Must Have Social and Emotional Children’s Books

Children books are magical. No matter your age, they have a way of speaking to our hearts and teaching us deep lessons. As a school counselor I use books as the perfect companion to our social and emotional curriculum. Lessons on perseverance, creativity, mindfulness, self-regulation tools, and social skills are powerful when they come through story. As a result, Children Books are one of my top resources I use as a School Counselor. 

Social and Emotional Children Books

Here are a list of  children books that are a must for when I am teaching social and emotional lessons that I use both at home and at school.

Must have children’s books for at home and in the classroom 

Children Books
Beautiful Oops Book by Barney Saltzberg and Activity

Beautiful Oops  by Barney Saltzberg- This might be my most favorite children’s book of all time. I  even dressed up as a “Beautiful Oops” for halloween! The bright colors and fun pages show how are mistakes can turn into something beautiful.  While the message is simple, it makes a powerful impact. 

Anywhere Artist  by Nikki Slade Robinson- This is a book about creativity. I love the way it challenges us to see art beyond paper, markers, and crayons – art is everywhere. 

Everyone Feels Angry Sometimes by Dr. Daniela Owen –This is a great book to teach naming emotions and learning self-regulation by finding a coping strategy. This books does a great job taking the reader through the process. 

The Color Monster: A story about emotions by Anna Llenas – I love this bright and beautiful pop-up book. There are a lot of fun companion support materials on teacher pay teachers that I use to teach feelings. This is a great one for littles to build their emotional vocabulary, a foundational step to self-regulation.  Plus, it is on sale right now for $8.99. 

Giraffe’s Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae – My grandmother bought me this book when my son was first diagnosed with hearing loss. She knows me well because I don’t think there was a better gift for me in that moment. 

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat – This story is a continuation of the classic Humpty Dumpty  story.  It shows how we can get back up after a fall, face our fears and do what we always dreamed of doing. 

The Dot by Peter H. Reynold – Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Never starting or not knowing how can be a barrier for kids when trying something new.  I love reading this book at the beginning of the year. 

It’s Not a Box by Antoinette Portis – This is a book about thinking “outside the box.” Using a cardboard box, the bunny needs to use creativity, a growth mindset, and flexible thinking to turn the box into something new on each page. 

Perfect Square by Matt Hall-  Looking for a book for the perfectionist in your family or classroom? I love using this book to teach flexible thinking and going with the flow. 

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev – This is a great book to use when teaching problem solving, friendships, and how to handle a situation when you feel “left out.” Inclusion and discrimination themes can be related as well. 

While the books that I love are endless, these ten children books are ones that I read with my students every year. I use them in lunch groups, 1:1 sessions, and large group lessons. 

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