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Obviously, as a school counselor, we spend a lot of time talking about feelings. There are one million gazillion trillion books out their for kiddos that have to do with emotions, and a lot of them are pretty great. If I had to narrow it down to my absolute favorites, the ones I would buy first if I had to start my collection from scratch, these are the ones I would get. To avoid the longest blog post in the entire world, I’m breaking this down even more specifically to posts on “all the feels” (multiple feelings covered), anger, shyness and worry, and emotional regulation. These are the must-haves, the best books about feelings.
This is an oldie but a goodie that I’m guessing most of you already own. Fun, quirky illustrations and short poems about each feeling. I like this book because 1) it covers the best range of emotions, 2) it quickly shows both how the feeling feels and also one example of why someone might have it, and 3) it works well with a variety of ages.
Super simple and short but really great for preK/K. Each spread shows a different emotion and shows (but doesn’t tell) why the bear feels that way, making it a great discussion starter book.
This book has great examples of different feelings, and the illustrations are wonderful for discussing body language and facial expressions. My 3 year old and 5 year old both loved this one. The examples are more community-specific vs. school, but I imagine being able follow it up with students providing school examples for each emotion.
This book is loooooong (48 pages), it’s really something you would read in bits and pieces. That said, the pairing of foods as feelings is cute, the worry section is great, and it includes some coping skills for each emotion.
This is the first picture book about multiple feelings I ever found that felt like it was written with upper elementary in mind. It reads a bit like a graphic novel and shows a two characters’ journey through multiple feelings. It’s fun and silly while still providing great examples of feelings, having more than one feeling at a time, and emotional acceptance. Got some kiddos that might not instantly be interested in a book about feelings? Try this one.
This book has a pop-up version which even with my “big kids” resulted in instant engagement. While this could certainly work with younger grades, it can seem a little metaphorical. It focuses more on the experience of emotions vs. definitions or examples of them. It also shows the importance of being able to “sort” out your feelings when they’re “jumbled up”. I used this one with a few small groups recently and made some companion activities to go with it.
The newest book I’ve discovered (disclosure, it was sent to me) is Marcy’s Having All the Feels by Allison Edwards. It’s less about explaining the different emotions and more about the importance of accepting them. It briefly discusses the why behind our uncomfortable emotions and teaches that we have to have all of our feelings, not just the happy ones. The examples all felt super relatable which was another perk to me. I see this being used whole class in 1st/2nd and in small groups K/3rd.
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