CPCK’s Social and Emotional Learning Picture Book Recommendations
In My Heart; A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek, Illustrated by Christine Roussey
A girl explores the feelings of her heart and describes what she feels when she is happy, calm, brave, hurt, angry, sad, hopeful, silly, shy and proud. This is a perfect book to introduce a conversation about emotions and the purpose they serve as clues to who we are. There is no shame or guilt in feeling any of these emotions. They are all equally a part of this girl’s heart as they are a part of ours.
Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz, Illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain
Raffi feels different from other kids at school and he is often teased because of it. He doesn’t like loud noises and rough play, he enjoys his peace and quiet. A teacher shows Raffi how to knit and his world changes! Everyone wants to have something made by Raffi and he feels more accepted.
Corduroy by Don Freeman
A slightly ragged department store bear searches for his missing button in hopes of tidying himself up to be the perfect teddy bear for Lisa. However, Lisa loves him just the way he is! She takes him home, makes him a bed and fixes his overalls for him.
Quiet Bunny’s Many Colors by Lisa McCue
Quiet Bunny loves all the colors of spring and wishes his brown and white skin were yellow, blue, or even green. When he realizes that he can’t be any of those colors, owl helps him realize that, that’s why the spring forest is beautiful because they are all different colors.
Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban, Illustrated by Henry Cole
This is a hilarious book about a mouse who gets critiqued about the ways he is expressing his anger until he finds his own way to cool down that impresses all of the other animals. This is an excellent book to discuss and learn about the ways to manage anger.
Don’t Be Afraid, Little Pip by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Little Pip has been told he will learn to swim with all of the other penguins his age. He is scared of swimming and his interest in flying becomes the excuse for not learning to swim. When he accidentally falls into the water, he learns to swim and overcomes his fear with the support of a friend.
When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang
This is a story about a little girl who gets angry when it is time for her to share with her sister. She throws a fit and then takes off into the woods where she takes in nature and finds comfort in the world and is able to calm down. She heads back home and everything is ok again.
The Skin you Live In by Michael Tyler, Illustrated by David Lee Cscicsko
Race and skin color can be a challenging subject to bring up with our children though so important. This book can help! It describes the beauty of a variety of skin tones using dessert imagery. Then, it moves beyond skin color to talk about all of the qualities that make a person unique – their imagination, their hopes and dreams.
Who’s In My Family? All About Our Families by Robie Harris, Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
A family takes a trip to the zoo and notes all of the different make-ups of human and animal families. It discusses how different families eat a variety of foods and live in varying environments. There are multiracial families, single sex couples, adopted children and stepparents. It makes the point that it’s normal to have all sorts of different kinds of families and family members.
Children Around the World by Donata Montanari
This book introduces individual children from many different corners of the world starting with Emilio from the Philippines and ending with Rosa from Boliva. Read about their experiences in their countries, where they live and what they do each day.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Leslie Staub
A story that takes you around the world to let you know that even though you may look different than others, learn and speak differently, and live differently, that on the inside we are all the same. We all have beating hearts, joys, laughter, pain and tears.
A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn, Illustrated by Barbara Leonard Gibson
This is an excellent book for siblings or with only children who feel envious when their parents share their attention with other children. Big brother Raccoon struggles with his younger brother’s need for attention. Mama Raccoon is able to explain, using each of her paws and the sun’s rays, that there is plenty of love for both and between the bothers too.
Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino
Friends Rabbit and Owl build their homes next door to each other. But when one feels the other’s house is bigger, the other starts building his own. A competition ensues to build the tallest house. In the midst of their building frenzy, both houses collapse and they must consider what to do next. They find that their best solution is to rebuild one home to share together.
Bad Apple by Edward Hemingway
Mac and Will become best friends despite the fact that Mac is an apple and Will is a worm. The other apples in the orchard say that Mac is a bad apple for being friends with Will. Will thinks Mac would be better off without him, but Mac would rather be a bad apple than a sad one.
RESPONSIBLE DECISION MAKING
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
This is a particularly interesting “read” with a child since there are no words – only illustrations. Give your child the opportunity to narrate the story and see how they advance the events and interpret the pictures. A lion spares a mouse by not eating him when he encounters him. The mouse promises to help him one day. The lion laughs off his offer figuring he is too small to contribute. But when the lion gets caught in a hunter’s net, the mouse chews the rope and sets him free.
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
This delightful rhyming tale is about the unlikely friendship and adventures of a snail and whale. When the whale’s life is threatened, the tiny snail uses a unique attribute to attract attention and enlist help to save the whale.
The Day Leo Said I HATE YOU! by Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Molly Bang
All day Leo’s mom had been telling him “NO!” to everything that he did. Leo gets so angry that he tells his mom, “I HATE YOU!” Mommy does a great job letting Leo know that it’s ok to say you hate certain things, but saying it to people hurts feelings.
© Copyright, 2020, Jennifer Smith Miller. All rights reserved.