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Recommended Books for Children

Of the countless books that teachers use to shed light on such issues as friendship, inclusion, empathy, problem solving, or understanding differences, some titles stand out for being especially authentic and memorable.  C.S. Lewis says, “We read to know we are not alone.”  The books on this list support social and emotional learning and, like good friends, are potential sources of comfort, validation, laughter, surprises, and new perspectives for children. For additional book recommendations, see Book Lists.


Recognizing & naming your emotions

YesterdayIHadtheBlues How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods, by Saxton Freymann
Lots of Feelings, by Shelley Rotner
My Cold Plum Lemon Pie, Bluesy Mood, by Tameka Fryer Brown
The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain
Yesterday I Had the Blues, by Jeron Ashford Frame


Using strategies to calm down

MouseWasMad Grump, Groan, Growl, by Bell Hooks
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes
Mouse Was Mad, by Linda Urban
Sometimes I’m Bombaloo, by Rachel Vail
Twist: Yoga Poems, by Janet Wong

Relationship Skills

Building & maintaining positive relationships

MeetDanitraBrown A Friendship for Today, by Patricia McKissack 
Matthew and Tilly, by Rebecca Jones
Meet Danitra Brown, by Nikki Grimes 
My Way: A Mi Manera, by Lynn Reiser

Social Awareness

Recognizing & respecting differences; developing empathy

BrownGirlDreaming Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match; Marisol McDonald No Combina, by Monica Brown
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins
Same, Same but Different, by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw 
Shades of People, by Shelley Rotner
Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Responsible Decision-Making

Using problem-solving skills; speaking up

SaySomething Crow Boy, by Taro Yashima
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson
One, by Kathryn Otoshi
Say Something, by Peggy Moss
Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto

Additional Book Lists