Books That Teach Social-Emotional Skills

By Jen Lindbeck

As a former preschool teacher, I found that one of the best ways to cement a social emotional lesson is by reading an engaging story, colorfully illustrated. Here are a few tried and true stories that kids seem to love:

1. The Hurt by Teddi Doleski
Description: A boy is called a name and the hurt grows and grows until there is hardly room for anything else.

2. The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
Description: One of the foundational skills in social emotional development is simply being able to name your feelings. This is a straightforward book with fun illustrations that helps kids name the spread of emotions including that deep desire to just eat pizza.

3. Albert the Bear by Nick ButterworthDescription: Sometimes reading someone else’s emotions is tricky! This is a book about reading emotions and friendship with a laugh out loud ending.

4. The Disappointment Dragon: Learning to Cope with Disappointment (for All Children and Dragon Tamers, Including Those with Asperger Syndrome) by K.I. Al-Ghani
Description: This book is long, so when I read it to my students we read a little bit each day over a week. I forgot to read it one day and one of the girls in my class reminded me, “What about the disappointed dragon?” Disappointment is an emotion difficult for even adults to process, we cannot let the disappointment dragon rule us.

5. When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
Description: When Sophie gets angry she goes outside and the trees, the blue sky, the warm sun help calm her turbulent emotions.

6. Make your own book of emotions!
Description: Take pictures of your child/children demonstrating various emotions. The book can be compiled in to a binder or even displayed on the computer in eBook fashion. Kids love to look at themselves and talk about the different emotions they are seeing.


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