Little ones experience all sorts of emotions, but may not understand why they feel the way they do. Ordered by target age, these helpful books explain to children why they feel angry, sad, happy, scared and other emotions, and how they should deal with these feelings, in a fun and gentle way. See the list below for the best books for introducing emotions.
Anthony Browne | Toddlers
Sometimes you feel happy, sometimes sad, sometimes surprised! Artist and Children's Laureate Anthony Browne brings his skill and understanding to this exploration of young children's emotions. It will reassure children and help them understand how they feel using simple words and fun pictures - and it stars a friendly little chimp!
Sarah Jennings | 3+
With tabbed pages and friendly characters, this colourful book can help little ones understand all about their emotions and realise it's OK to have them. From being happy to sad to grumpy, it offers suggestions for how children can deal with each emotion, so that they don't become overwhelmed.
Jo Witek | 3+
This gentle story features a sweet little girl who explains exactly how she feels when she experiences all sorts of emotions, including happiness, sadness, anger, shyness and more. Little ones will learn valuable new vocabulary and can use it to practise identifying and articulating their own emotions. A multi-coloured die-cut heart runs through the entire book, giving it an extra beautiful element.
Valerie Thomas | 3+
This colourful, sturdy board book is full of bright, lively images. Winnie's mischievous cat Wilbur wants to share all his emotions with little readers, whether he's surprised, worried, playful or dizzy! This cute and cuddly character will introduce little ones to emotions in an entertaining and engaging way.
Across 8 books, join the adorable Playdate Pals as they introduce young children to a variety of emotions and behaviour. Each animal buddy focuses on a particular emotion, with simple stories that break down complex feelings in a fun and accessible way. With bright, simple artwork and easy-to-follow text, children can answer the questions provided at the end of each story to achieve an even deeper understanding of themselves and their development.
Playful penguin Arthur is a worrier. Join him in these gorgeous stories as he overcomes his fears about playing in a football match, what could go wrong at his birthday party, and camping in his friend's terrifying tent! These engaging stories address common childhood worries and are perfect to share with little ones who may relate and feel reassured.
Gillian Shields | 3+
This colourful card book features four friendly children, who experience all the emotions that naturally occur in a child's daily life. From an effective way to soothe a bad mood, to explaining that everyone feels strong emotions sometimes, children will be comforted and delighted by this tender, amusing story.
Moira Butterfield | 4+
This series of four fun tales follows little children as they learn to deal with emotions they confront in their everyday lives. The stories feature stunning illustrations and four key emotions: happiness, sadness, anger and fear!
Amanda McCardie | 5+
Brother and sister Sam and Kate know the things that make them happy: cuddling Mum, story-time with Dad, playing with their dog Fuzzy Bean, swimming, dancing... all sorts! But in the story, they come to feel grumpy, shy, embarrassed, nervous, sad, jealous and more, too! This emotionally extensive book encompasses all sorts of feelings and shows how people can help one another.
Molly Potter | 6+
This bright and brilliant book provides children with straightforward, engaging ideas to help them deal with a variety of key emotions. It lets them choose a feeling that relates to them and offers child-friendly techniques for dealing with it. It also contains helpful notes for parents, covering both positive and negative emotions, and is perfect for adults and children to read together.