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Social Emotional Children’s Books

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In the exciting world of children’s books, filled with colorful pictures and wonderful stories, there are special books that teach kids about feelings and friendships. Here are a few noteworthy picks:

The Owl Who Couldn’t Growl 

Deep within the forest, the fiercest animals can growl…but not the owl. And if that’s not bad enough, he can’t howl or honk or roar or bark, either! As the owl tries to join the woodland chorus, hediscovers his own special song in this charming and funny story of individuality and self-acceptance. Parents and children will enjoy sharing this comical, lyrical tale that encourages being “WHOOO” you are. 

Buy it here: The Owl Who Couldn’t Growl 

The Sheep Who Wouldn’t Sleep 

Beneath the starry sky, everyone goes to sleep…except the sheep. Is she too excited? Too afraid? Or just plain not tired? The little sheep won’t sleep for all kinds of reasons, which will resonate with anyone who has—or ever was—a child! As the sheep tries to stay awake, she learns to calm her body and thoughts in this sweetly silly tale that subtly teaches self-soothing and mindfulness. 

Buy it here: The Sheep Who Wouldn’t Sleep 

The Ants Who Couldn’t Dance 

When the music plays, everyone gets up to dance…except the ants. They can lift and build and dig, so why can’t they twirl and dip and jig? As the ants try to dance, they discover they are better together in this toe-tapping tale of cooperation and teamwork. 

Buy it here: The Ants Who Couldn’t Dance

Nail Polish Is Too For Boys! 

Alex’s world feels gray and drab…until he tries painting his nails and discovers a world of color he has never experienced before! This picture book’s gorgeous illustrations progress from black and white to full color as Alex, his diverse group of friends, and ultimately his family all express themselves by doing things they love to do. The sweet and timely rhyming story challenges gender expectations around emotions and activities, and asks the reader to consider: what colors shine through when you’re just being you?

Buy it here: Nail Polish Is Too For Boys!


Nook is small, gentle, and shy and likes to sit in the small and comfy space of a hollow tree watching others play. When someone comes to take Nook’s space, she feels lost and afraid, until she discovers she has friends looking out for her in ways she never imagined. 

Buy it here: Nook 

Random Acts Of Cakeness 

It seems like cake is falling from the sky! Arun, who is quiet and kind, bakes treats to cheer up his friends. But who will cheer him up when he bites off more than he can chew? A heartwarming story of friendship, kindness, and cake! 

Buy it here: Random Acts Of Cakeness 

All Because Of The Tail 

In a park full of squirrels, it’s hard to be a mouse. Is a big, fluffy tail what it takes to make a friend? Tullio will try anything–even a “tail wig”–to find out! Children will love this charming, funny, and sweet story about the importance of self-acceptance and finding friends who appreciate you just as you are. 

Buy it here: All Because Of The Tail

Moose Versus Goose 

Moose is the best! No, Goose is! Moose and Goose are fierce rivals who compete at school, sports, and everything else! They live on opposite cliffs across the sea from each other. One day, they find themselves stuck on the beach below their homes. Can Moose and Goose set aside their rivalry to get back to their families? This humorous picture book shows how working together can solve a problem and build a friendship. 

Buy it here: Moose Versus Goose 

Unicorns Have Bad Manners 

Nigel the dinosaur can’t wait to have tea with a unicorn. He’s sure her manners will be dainty and refined. But when they sit down to eat, they have very different ideas about proper behavior! 

Buy it here: Unicorns Have Bad Manners

My Touch 

What feels squishy, fluffy, sticky, or soft? An adorable–and relatable–prickly porcupine helps children learn to name and describe a variety of textures in this brightly illustrated board book. 

Buy it here: My Touch 

My Feelings 

What makes you feel happy, grumpy, shy, or surprised? An adorable–and relatable–prickly porcupine helps children learn to name and express a variety of feelings in this brightly illustrated board book. 

Buy it here: My Feelings

My Imagination 

Can you imagine a shoe-eating monster or a candy-growing tree? Using imagination can help children learn about the world around them. In this brightly illustrated board book, an adorable–and relatable–prickly porcupine names and describes a variety of imaginative experiences, inspiring children to think creatively and express themselves. 

Buy it here: My Imagination 

A Book In Four Languages: My Emotions 

Make colorful faces while learning the words for 10 feelings. 


Includes pronunciation guide! 

Buy it here: A Book In Four Languages: My Emotions

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