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Books on Big Emotions – Helping your Child Understand Feelings


My baby’s first words kicked in at around 14 months and she began to cohesively speak in context sometime after she was 20 months old. The closer she came to two; I witnessed her vocabulary go up significantly. It heart-warming to watch your child pick up words, attempt to weave them together and explain things back at you.

However, in spite of learning 4 languages (English, Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi), she was still struggling with identifying the feelings she feels inside of her and finding the right words to express them. At 2, the child’s range of emotions is expanding, so is their engagement and interaction with family, friends, teachers and strangers.

Instead of having her bottle up or act out because she wouldn’t know how to handle these feelings, the best gift I could attempt give her at this point of her toddler-hood, is the gift of words. What better place to get started, than with books? Here are a few children’s books that I found could help parents encourage their little ones to find the words for what they are feeling –

  1. Puppy Dog, Puppy Dog, How Are you? By Jo Lodge

This was the first book on emotions that I brought home for Baby A at 1.5 years. In a sing-song rhyming pattern, this book introduces us to a happy dog, a sad giraffe and a surprised bear.  This Wiggle and Giggle board book also makes it fun for the child to go through independently.

You can find the book here – https://amzn.to/2Q8NxcC

  1. Today I Feel…Alphabet of Feelings

This book is nothing short of a piece of art. The subtle water colours on each page take you through a variety of emotions from adored, to free, nervous and strong. What I really like about this book is that it isn’t in denial about the range of emotions one goes through. Not all emotions are positive ones, and not all feelings are simple. This book is a very honest take on feelings, allowing you to start a discussion with your child. I haven’t actually been through this book with Little Miss A just yet, but I plan on making it a part of our home library by the time she turns three.

You can find the book here – https://amzn.to/2CsurLD

  1. In my Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Heart Series)

I chanced upon this book while looking for book recommendations for a mommy friend. While both our children are coping with the onset of the terrible two’s this book has proven to be of great help. My daughter took to it right away, because of its charming illustrations and design combined with extremely relatable content.

This book gives words to what your heart physically feels inside of you when you are experiencing an emotion. “Sometimes, my heart is cool. I bob along gently like a balloon on a string. My heart feels lazy and slow, as quiet as a snowfall. This is when my heart is calm”. With beautiful passages such as this, the book is a great way to help your child learn how to articulate what is going on inside of them.

You can find the book here – https://amzn.to/2M76gSC

  1. Hello Genius Series – Calm Down Little Monkey

Just before Baby A was turning 2, she started showing signs of aggression and confusion. To watch my seemingly docile child turn into this wild child came as quite a shock to me. Until, I was able to take a step back, look at what was bothering her and work hard to help her through this new phase of her toddler life. Calm Down Little Monkey doesn’t really talk about emotions but helps you teach a child that it is okay to be angry, it’s okay to be upset and it is okay to cry. It goes on to show the child how they can independently cope with these feelings by hugging a blanket, taking a deep breath and so on. The book worked like magic for Baby A and it is one that I am not going to let go off from my library for a few more years!

You can find the book here – https://amzn.to/2NQZthr

I have also been eyeing, My Many Coloured Days by Dr. Suess (https://amzn.to/2wPpVSr) for a while now. If you have relied on the book to talk about emotions with your child, I would love to hear some more about your experiences!

Happy Reading!

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