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"Waaahh!" 6 Sweet Books That Teach Kids About Feelings

Grandfather reading book to happy grandson

For little ones, emotions can feel HUGE...and learning how to recognize and deal with those feelings can be pretty hard. Luckily, there are some great books out there that can help you help your child along the emotional learning journey. Take a look at some of our favorites below!

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1. Big Al by Andrew Clements and Yoshi

Big Al just might be the friendliest fish in the sea. But whenever the fish get a gander of his big, scary appearance, they steer clear. He tries everything from disguising himself with seaweed to acting silly, but something always goes wrong and Big Al ends up lonely and sad once again. That is, until the day his size and teeth save all the fish from a fisherman's net, and they realize his big heart is downright beautiful.

Learning lead: How might you feel if you wanted to be friends with someone and they didn't want to be friends with you?

Buy it here.

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2. Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda

Silly, scared, glad, mad: Monsters have all kinds of different feelings, just like you. With this charming, brightly-colored, die-cut book, kids get to try on funny monster masks as they learn about a range of common moods.

Learning lead: Blue Monster says losing his big balloon makes him feel sad. What makes you sad? What might make you feel better?

Buy it here.

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3. Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban and Henry Cole

When it comes to being mad, Hare is a star hopper, Bear is a pro stomper, Bobcat is a master screamer, and Hedgehog is an expert fall-on-the-ground-and-roll-around-er. Angry Mouse? When he tries it those ways, he just can't get it right...and that makes him madder. Then he finds his own way to be mad (still and quiet), and to let his anger go (deep breath), which just might be the best way of all.

Learning lead: How do other people look when they're mad? What do you do when you're feeling mad?

Buy it here.

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4. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

A colorful, giggle-inducing classic about a ladybug who wakes up on the wrong side of the leaf. This bad-tempered bug doesn't want to say "please" or "thank you," and she thinks she can bully everyone around her to get she wants. As she challenges bigger and bigger opponents, she begins to learn the benefits of friendship, kindness, and good manners.

Learning lead: When was the last time you felt grumpy? How do you feel when you share something special with someone else?

Buy it here.

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5. How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers

From scowling oranges and a cheerful red tomato to a wistful poblano and tearful little onion, expressive produce comes alive thanks to black-eyed pea eyes and the occasional carved mouth. These real fruits and veggies share their "natural" emotions (e.g., amused, frustrated, surprised, jealous) through facial expressions and simple rhyming text.

Learning lead: What makes you feel as silly as Kiwi? When you look at Orange's face, how do you think he's feeling?

Buy it here. You can also find the Spanish version here.

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6. Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods that Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell

Zanily sweet verse meets whimsical watercolor illustration as a red-haired girl sashays through 13 different moods (silly, grumpy, mean, excited, confused, etc.) on various days. We're along for the ride as our heroine learns how to recognize, navigate, and even celebrate her ever-changing emotions. Bonus: a mood wheel on the last page allows young readers to play around with the little girl's expression.

Learning lead: Have you ever felt one way in the morning and then different later in the day? Why did things change?

Buy it here.

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