Child(ish) Reads for Kids: Emotional Regulation

For the last two weeks, we’ve been talking about emotional regulation and how we can model and assist our kids to be more mindful in tough situations. In this episode of Childish Reads, we wanted to flip the script and pick books for kids to help with this type of regulation at early ages.

Last week, Mary and I hopped down to Barnes and Noble to find some new and classic kids books to help lay the foundation for emotional recognition and processing.

Infants/Toddler Board Books

In the early years, parents should lok for books that help label different emotions. This includes books with pictures that show facial cues. The books we picked feature lots of animals and quick stories to help illustrate grumpy, angry, sad, happy, joyful, fearful, etc., so that kids can not only recognize their own feelings, but can also recognize how those feelings appear in others.

Elmo Is Mindful (Sesame Street): How to Stay Focused, Calm, and Kind

Sloth and Smell the Roses by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle

Feelings (Panda Panda Board Books)

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang

How Are You Feeling by Erin Jang

I Am!: Affirmations for Resilience by Bela Barbosa


Early Learning – Preschool to 7

For this category, we picked picture books that had more detailed stories. This gives parents opportunities throughout the book to ask questions, build empathy, and tell stories about their own #bigfeelings. They normalize that everyone can have tough times and down days, then help kids develop the mindset to be able to “start over.”

Remember that in general, ALL reading helps kids understand feelings and develop empathy. Reading gives kids all kinds of characters and situations, and provides opportunities to talk about “what they would do”.

My Big Bad Monster Hardcover by A. N. Kang

The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee



We also found a couple books that help young kids better understand yoga introspection, mindfulness, and calm.

The I Am Human Book Series by Susan Verde, including I Am Yoga, I Am Peace, and I Am Human

The Good Night Yoga Book Series by Miriam Gates. We also found these in Board Book format.

Little Yogi Deck: Simple Yoga Practices to Help Kids Move Through Big Emotions Cards by Crystal McCreary

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey

Yoga for Kids and Their Grown-Ups: 100+ Fun Yoga and Mindfulness Activities to Practice Together by Katherine Ghannam


School Age – Ages 7+

By this age, your kids should have the basic understanding of their own feelings and emotions. So, we found a couple workbooks to help them actively process their big feelings and build empathy. These books are very interactive, offering questions and hypotheticals to fill out, as well as affirmations and helpful exercises.

The Find Out Files Series by Isabelle Filliozat and Virginie Limousin. Also available in different languages

Anger Management Skills Workbook for Kids: 40 Awesome Activities to Help Children Calm Down, Cope, and Regain Control by Amanda Robinson

Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More (Just Be Series) by Mallika Chopra

Me and My Feelings: A Kids’ Guide to Understanding and Expressing Themselves by NBCT Vanessa Green Allen


Many of our recommended books have appendices in the back for parents and caregivers to help guide their kid’s emotional regulation, including follow-up questions and calming tips.

All of these books and more can be found on our Amazon Child(ish) Reads for Kids Idea list.

Happy Regulating!

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