Social Emotional Picture Books

After nearly two years of disruption and isolation due to the pandemic, many kids have missed out on crucial aspects of social and emotional development.  Learning to be around friends, sit in a class, and be kind to others are essential skills that children may need to re-master as they head back into social situations. Here are some picture books to help kids readjust to life as we emerge from the pandemic.


Books about Kindness

Because Amelia smiled by David Ezra Stein

Be kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

Each kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

I walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët

The invisible string by Patrice Karst

The little things : a story about acts of kindness by Christian Trimmer


Books about Feelings

Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day by Judith Viorst

Big feelings by Alexandra Penfold

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger

Grumpy pants by Claire Messer

Have you filled a bucket today? : a guide to daily happiness for kids by Carol McCloud

I am human : a book of empathy by Susan Verde 

The color monster : a story about emotions by Anna Llenas

The rabbit listened by Cori Doerrfeld

When Sophie gets angry–really, really angry…  by Molly Bang

You’re a crab! : a moody day book by Jenny Whitehead


Books about Friendship

All are welcome by Alexandra Penfold

How to apologize by David LaRochelle

How to spot a best friend by Bea Birdsong

Let’s play! : a book about making friends by Amanda McCardie

Llama Llama time to share by Anna Dewdney

Rita and Ralph’s rotten day by Carmen Agra Deedy

While we can’t hug by Eion McLaughlin


Books about Managing Fear and Anxiety

Jabari jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Me and my fear by Francesca Sanna

Ruby finds a Worry by Tom Percival

There might be lobsters by Carolyn Crimi

Wemberly worried by Kevin Henkes

What if, Pig? by Linzie Hunter

Wilma Jean the worry machine by Julia Cook


Books about Self Control

Can I give you a squish? by Emily Neilson

Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale

David gets in trouble by David Shannon

Hands are not for hitting by Martine Agassi 

Lilly’s purple plastic purse by Kevin Henkes

My mouth is a volcano! by Julia Cook

No more tantrums by Maria van Lieshout

People don’t bite people by Lisa Wheeler

We don’t eat our classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins

You will be my friend! by Peter Brown