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These storybooks help little kids deal with their big emotions

Kidsburgh Staff
December11/ 2018

December is a month when emotions run high. So much excitement, sugar and crowds can be overwhelming for little kids. It’s all fun and games until the last gingerbread man loses a leg. Cue the tears, pouts and stamping feet.

The Children’s Services staff at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh can help. Their “Here to Help” booklists for kids is an excellent resource on a variety of subjects.

This collection of storybooks explores feelings in children to help them identify their emotions and consider the right way to respond to them.

Reading about other kids – and animal characters – experiencing the same kinds of situations and feelings helps kids to recognize and understand what they are going through. The books are written with good humor and entertaining illustrations, so the lessons are fun.


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”: By Judith Viorst. This crazy fun story recounts the events of a day when everything goes wrong for Alexander.

Goldie is Mad”: By Margie Palatini. A little girl is very upset when her baby brother drools on her doll, but during a time-out, she thinks of some of the things she likes about her brother.


How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods”: By Saxton Freymann. Brief text and silly photographs of carvings made from vegetables introduce the world of emotions by presenting leading questions such as “Are you feeling angry?”

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?”: By Jane Yolen. Illustrations and rhyming text explore some of the things that dinosaurs might do when they are angry–and how they should control their tempers.


I Love My New Toy!”: By Mo Willems. When Elephant accidentally breaks Piggie’s new toy, they both experience intense feelings before coming to realize how important their friendship is.

“I’m Not Scared!”: By Jonathan Allen. When Baby Owl takes his stuffed Owly out for a walk in the moonlit woods, he insists that he is not afraid of the other animals that keep popping up and making them jump.


The I’m Not Scared Book”: By Todd Parr. Relates the things that can frighten children and how these fears may be overcome.

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings”: By Jo Witek. A young girl explores what different emotions feel like, such as happiness which makes her want to twirl, or sadness which feels as heavy as an elephant.


It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon”: By Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Illustrations and simple text suggest ways see the positive side of difficulties, from losing one’s balloon to being left with a new babysitter.

I Used to Be Afraid”: By Laura Vaccaro Seeger. This novelty picture book explores the many forms fear can take and the importance of overcoming it.


Jack’s Worry”By Sam Zuppardi. Jack loves playing the trumpet and for weeks he’s been looking forward to taking part in his first concert. But on the morning of the big day, Jack finds that he has a Worry. And his Worry starts to grow. Suddenly, when it’s almost time to leave for the concert, Jack finds it’s all too much…

Llama Llama Mad at Mama”: By Anna Dewdney. A young llama wants to play but must go shopping with his mother instead, and so he gets angry and makes a mess at the store.


My Cold Plum, Lemon Pie, Bluesy Mood”: By Tameka Fryer Brown. Jamie describes his mood throughout the day, using colors and rhythmic text, as he changes from an “easy green mood” while drawing a picture to a “brooding black mood” when he is teased.

The Snurtch”: By Sean Ferrell. Ruthie has a problem at school. It is the Snurtch. The Snurtch is a scribbly, grabby, rude monster who follows Ruthie around and gets her into all sorts of trouble.


My Many Colored Days”By Dr. Seuss. This rhyming story describes each day in terms of a particular color which in turn is associated with specific emotions.

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses”: By James Dean. Pete the cat wakes up feeling grumpy – nothing seems to be going his way. But with the help of some magic sunglasses, Pete learns that a good mood has been inside him all along.


When Sophie’s Feelings are Really, Really Hurt”: By Molly Bang. Sophie is hurt when the other children laugh at her painting of her favorite tree. But when she explains her painting everybody understands what she was trying to do.

When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry”By Molly Bang. A young girl is upset and doesn’t know how to manage her anger but takes the time to cool off and regain her composure.


Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day”: By Jamie Lee Curtis. A child’s emotions range from silliness to anger to excitement, coloring and changing each day.

Kidsburgh Staff

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