Book Recommendations, Homeschool Preschool

Books About Feelings

My girls loved our unit on feelings. I felt that this was a very important theme for us to cover before kindergarten. Not only does it help children understand some of their own feelings/emotions but it helps them to relate those same feelings to others and develop empathy.

The books we read covered a very wide range of feelings/emotions and they enjoyed seeing many different types of feelings conveyed by the characters. Below are twenty books recommended for this topic, along with a quick review of each to help you decide if it would work for your children.

If you are looking for some great activities to do during a feelings/emotions unit, check out this post.

Books on Feelings:

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boyton

This is a simple board book that covers different moods children may experience using a rhyming text. Even very young toddlers can follow along with this book.  The book interacts with the reader, for instance it starts by asking the children how their mood is today and ends by telling them that they hope they are happy but if they are not they will help to make you feel happy again.

In My Heart by Jo Witek

Adorable book that discusses all the feeling the character has in her heart. My girls loved this book and they requested it multiple times. The book is designed to have cutouts in each page that let you see through to the next page. Great book, with a good message about the range of feelings your heart goes through.

Wild Feelings by David Milgrim

This cute book relates feelings we have to common phrases used to describe certain animals (ie. Stubborn as a mule). It shows that everyone feels these wild feelings sometimes. My preschooler really enjoyed this book.

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

Bird woke up grumpy, even too grumpy to fly. As he walks along he encounters all sorts of animals that join him on his walk. The animals begin to have fun together and it makes the bird forget how grumpy he is. All the animals he met, unrealistically, fly back to his nest…. but besides that it was cute. Preschoolers loved it.

My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

Elephant is sad and Piggie dresses up as all sorts of things to help cheer him up. Turns out, Elephant just wants to be with his friend. Cute story that touches on being lonely and missing someone. Sometimes things are just better when experienced with someone you enjoy being around.

Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things that Make Me Happy by Scott Menchin

When a young girl feels sad her mother asks her what would make her feel happy. When she realized she doesn’t know she embarks on a quest to discover what makes other people/things happy.  Through this questioning process she finally discovers what makes her happy, all sorts of stuff! Great book for pointing out the simple things that can make someone happy.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

The Dinosaur series of books is quite cute. This book does a nice job of depicting all the ways that you should not act when mad and also covers what you should do. A nicely written and illustrated book that provides a humorous look at feeling mad.

Lots of Feelings by Shelley Rotner

This book is a very simple book that covers the feelings of happy, sad, grumpy, excited, shy, proud, angry, loving, surprised, frightened, thoughtful, sleepy, serious, silly, curious, and confused. Each page has three pictures of children’s faces depicting these feelings. Great book to use to show real faces showing feelings and to get the kids to try to replicate the feeling with their own face.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worries a lot and about everything. When she starts school there seems to be a lot to worry about until she meets a friend and she had fun playing instead of worrying.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney

We love the Llama Llama books here. Little llama goes shopping with his Mama and becomes frustrated with the experience, gets mad, and throws a big temper tantrum. After Mama talks to him about it, they clean up the mess, and focus on getting their errands done together so they can get to the fun planned for after. Cute rhyming story that my daughters both love.

The Grumpy Morning by Darcia Labrosse

The animals on the farm have a bad morning when the farmer sleeps in. They all experience feeling upset when their morning routine is not followed. Neat point is that the farmer is female! Rhyming text, kept attention of preschoolers.

Talk and Work It Out by Cheri J. Meiners

This book discusses how to resolve your problems (mostly when it comes to not agreeing on what to play). It covers strategies for coming to a solution that everyone will like. Great book for preschoolers. Kept my preschoolers attention.

Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda

The monsters in this book discuss what make them glad, angry, loving, sad, worried, scary, and silly. The book came with monster masks to play with that show all the feelings discussed. My children (ages 2 & 4) enjoyed playing with the masks.

On Monday when it Rained by Cherryl Kachenmeister

This book covers each day of the week explaining what happened that day and how the child felt about it. Every other page has a photograph of a child expressing the feeling they felt. The book includes the feelings of disappointed, embarrassed, proud, scared, angry, excited, lonely, and wonder. Good for preschoolers.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

The pigeon wants to drive the bus but the reader has been tasked with not allowing it. The pigeon becomes frustrated with the situation and gets angry. Preschoolers seem to love this book.




The following books about feelings fit well with the theme of feelings and you may love them, but there was something about them that I felt made them not fit well with our family.


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

This book was a favorite from my childhood. While it is still a good book about dealing with having a rough day, I felt like it was a little old for my preschool age daughter.

The Pigeon has Feelings, Too! by Mo Willems

This very simple board book covers the emotions of happy, angry, and sad. It is an extremely basic book and may not make sense to the reader who has not read the other pigeon books. The book assumes you know about the pigeon’s relationship with the bus driver. I will say that it is OK if you need something for younger children, but I’d skip it if you just have pre-K children (unless they REALLY love the other pigeon books).

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

This repetitive book is an easy read (with it’s rhyming text) for preschool age children. While it was entertaining to read and my preschool age daughter seemed to enjoy it, I did not like the message it sent. First of all each sea creature the Pout-Pout fish encounters rudely tells the Pout-Pout fish to smile. There has been a lot of public discussion about how this is unacceptable behavior, to tell someone to smile is plain rude. It gives a good chance to discuss with your child about how all those sea creatures probably made the Pout-Pout Fish feel. Also, (spoiler alert) when the mysterious fish shows up she proceeds to just kiss Mr. Fish (without asking) at which he proclaims that he is a “kiss-kiss fish” and then goes on to kiss all the sea creatures without consent (another important topic). End of the day, due to these issues I would probably not read this book again. It really sends the wrong message to my daughter, but it did give a chance to talk about why these things were not OK.

Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis

This book was ok. It discusses a lot of different emotions/feelings this young girls has. However she appears to only be about 7/8 from the pictures but she is often depicted wearing over-sized high heels in the pictures (why was she allowed to wear those to clean up the park, or to school?). She also talks about having a crush on her teacher and someone says they are her boyfriend. A good book for covering a wide range of feeling kids have, just be aware of what some of the pictures show and what the story touches on.

Feelings by Aliki

Things book is not a story. It covers different feelings on each page in unrelated comic like short stories. The were ok, but would be hard for a large class to follow along with as the pictures are all pretty small on the page. The story that discusses jealousy was a bit extreme, I felt like they really should have decided that she was filled with rage. What started as a girl being jealous of her friend admiring another girl’s curly hair turned into her saying she wanted to choke the other girl and that she hated her. A bit extreme for just jealousy in my opinion.


If you are looking for some great activities to do during a feelings/emotions unit, check out this post.