5 Picture Books to Help Build Depth in Emotional Intelligence and Wellness
Gi Hallmark | The Children’s Book Review | March 25, 2014
When a child experiences big feelings or emotions, it can be confusing, deflating, and sometimes scary for parents and the child. Often, children have a difficult time articulating what they are feeling. Thankfully, there is a bevy of children’s books available to help children understand the connection between their feelings and their actions. Part of building emotional wellness depth and intelligence is teaching kids how to identify their emotions and manage the related actions or thoughts. The 5 books listed here can help parents and children talk about and navigate the sometimes windy road of emotions.
Every child will have an experience where no matter how hard they practice a particular skill, they fail. Leela cannot perform a headstand. After many frustratingly failed attempts, Leela accepts that although she can’t do a headstand, she has other talents like skating and singing. This book is about teaching children to accept failure without being defined by it. Furthermore, it teaches a valuable lesson that joy comes from accepting ourselves as a whole, which includes both failures and successes.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Begin With Productions | June 11, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0987946119
By Sue Graves; Illustrated by Desideria Guicciardini
Often, kids can easily get overwhelmed or have anxiety as they go through regular day to day experiences, like meeting a dog or going to swim lessons. Andy does not want to jump in the pool because he does not like water in his ears. His coach encourages him to practice deep breathing and think calm thoughts. Andy follows her advice, realizes jumping in a pool is fun, and continues to jump in again and again. This is book demonstrates that even regular tasks can cause fear, which can be assuaged using deep breathing and positive thinking. It can also be a great tool to teach children how to help their own friends who are overwhelmed by fear or anxiety.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing | August 6, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1575424460
By Howard Binkow and Reverend Ana; Illustrated by Jeremy Norton
Howard B. Wigglebottom is afraid. Very afraid. And he has been for weeks. This fear prevents him from enjoying life’s important moments like playing outside and sleeping. This fear consumes him until he meets a bird who will learn to fly for the first time by bravely jumping out of the nest. Howard is astounded by this little bird’s bravery. Howard learns that it’s OK to be afraid and that without fear there would be no courage and bravery. This is an inspiring book for kids suffering from anxiety and opens a doorway to discussion about fears and ways to overcome them.
Ages 4-8 |Publisher: Thunderbolt Publishing | November 26, 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-0982616574
By Howard Binkow; Illustrated by Susan Cornelison
Howard B. Wigglebottom doesn’t listen. Instead of listening during story time, he is bouncing around the room. When his friends warn him about banana peels on the ground, he doesn’t listen and slips. When the teacher reminds him to keep his paint on his own paper, he doesn’t listen and gets his friend very messy. Finally, Howard is asked to take a time out and he reflects on the negative impact his non listening ears have had on his day. From that point on, he decides to listen and realizes what a drastic difference listening can make.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Thunderbolt Publishing | March 22, 2006 | ISBN-13: 978-0971539013
By Marie-Isbelle Callier; Illustrated by Annick Masson
Jeanne is a regular little girl, with adorable pigtails, who happens to say “No!” every time her mom asks her to do anything, like pick up toys or change her clothes. Finally, Jeanne’s mom loses her patience with Jeanne, who then declares she would like a new mom; Sophie’s mom, to be exact. Jeanne spends the night at Sophie’s, where she practices curbing her defiance and learns she really misses her mom. This book is a humorous tale about a kid who uses defiance to test the limits of parenting. It illustrates how defiance can lead to unwanted extremes, like firing your mom, and allows parents to discuss alternative ways to manage independence with their children.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Magination Press | April 1, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1433813122
“5 Picture Books to Help Build Depth in Emotional Intelligence and Wellness” was curated by Gi Hallmark. Discover more books reviewed by Gi filed away in our “Emotions & Behavior” tag.