Board Books About Big Feelings for Babies & Toddlers

Babies and toddlers are beginning to understand and express their feelings and emotions. They may overreact to seemingly small things and often have trouble communicating their needs.

These titles are useful tools to help toddlers process and cope with their feelings. They encourage using words to describe emotions and offer valuable skills for self-management. By sharing these board books about big feelings with our little ones, we can create a safe and nurturing environment where they can thrive.

no no 9781680106558 My Book of Feelings by Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Thomas Elliott

My toddler has loved this title since she was a baby. The full-color photographs make the content particularly relevant and appealing. Babies and toddlers can see familiar situations, allowing them to make connections with the emotions depicted in the book. It does an excellent job of being inclusive by featuring children with various skin tones and disabilities. The emoji spinners make it extra engaging!

9781611808575 Happy Puppy, Angry Tiger by Brad Peterson, illustrated by Betsy Peterson

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this board book in our home! Each page features a different animal or insect paired with an emotion or attitude. Some pairings are funny and unexpected (e.g., the praying mantis is grateful), making this an enjoyable read-aloud! The illustrations are super quirky and have bold, cheerful colors. Toddlers will have fun guessing each feeling based on the illustrations.

9780593482520 A Change of Plans for Elmo!: Sesame Street Monster Meditation in collaboration with Headspace by Random House

Toddlers thrive on routines and predictability, and change can be difficult. The Monster Meditation series is a perfect social-emotional learning tool for little ones who love Sesame Street! In this title, Elmo learns to cope with disappointment when a special playdate gets canceled. Readers will enjoy and benefit from the game Elmo learns (1, 2, 3, Freeze) when they experience big feelings of their own.

RELATED: The Best Books for Fans of Elmo

9780593465127 Llama Llama Feelings by Anna Dewdney, illustrated by JT Morrow

Sometimes Llama Llama feels happy, sometimes he feels sad. This easy-to-understand board book follows Llama Llama as he feels a number of emotions, especially as he gets ready for bed, a time where kids can experience a range of highs and lows. This excellent book, from the New York Times bestselling author Anna Dewdney will help kids learn about their emotions and better express the way they feel.

9781664350380 My Bag of Feelings by Danielle McLean, illustrated by Lisa Koesterke

Young readers will be drawn to the fun design of this board book: A smiling yellow backpack overflowing with emojis and familiar objects. In the book, a child shares objects that remind them of various emotions. This format could be replicated in real life to help toddlers practice articulating their feelings through a show-and-tell activity.

9780593119877 Mindfulness Moments for Kids: Hot Cocoa Calm by Kira Willey, illustrated by Anni Betts

This board book walks young readers through an easy mindfulness routine that they can use to manage their feelings. A group of woodland animals goes through the mindfulness exercise together. While this is a fantastic tool at any time of year, the chilly setting makes it a cozy read-aloud during winter.

RELATED: Board Books on Wellness for Babies & Toddlers

9789888341047 Why Cry? by Yusuke Yonezu

Babies and toddlers will enjoy the animated characters and interactive elements of this creative lift-the-flap book. As readers turn the pages and see one tearful, wailing expression after the next, they also see a rainbow forming color by color. The delightful, surprise ending will help little ones realize they will get through tough times and things will be okay!

9780744062625 Everybody Feels Fear by Ashwin Chacko

Help young readers learn all about fear with this cheerful, silly, and touching board book from author-illustrator Ashwin Chacko. This book is equal parts hilarious and inspiring. It will make kids laugh while helping them understand they are never alone. We all have fear, and it does not make us weak. It’s a hopeful read-aloud for groups or one-on-one.

9780593432846 Grumpy Monkey Says No! by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang

Does it feel like your toddler’s favorite word is “no”? You and your (sometimes stubborn) little one will love reading this funny book featuring everyone’s favorite grumpy monkey, Jim Panzee, who responds to every question with “no.” But as the story continues, Jim (and hopefully your toddler) will learn that “no” isn’t always the best answer and they could actually be missing out on some great adventures!

RELATED: Learning To Ride Out Uncomfortable Emotions With Grumpy Monkey

9781664350533 Touch and Feelings: Angry Bear by Dr. Naira Wilson, illustrated by David Creighton-Pester

This darling board book helps kids understand anger through the story of a bear whose anger presents itself in different ways. The author is a child psychologist specializing in children’s emotions, so you know it is a reliable tool. I love the mirror included in the book, and my toddler does, too!

9781632173010 Ollie Feels Fine by Toni Yuly

Ollie, the octopus, has big feelings! One day, when those big feelings get overwhelming, he finds support in his friend Stella the Starfish. This book reminds little readers it’s okay to not feel okay and that it’s good to talk about their feelings. I love how this title represents Ollie in a different hue each time his emotions change. This visual helps kids grasp the feelings he’s experiencing.

9781536203806 Mad, Mad, Mad by Leslie Patricelli

How can little ones recover from enormous tantrums? Through Baby’s story, the author shares tips for calming down and finding happiness again. All toddlers have tantrums, which makes this book relevant and helpful. The simple illustrations and exaggerated expressions will appeal to the littlest of readers.

9781465498250 I Feel Sad by DK

In this board book, toddlers learn that sadness is a normal part of daily life. Although sadness can feel unpleasant, this story details the many ways to deal with it as it comes. With bright and charming illustrations that show how our feelings affect our bodies and minds, little readers will feel emotionally informed!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2023 and updated in 2024.

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