Feelings and Emotions

Feelings and emotions can be very confusing and tricky, especially for young children.  They may find it hard to recognise what their feelings mean and don’t know how they should behave when they feel that way. Or they can bubble up all of a sudden and children can find it hard to recognise what those feelings and emotions are.  Sharing stories about feelings just might help.

by Jez Alborough

A warm, reassuring, almost wordless story with a satisfying ending. Bobo the baby chimp sees all the animals hugging their families but feels lonely himself. Finally he finds his mum – big hugs!
Age: 2+

Sometimes I Feel Sad
written and illustrated by Tom Alexander
Age range: 5+

Feeling sad is, unfortunately, a part of everyone’s life, and there’s not always an easy fix. This touching book helps explain to children that they’re not alone in feeling this way and is especially useful for children who struggle to express their feelings.

Anna Hibiscus’ Song
by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia

Anna Hibiscus feels so happy this morning she things she might go pop!  What is she going to do with all that happiness?
Age: 3+

Image result for The colour of happy / Laura Baker, Angie Rozelaar.

The colour of Happy
by Laura Baker

A beautiful exploration of feelings shown through colour as one little boy navigates a range of emotions – from happiness and excitement to hope and love, all on his way to present a gift to his mum. Blue is for the calm I feel wandering in the spring. Yellow is for happy when I spot a special thing. This book is the perfect introduction to both emotions and colours.
Age: 3+

All about Feelings
by Felicity Brooks

How are you feeling today? This fun, friendly and reassuring introduction to feelings is designed to help young children recognise, understand and name how they’re feeling and learn to talk about and manage their emotions in helpful ways.
Age: 5+

How Do You Feel?
by Anthony Browne

This book beautifully illustrates a variety of different feelings.  A straightforward way to explore the way very young children are feeling.
Age: 1+

Image result for Babbity's BIG bad mood

Babbity’s BIG Bad Mood
by M Christina Butler and Frank Endersby

Babbity rabbit is in a bad mood and his friends do their best to cheer him up. Would be a useful book to discuss feelings with a young child.
Age: 3+

The Bad-Tempered Ladybird
by Eric Carle

The bad tempered ladybird refuses to share the aphids. He meets bigger and bigger creatures, all of whom he wants to fight. He finally encounters a whale, who sends him back to the leaf with the aphids, which he now willingly shares with a friendly ladybird.
Age: 2+

Image result for Love is my favourite thing / Emma Chichester Clark.

Love Is My Favourite Thing
by Emma Chichester Clark

Plum has lots of favourite things, but love is absolutely her very favourite.  Plum loves her family and they love her, but trouble loves Plum too.  Sometimes she cand help doing naughty things.  Will her family still love her?
Age: 3+

Exploring emotions
by Paul Christelis and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Age range: 5+

This mindfulness story book for children includes simple mindfulness activities, which have been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety and improve health and mental well-being. This book shows children how to cope with different emotions, from anger and jealous, to sadness and disappointment. The children are gently guided into mindfulness exercises that encourage an exploration of emotions.

A is Amazing
by Wendy Cooling

An anthology of more than thirty poems from celebrated poets, all exploring feelings, moods and emotions.
Age: 5+

The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld

When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. Whether read in the wake of tragedy or as a primer for comforting others, this is a deeply moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes.
Age: 3+

Image result for Grumpy duck / Joyce Dunbar, Petr Horáček.

Grumpy Duck
by Joyce Dunbar

Duck discovers that her pond is dry and then no-one will play with her. A little black cloud starts to follow her round. Will she be able to shake off her bad mood?
Age 4+

Image result for When sadness comes to call

When sadness comes to call
by Eva Eland

When Sadness arrives, try not to be afraid: give it a name, listen to it and spend some time together. Maybe all it wants is to know that it’s welcome.
Age: 4+

Image result for The hippo who was happy

The Hippo Who Was Happy
by Rachel Elliot and John Bendall-Brunello

Hippo is feeling fed up, so her mum gives her some jobs to do.  During her busy day she meets new friends and, as the title suggests, comes home happy.
Age: 3+

The Tiger Who Was Angry
by Rachel Elliot and John Bendall-Brunello

Tiger takes the Jungle Race very seriously and shouts at the other animals  when they don’t train properly.
Age: 3+

Image result for The zebra who was sad

The Zebra Who Was Sad
by Rachel Elliot and John Bendall-Brunello

Zebra feels sad when his friend Giraffe moves away.  Will his other friends and a letter from Giraffe make a difference?
Age: 3+

No Matter What
by Debi Gliori

Small, a little fox, is in a bad mood and it makes him worried that his mum will stop loving him.
Age: 3+

Image result for Turtle comes out of her shell : a book about feeling shy / written by Sue Graves ; illustrated by Trevor

Turtle comes out of her shell
by Sue Graves

Turtle overcomes her shyness to take part in the school talent show. There are notes at the back to help when sharing this book with a child.
Age 4+

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My Mixed Emotions
by Elinor Greenwood

