Best picture books for understanding emotions

It is important for children to understand feelings as it enables them to develop better emotional intelligence. Picture books about feelings and emotions help children identify and understand their own emotions. Researchers say that children who can understand and identify emotions easily are likely to grow into more confident and empathetic adults. 

Here, we share the best-written picture books on emotions for children aged 2+ years – they are engaging illustrations and information that encourage emotional acceptance and intelligence.

1. How do you feel? By Anthony Browne

Sometimes you feel happy, sometimes sad. Sometimes you even feel surprised. Artist and Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne brings all his understanding and skill to bear in this exploration of emotion for very young children. This book will reassure and help them understand how they feel, using simple words and pictures. A parent can feel rest assured that this is a welcome addition to their child’s fledgling library.

2. Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis

This emotionally enlightening book will be a treat for your toddler. The whimsical and original illustrations, helps kids explore, identify, and even have fun with their ever-changing moods. It’s simple, colourful illustrations of basic emotions will aid your child in exploring nuanced feelings through mimicry. Silly, cranky, excited, or sad—everyone has moods that can change each day. And that’s okay! according to this book.

3. Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische (author and illustrator)

This book is a journey through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of wisdom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities—all you have to do is decide to make the day yours. Each hand-lettered adjective is big, bright, and impactful and covers everything to engage the adventurous and curious child. The writing talks about all the possibilities for tomorrow: for, tomorrow you can be creative, brave, and confident. There’s a certain comfort in knowing tomorrow is a second chance at being better.

4. The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar 


This simple yet sensitive story about a child coming to terms with things beyond his control will resonate across cultures. Harpreet loves colours and expresses his feelings with the colours of his patkas (turban) that he wears each day. This book has so much to learn from, how he associates colours with feelings, moods, and emotions the connection is incredibly innovative. 

5. Are Your Emotions Like Mine? by Chitwan Mittal

Published by:

Are Your Emotions like mine touches on myriad emotions a child feels. Depicted through stunning illustrations of a spirited girl accompanied by her lion friend as she navigates through the day. The simple text enables a child to identify, understand and accept emotions in an easy and fun-filled manner. In bringing this book to the public, AdiDev Press has done a phenomenal job at this story that sparks conversations about emotional health for a child and offers a simple solution to stay happy.

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