by Todd Parr
Bold, kid-friendly illustrations portray children expressing all different moods, from “I feel very mad” to “I feel like wearing funny underwear.” With candor and special attention to the changing emotions of a child, the book highlights familiar feelings. Kids and adults alike will appreciate.
by Janan Cain
This full color book is filled with vivid, expressive illustrations that help children ages 2 to 8 describe their emotions and understand that feelings are a normal part of life.
by Diane Alber
A Little SPOT of Feelings is a story about a little Scribble SPOT that is an Emotion Detective. He teaches you all about different emotions and facial expressions so you know how to NAME your FEELINGS. He also shows specific examples of children describing how they are feeling. Targeted to young children, this book will inspire kids to discuss and NAME their multitude of feelings in a kid-friendly way.
by Anna Llenas
One day, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through color. As this monster learns to sort and define his mixed up emotions, he gains self-awareness and peace as a result.
by Eva Eland
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are–an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.
Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves.
by Allison Edwards
The main character personifies her worry as an intruding monster setting up camp in her mind. Worry’s voice drowns out her own. Worry tells her she can’t do things, that people won’t like her, and that she shouldn’t even try. This story gives a glimpse into the ways worry whispers to young minds, and offers a powerful tool all children can use to silence those fears.
by Agnes Green
A cute story that explains that angry feelings come and go and that doing bad things doesn’t make you bad. A story is a good way to help children first recognize feelings.
by Karen Kaufman Orloff
Come along and follow a year in the life of a young boy and girl as they discover their many different and ever-changing emotions, including joy, fear, anger, jealousy, excitement, pride, disappointment, loneliness, and contentment. As children read about “angels in the snow days” as well as “need my mommy now days,” they’ll begin to understand how to cope with both positive and negative feelings.
by Alison Hughes
What can we do when that cold little voice inside our own head tells us that we aren’t good enough or smart enough to matter? Sometimes all it takes is a bit of self-acceptance and love to make that cold little voice warm right up so that we can become our own best friend.
by Liz Haske
One night just before the lights went out, Worry snuck into Maya’s mind. Worry grew bigger and bigger until there was no space left for anything else. Just darkness and fear. Join Maya as she finds Courage, through the form of a calming breath, and learns how to break free from Worry’s hold.
by Tom Percival
Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first it’s not such a big worry, and that’s all right, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again?
by Steve Metzger
The Way I Act follows the pattern established by The Way I Feel, introducing a wide variety of character traits. It shows scenarios that kids can identify with and cites even more examples that define words such as curious, responsible, persistent and capable.
by Gabi Garcia
This engaging and interactive book guides children through the practice of naming their feelings and the sensations that accompany them. Engages children in easy, kid-friendly mindfulness activities.
Helps kids build on their capacity to be mindful, self-regulate, and develop emotional resilience.
by Julia Cook
RJ s way of doing things isn t working out for him, especially in math class. His teacher is upset because so many of his assignments are missing or incomplete. RJ blames Norma the booger picker and Rodney the alphabet burper for distracting him during class. Follow RJ as he learns he can save himself a lot of grief if he stays on task and does things the right way!
by Julia Cook
All of Louis thoughts are very important to him. In fact, his thoughts are so important to him that when he has something to say, his words erupt and interrupt others. My Mouth Is A Volcano takes an empathetic approach to the habit of interrupting and teaches children a witty technique to capture their rambunctious thoughts and words for expression at an appropriate time.
by Laurie Wright
Your children will incorporate the mindful mantra I Can Handle It almost immediately after reading this book!
Positive self-talk is incredibly important for improving and maintaining mental health and the mindful mantra books are a way to plant that positivity right into a child’s head!
by Matthew Burgess
Have you ever become a curmudgeon that just won’t budge? Matthew Burgess’s playful depiction of bad moods and sibling rivalry is matched perfectly by Fiona Woodcock’s unique childlike art style.
by Lemony Snicket
Once there was a bad mood and a stick.
The stick appeared when a tree dropped it.
Where did the bad mood come from?
Who picked up the stick?
And where is the bad mood off to now?
You never know what is going to happen.
by Suzanne Lang
Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it–how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?
by Sean Ferrell
Some days are Snurtch days. Ruthie is having one of those. There is something scribbly, scrunchy, grabby, burpy, and rude. It is the Snurtch.