A discussion book crammed with all sorts of emotions ending with how unique you are and to believe in a positive mindset.
Age 6+

Image result for Sweep / Louise Greig

by Louise Greig

Ed’s bad mood is beautifully depicted in this autumnal story. Although at the start he gets swept away he realises that it is his choice as to how he behaves.
Age 4+

Duck and Goose: How Are You Feeling?
by Tad Hills

A look at feelings at a very simple level. The range of emotions is expressed effectively through the illustrations from hopeful and proud to loving.
Age: 2+

The Great Big Book of Feelings
by Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith

All sorts of children in lots of different circumstances respond to the question ‘How are you feeling today?’
Age: 3+

Image result for Looking for yesterday

Looking for Yesterday
by Alison Jay

A young boy starts to ponder how he can go back to yesterday his best day ever! His grandfather persuades him to always look forward and never back as there is more happiness to come.
Age 6+

Image result for Dave the lonely monster / Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie

Dave the Lonely Monster
by Anna Kemp

Dave has retired from being a monster of destruction. When a knight arrives at his cave determined to conquer him he realises that monsters have feelings too! A rhyming text perfect for sharing.
Age 3+

The big angry roar
by Jonny Lambert

Cub is angry, so he stomps and smashes and roars! But now he just feels worse! Maybe his friends can help? The perfect story for any child experiencing feelings of anger and learning what to do with them.
Age: 3+

Isle of You
by David LaRochelle

Some days are harder to get through than others. Whenever you’re sad, or lonely, or angry, there’s one place you can always go: the Isle of You. Take a moment to shake off your worries, then set sail to a land where your dreams can come true. Soar on the back of an eagle, hunt for treasure, watch dancing polar bears on roller skates – anything you can imagine is yours.
Age: 3+

Image result for Feeling angry! book

Feeling Angry!
by Brian Moses and illustrated by Mike Gordon
Age range: 5+

This picture book story explores feelings of anger in a light-hearted way using everyday situations that children might be familiar with. This book
shows different reasons why young people might become angry, illustrates scenarios of them behaving angrily, and gives advice on how to calm anger in yourself and to be able to help other people. Ideal for home or classroom, this book contains notes for parents and teachers with suggestions of ways to help children deal with feeling angry.

Image result for I feel frightened / written by Brian Moses ; illustrated by Mike Gordon.

I Feel Frightened
by Brian Moses and Mike Gordon

Looks at emotion in story format with useful notes intended for teachers and parents to use.
Age: 4+

My Big Shouting Day
by Rebecca Patterson

Bella is having a bad day – and it just makes her shout.  Only her magic Mummy can make things better.
Age: 3+

Ravi’s Roar
by Tom Percival

Most of the time Ravi can control his temper but, one day, he lets out the tiger within. Being a tiger is great fun at first – tigers can do ANYTHING they want! But who wants to play with a growling, roaring, noisy, wild tiger who won’t share or play nicely? Ravi is about to discover something very important about expressing his feelings and making amends. A clever and engaging book about temper tantrums, dealing with emotions and learning to express and understand your feelings. The perfect book for helping with bad days and noisy outbursts.
Age: 3+

Image result for How are you feeling today?

How Are You Feeling Today?
by Molly Potter and illustrated by Sarah Jennings
Age range: 0+

Children have strong feelings and they can’t always handle them very well. Perfect for sharing, How Are You Feeling Today? is packed with fun, imaginative ways to help children understand and cope with a whole range of different emotions. A great dip-in book where children can choose a feeling that relates to them and then turn to the page that provides child-friendly strategies for dealing with that feeling. Helpful parent/carer notes at the back of the book provide more ideas for parents to use with their child and other strategies to try out together and practice the all-important skill of dealing with feelings.

Where The Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

The classic picture book about the use of imagination to control anger.
Age: 4+

I’m the Happiest
by Anna Shuttlewood

All the animals want to be the best at something.  Only Raccoon is happy for them all.
Age: 3+

Image result for I'm not grumpy! / Steve Smallman,

I’m not grumpy!
by Steve Smallman

At the edge of the forest lives one grumpy mouse. He’s the grumbliest and grouchiest mouse for miles around. But one day he meets a little lost badger who desperately needs his help. This is a heartwarming tale about the happiness that comes from making friends.
Age: 3+

The Bad Mood and the Stick
by Lemony Snicket

This shows how an emotion can pass from one person to the next. A different take on discussing emotions.
Age 5+

Image result for Marvin gets mad!"

Marvin Gets Mad!
by Joseph Theobald

When Molly eats the apple that Marvin wants he gets so mad that he turns into a stamping, stomping monster.  A funny story about the importance of keeping calm and not losing your temper.
Age: 3+

Misery Moo
by Jeanne Willis

Misery Moo is a very sad cow, even though Lamb tries lots of ways to cheer her up. A story about emotions and friendship.
Age: 5+

Useful Organisations

Mental Health Foundation:
Giving support, information and help about mental health for children.

Action for Children:
Help and information to spot signs and behaviours that could point to needing more support in regards to mental health.

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