Teaching children about their emotions is incredibly important, and figuring out how to help them learn to deal with their “big feelings” can be challenging, even for the most seasoned parent.

These are my favorite books for teaching preschoolers about their emotions and how to handle them in a healthy way

The Way I Feel Books

These are a great series of books by Cornelia Maude Spelman that teach kids to understand their emotions, and manage them in a healthy way. She does a great job of normalizing children’s emotions and teaching good coping skills. There is also a nice letter to parents and teachers in the front of the book with some good advice for talking to children about difficult emotions.

1. When I Feel Angry

Everyone feels angry sometimes. In When I Feel Angry, Cornelia Spelman helps children identify the signals of anger, and explore ways to manage this difficult emotion safely, knowing that anger will pass.


2. When I Feel Scared

So many children struggle with feeling scared. In this colorful book, children learn that it is ok to be scared, and in fact sometimes fear can be helpful and keep you safe.


3. When I Feel Jealous

Jealousy is a big emotion in childhood. When so much of life is not in your control, it can be easy to focus on what you don’t have. In this book, children learn how to handle jealousy and find a way to focus on what is important.


4. When I Feel Sad

Everyone feels sad sometimes. In When I Feel Sad, Cornelia Spelman shows kids that sadness is ok. You can name your emotions, ask for comfort, and trust that just because you feel sad right now, you won’t always feel sad.


The Zach Books

In this helpful book series we follow Zach as he learns how to handle frustration appropriately and to apologize when he has made a mistake.

5. Zach Gets Frustrated

This book is a good resource for kids who struggle with losing their cool when things don’t go their way. It teaches children how to manage difficult emotions through a three step process:

  • Name It
  • Tame It
  • Reframe It


6. Zach Apologizes

Apologizing can be hard to do. In Zach Apologizes, we follow a young boy as he learns the importance of taking responsibility for his actions, and the power of, “I’m sorry.”