This clever picture book takes a discerning look at the challenges of behaving and controlling your emotions—especially when your own personal monster keeps getting in the way.
by Diane Alber
It can be really hard to handle BIG Emotions, especially ANGER! Kids experience frustrating situations every day, whether it’s someone taking their toy or they feel like they can’t do something. This story shows them that instead of yelling or stomping their feet, they can practice some fun ways to help them stay CALM.
by Karen Beaumont
High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves–inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.
At once silly and serious, Karen Beaumont’s joyous rhyming text and David Catrow’s wild illustrations unite in a book that is sassy, soulful–and straight from the heart.
by Grace Byers
This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.
by Matthew A. Cherry
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy. Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.
by Jacqueline Woodson
There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
by Karamo Brown
In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other. This story captures the magic of building strong childhood memories. The Browns and Syed celebrate the special bond between parent and child with a meaningful message of kindness and inclusion.
by Lupita Njong
Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.
In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.
by Julius Lester
In this acclaimed book, the author shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special and introduces race as just one of many chapters in a person’s story. Lester’s poignant picture book helps children learn, grow, discuss, and begin to create a future that resolves differences.
Julius Lester said: “I write because our lives are stories. If enough of these stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details.”
I am a story. So are you. So is everyone.
by Dev Petty
Frog wants to be anything but a slimy, wet frog. A cat, perhaps. Or a rabbit. An owl? But when a hungry wolf arrives—a wolf who HATES eating frogs—our hero decides that being himself isn’t so bad after all.
by Paige Britt
Presented as a thoughtful exchange between two characters – who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions – this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.
by Susan Verde
A hopeful meditation on all the great (and challenging) parts of being human, I Am Human shows that it’s okay to make mistakes while also emphasizing the power of good choices by offering a kind word or smile or by saying “I’m sorry.” At its heart, this picture book is a celebration of empathy and compassion that lifts up the flawed fullness of humanity and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family—millions strong.
by Eric Drachman
Frank wasn’t satisfied doing ordinary frog things. He wanted to fly, but he was a frog and frogs can’t fly. Follow along as Frank jumps and runs and leaps and dives until he finally finds his place in the pond.
by Jory John
A funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for young readers, as well as anyone navigating their current world, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.
by Jory John
Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed.
But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten. As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect. So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change…This story reminds us of the importance of balance, self-care, and accepting those who we love (even if they are sometimes a bit rotten).
by George Santat
This poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear? This story reminds readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.
by Trudy Ludwig
Nobody ever seems to notice Brian or think to include him . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
by Bruce Swanson
Young Gray Wolf sets out on a journey of self discovery when his uncle, the clan shaman, tells him that his future success depends on completing an important task—finding a very important person and getting to know him well.
by Celina Kalluk
This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.
Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.
by Margot Landahl and Celestine Alec
Eagle perches himself in a grove of cedar trees high above a school playground. He explores the characteristics of 6 different Pacific Northwest animals and connects them with strengths we grow in ourselves.
by Danielle Daniel
Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can also act as animal guides for young children seeking to understand themselves and others.
by Kathryn Otoshi
Every day round Zero watches the other numbers line up to count “Those numbers have value,” she thinks. How could a number who’s worth nothing become something? Children are introduced to accepting different body types, developing social skills and character, and learning what it means to find value in yourself and in others.
by R.J. Palacio
We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for educators to talk about empathy and kindness with children.
by Trudy Ludwig
Maisie thinks Kayla is perfect. But is Kayla happy? The more Maisie gets to know Kayla, the more she begins to question whether being perfect is really so wonderful. Trudy Ludwig explores the relentless and destructive drive for perfection, and the freedom that comes from accepting one’s self.
by Ibtihaj Muhammad
With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
by Calida Garcia Rawles
Same Difference addresses the sensitive and sometime divisive issues of beauty and identity. It has a lyrical, upbeat air that begs to be read aloud and offers an engaging rhyme pattern for young children. Vivid illustrations capture the spirit and innocence of Lida and Lisa, two first cousins who find themselves at odds with each other over their physical differences. With the help of their wise grandmother, the girls soon realize that their bond is deeper than what they see and our differences are what make us beautiful.
by Minh Lê
When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens.
