoolers. They’ll appreciate the grumpy farm animals who declare in rhyme that they’re hungry and are disgruntled that their food isn’t ready yet. Finally all the animals wake the sleepy farmer, and each animal is cared for.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, by Mo Willems
I chose this book because the pictures are terrific examples of all the emotions kids can have. (With all his whining, complaining, and attempts at convincing, Pigeon is a little too familiar!)
Talk and Work it Out, by Cheri J. Meiners
If I ever go back to teaching first graders, I’ll read Meiners’ books in the first days of school to begin discussions on conflict resolution. Not only are her books kid-friendly (my kids love them), they’re also extremely practical. I love the back of the book with extension activities for the classroom!
The Pout-Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen
This has to be one of my favorites on the list because the book is just so fun to read. All the other ocean creatures want to know why the Pout Pout fish is so glum. But he just can’t help it! “I”m a pout pout fish with a pout pout face, and I spread my dreary wearies all over the place. Glub… glub… glub.” This continues until the silver fish shows up and turns his frown upside down. It turns out that the Pout-Pout fish is actually a Kiss-Kiss fish!
How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann
Have you ever seen an oddly shaped fruit or vegetable and seen a funny face? The creators of this book have created many different emotions with the help of a few simple tools and some real fruits and vegetables. This is a fabulous book for identifying emotions in pictures. It’s so well loved at our house that we’ve been through two copies.
Angry Hippo, Happy Duck, by Sandra Boyton
This silly book about emotions is so much fun to read! Even kids who are no longer interested board books will like this Boynton favorite.
Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy, by Scott Menchin
My Five (a kindergartner) loved this book because he could read it himself, and my Three enjoyed listening. When a little girl is sad, she asks different people and animals what makes them happy. At the end of the book she cheers up and names all the things that make her happy – like tickling her baby brother, slurping spaghetti, and licking sprinkles off ice cream. It’s a treasure of a book that preschoolers can relate to.
I Feel Orange Today, by Patricia Godwin
This book compares emotions to colors in sort of an abstract way. “Black is a night, stretching far away with no end. When I think of black thunderclouds blowing like witches’ hair, I feel small but happy because they are so beautiful.”
We didn’t really connect with it (in fact my Three refused it after the first reading), but your child might like it.
Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama is not in the mood to go shopping, and the long lines, trying on of clothes, and busyness of the store lead to a full meltdown and tantrum. This is definitely a book that preschoolers (and their parents) will relate to! Personally, I felt that Llama Llama’s mother is too soft in how she deals with the tantrum, but I appreciate that she and Llama Llama work together to clean up the mess and are able to finish the shopping together.
Cool Down and Work through Anger, by Cheri J. Meiners
This book is very helpful for teaching children how to deal with anger. I appreciate how the book talks about taking time to think about the incident, talking to the person about the problem, apologizing, and forgiving.
Wemberley Worried, by Kevin Henkes
Poor little Wemberly worries about everything. It isn’t until she meets a new friend at school that she learns that things are going to be okay. Children will enjoy this relatable story, but I’d like it if it would give kids tools for banishing worry.
Sam’s Pet Temper, by Sangeeta Bhadra
I personally thought this book about learning to control your temper was brilliant. When Sam becomes angry at the playground, something jumps among the kids. It’s a scarily cute little monster called a Temper, and it becomes Sam’s pet. At first, the Temper is fun, until it gets out of control. Sam finally learns to control his Temper by breathing slowly and deeply.
While I read this to my preschooler, it might best be for kindergartners and up. The concept may be a bit confusing for younger children.
When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry, by Molly Bang
This is a classic book about handling emotions, but it wasn’t a favorite at our house. Sophie gets very angry when her sister takes a toy from her – so angry that she kicks, screams, and feels she is going to explode. Finally Sophie leaves the house and runs until she can’t run anymore. Later she is calm and returns home, where the family forgives her and welcomes her back.
I think the book could be an excellent springboard for talking about how it feels to be angry and what are appropriate ways to handle it. Obviously, running away is a very bad idea. But removing yourself from the situation and learning to be calm in a different setting can be helpful bits of advice.
Lots of Feelings, by Shelley Rotner
This is a very simple book with a large photograph on each page. I had my three-year-old make each face himself. He loved it! While reading this book you can also talk about circumstances in which your child would feel each emotion.
Did you know?
All About Me Theme for Preschool
These easy-to-follow, low-prep circle time lessons are perfect for kids ages 3-5! Use them in your preschool classroom or at home … modifications for preschool at home are included. With engaging lessons, pre-reading skill building, read alouds, and original songs and rhymes, everything you need is at your fingertips!
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I’m so excited to have discovered your blog! I too visit the library weekly! I always have the maximum of 50 books checked out for my 2.5 year old but it’s been so hard to find good books. I’m going to pour over your lists. I also appreciate your honest feedback and sensitivity to subtle issues (e.g., portraying brown/black things or colors as bad).
Yay – I’m so happy that you find the book lists helpful, Deepa! They’re so fun to put together. 🙂
Thank you SO VERY MUCH for all the effort you put into your website.
I use it as a one stop shop on getting book suggestions for my toddler son, ways in which I could supplement my son’s education and just overall ideas on how I can raise my son better!
You are a God send and thank you once again!
You’re very welcome! I’m glad these work for you!
I really like your honest input and your clear descriptions about WHY you particularly like or dislike a book. Take, for example, “The Way I Feel.” It LOOKS like a quality book that I would enjoy reading. But your input about the wacky font and SUGGESTING that kids are scared of the dark and thunderstorms is so helpful. I don’t like books that make suggestions about negative things, just in case those kids aren’t already scared of them. And nobody has time to try to decipher wacky fonts!
Thank you so much for your feedback, Lisa! I’m so glad you find these book lists helpful. I don’t make as many as I’d like to because they are quite time consuming, so it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoy them. 🙂