If you have preschoolers in your life, you most likely have seen them trying to navigate their feelings and emotions. We see the tears and meltdowns when they have trouble identifying and expressing how they feel. Reading books about emotions for preschool opens the door to some great conversations about those big feelings and emotions. These preschool books are must-adds to the bookshelf.
We often interchange feelings and emotions especially when we are explaining them to children. But, they are different. Feelings are reactions to emotions.
“Feelings are mental experiences of body states, which arise as the brain interprets emotions” – Antonio Damasio, Neuroscientist
Books About Emotions and Feelings
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General Books About Feelings and Emotions
Each page conveys one labeled feeling. The illustrations do an amazing job of conveying the feeling and use a diverse group of children to showcase each emotion. The book opens up the conversation to talk about each feeling and how to handle each of them. Check out I Feel! by Juana Medina.
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr is colorful and reassuring that we all have feelings and are validated to do so.
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek is uniquely illustrated with die-cut pages showcasing all the feelings that are deep in our heart from happy to sad.
Many times colors are associated with feelings such as yellow for happy and blue for sadness. The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions by Anna Llenas helps a jumbled monster sort out his feelings and understand each one better. This book is also as available in a pop-up version which is pretty cool.
It is okay for boys to express their feelings is the message loud and clear in Tough Guys Have Feelings Too by Keith Negley.
Ellie and Her Emotional Dragons by Joseph Goodrich introduces us to Ellie who has four dragons that help her process the feelings of happy, sad, scared, and mad. Each one comes from her closet when they are needed assuring her it is ok to feel how she feels and helping her to process those feelings.
Each feeling is visually brought to life in The Way I Feel by Janan Cain. Students will easily be able to identify with the little one illustrating each feeling.
How Are You Peeling? Foods With Moods by Saxton Freymann is a fun book where the food is the highlight showcasing all the moods.
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis shows us that not only do we all have different moods but that they can change throughout the day.
Today I Feel: An Alphabet of Feelings by Madalena Moniz takes us through 26 different feelings from adored to yucky.
Sometimes we have more than one feeling at the same time. Sometimes they are conflicting feelings. I’m Happy-Sad Today by Lory Britain explores these mixed up feelings showing us that we can be both scared and brave at the same time. Or, we can be friendly and shy.
Sweep by Louise Greig does an interesting job of comparing our emotions to sweeping up a pile of leaves. When we are feeling upset we sweep everything up in that emotion and struggle to see anything else. But, then a new breeze blows in and can change our perspective.
Processing our emotions is important. Fox and Bearby Rebecca Moody and Lauren Reese is a sweet and reassuring story about how we have multiple feelings and experiences during the day. Fox learns that we need to talk about them all so that the negative ones don’t continue to grow and take over the happy ones.
ABC of Feelings by Bonnie Lui introduces us to 26 feelings we can experience with beautiful illustrations to bring each to life for us.
Little Cat Hide-and-Seek Emotions: A Playful Primer to Learn about Your Feelings by Audrey Bouquet invites us to look at facial cues to read how someone or in this case something is feeling. An interactive way to work on identifying feelings based on body cues.
Kaia’s Big Felines by Aura Lewis uses all different kinds of cats to showcase different feelings.
Books About Being Happy/Joyful/Confident
Layla’s Happiness by Maria Hadessa Ekere Tallie will warm you and send sensations of happiness through your veins as you see the simple things in life that make 7-year-old Layla happy.
Figuring out who you are and being proud of who you are creates happiness. And, that is what Eraser does in Eraser by Anna King. Eraser doesn’t feel useful and compares herself to others until she discovers she is pretty special and can be happy being who she is.
Rosie’s Glasses by Dave Whamond is a wordless book that shows us that looking at a situation from a different perspective can change how we are feeling about the situation. a
Books About Bein Mad/Cranky/Angry for Preschool
Frustrated with not making the most magnificent thing, the little girl blows and walks away to cool off. When she returns, she has a fresh perspective and all the pieces fall into place. She is able to create that magnificent thing in The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.
Little Brown by Marla Frazee is the story of a shelter dog who is cranky because nobody wants to spend time with him. But, maybe no one is playing with him because he acts cranky.
Sometimes our friends want to cheer us up, but there are days we just need to be grumpy in Grumpy Monkeyby Suzanne Lang.
Preschoolers love to process new ideas or feelings with a familiar character so Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney is a good pick.
When Sophie Gets Angry…Really, Really Angryby Molly Bang shows us how to process that tough emotion of anger.
Sad/Loneliness Books for Preschool
I’m Sadby Michael Ian Black is the story of a flamingo, a rock (that looks like a potato), and a girl who work together to come up with ideas on how to turn sadness around. Other books in this series include I’m Bored and I’m Worried.
When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland is a great book to share with children who often feel sad. Kids are encouraged to identify sadness by giving it a name and accept that it is a part of life. Most importantly, children learn how to live with sadness. It’s a powerful book.
There is also now a companion book about happiness by the same author, Where Happiness Begins.
Friendships come in many forms and when you feel you don’t have a friend due to shyness; it can be lonely. Trevor by Jim Averbeck is the story of a canary who makes friends with a lemon.
Fear/Scared/Anxious/Frustrated Books for Preschoolers
Nothing is Scary With Harry: Blankies are Forever! by Katie McElligot is the story of a little girl who uses a comfort object to help her through lots of “scary” life situations.
We are all scared of something. Mouse might not be scared on big furry animals in the woods in The Mouse Who Wasn’t Scared by Petr Horacek. But, Mouse is scared of something.
Captain Starfish by Davina Bell is the story of a young child who wakes up with that “feeling” when it’s the day to perform in a school play. His understanding family knows just how to support him.
Bye Bye Pesky Fly by Lysa Mullady is the story of Pig who just wants to be happy, but a pesky fly just frustrates him. He thinks of all sorts of ways to get rid of the fly and then realizes that if he just acts nicely for the fly to leave him alone, he will.
Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson is another one of those familiar characters to help children through those scary times.
Lottie & Walter by Anna Walker is the story of a little girl who fears there are sharks in the swimming pool. But, she summons her courage to face the fear.
Ruby Find a Worryby Tom Percival shows us the best things we can do with a worry is to talk about it.
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More Preschool Book Lists
If you found this emotion/feeling book list helpful, you’ll want to check out these book lists too.