by Trudy Ludwig
Monica never expected to be bullied by her best friend-but that’s exactly what happens when Katie starts name-calling, excluding, and talking about Monica behind her back. With help from a supportive adult, Monica learns to cope and thrive, by facing her fears and reclaiming her power.
by Trudy Ludwig
After Katie gets caught teasing Monica, she’s told to meet with the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong. Told from the unusual point of view of the bullier rather than the bullied, Confessions of a Former Bully provides kids with real life tools they can use to identify and stop relational aggression.
by Trudy Ludwig
Jake’s bragging is really starting to get to Tyler. With the help of his uncle, Tyler begins to understand that Jake’s bragging has nothing to do with Tyler’s own abilities and that puffing yourself up leaves little room for friends.
by Trudy Ludwig
Maya’s friend Bailey loves to talk about everything and everyone. At first, Maya thinks Bailey is funny. But when Bailey’s talk leads to harmful rumors and hurt feelings, Maya begins to think twice about their friendship
by Trudy Ludwig
A rare look at emotional bullying among boys. D.J.’s friend Vince has a habit of teasing D.J. and then saying, Just kidding!” as if it will make everything okay. It doesn’t, but D.J. is afraid that if he protests, his friends will think he can’t take a joke. With help, D.J. progresses from feeling helpless to taking positive action, undermining the power of two seemingly harmless words.
by Peggy Moss
At this school, there are children who push and tease and bully. Sometimes they hurt other kids by just ignoring them.
The girl in this story sees it happening, but she would never do these mean things herself. Then one day something happens that shows her that being a silent bystander isn’t enough. Will she take some steps on her own to help another kid?
by Kathryn Otoshi
Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count.
by Kathryn Otoshi
Two is best friends with One. Until Three jumps in between them . . . Suddenly One only wants to play with Three. Two feels left out. But what can she do? Two is a powerful story of friendship, loss, letting go, and self-discovery.
by Trudy Ludwig
Jack’s friend Charlie seems to know how to get away with just about anything. Adults always back down when you say you’re sorry. But does an apology count if you don’t really mean it? Jack learns that the path to forgiveness isn’t always the easiest. Includes afterword by apology-expert Dr. Aaron Lazare, M.D., note from author, and discussion questions.
by Peter Reynolds
he world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something! In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices.
by Steve Seskin
For anyone who’s ever been bullied-or been a bully themselves-it’s time to change your tune. This is not a book for whiners, but a new language that will give you the words you need to take charge and stop the cycle of teasing.
by Jory John and Pete Oswald
Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool. And then there’s the uncool has-bean . . . Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd—until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done. Jory John and Pete Oswald craft another incredible picture book, reminding us that it’s cooler to be kind.
by Aaron Reynolds
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky. And then another bird moves in….
by Aaron Reynolds
Nerdy Birdy loves video games, but Vulture finds them BORING. Vulture loves snacking on dead things, but Nerdy Birdy finds that GROSS. Luckily, you don’t have to agree on everything to still be friends. When Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetster and makes new friendships, it is not long before he realizes the importance of real friendship.
by Doreen Rappaport
This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life.
by Peter Holwitz
Living in a world filled with scribbles and squiggly lines, the residence fall into a state of chaos when a stick-straight newcomer arrives and builds a perfectly square house in their community, yet the intriguing nature of one young boy helps to ease their fears after he meets the new neighbor and reveals to them all a very special secret!
by Christine Baldacchino
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up center. The children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls.
by Michael Hall
A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as “red” suffers an identity crisis. This story is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way.
by Michael Genhart
When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn’t have a real family, he discovers that his friend’s parents―a mom and a dad―and his two dads are actually very much alike.
Dr. Michael Genhart’s debut story is the perfect resource to gently discuss discrimination with kids.
by J.J. Austrian
When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux?
The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because worm loves worm.
You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm…and a worm.
by Jazz Jennings
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere
This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions.
by Daniel Haack
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince didn’t quite find what he was looking for in the princesses they met. It wasn’t until he met a knight when fighting a dragon that he found what he was looking for all along.
by Robb Pearlman
Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow.
by Dr. Seuss
The story of the Sneetches is a great story for young and old demonstrating that regardless of our differences, we have more in common than not.
Link to video relating to theme of materialism that may come out of class discussion after reading “The Sneetches”. Other themes could be discrimination, labels, racism, inner wealth, and consumerism.
by Shane Evans
On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place–more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience.