Books about Feelings and Friendship

Making a friend, and managing feelings are universal skills that need to be taught children. All of these read-alouds open up the door for thoughtful conversations.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doreffeld 

the rabbit listenedTaylor, our main character, builds a beautiful block structure. The block structure gets knocked down. She is devastated. A zoo full of animals try to help and leave Taylor feeling more alone. The rabbit comes to comfort Taylor, and simply listens. The rabbit stays until Taylor is ready to pick herself back up. This book does what picture books should do, captures a full range of emotions in a simple, beautiful, concise way.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

The Rabbit Listened

I walk with Vanessa, A story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoet 

vanessaA wordless picture book tells the story about being bullied, new at school, alone, and left out. It shows what one person can do by reaching out to another person. The back contains teacher and parents tips about how to talk children through this book. There are many possible classroom extensions with this book.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness

The Color Monster: A Story about Emotions by Anna Llenas

the color monsterEveryone has mixed up emotions some days, so does the color monster. He feels all sorts of things and needs to sort them out. This pitch perfect book shows children how to sort through what they are feeling, and always affirming every feeling is ok. The illustrations are beautiful, creative, and wonderful. It reminds me of Dr. Suess’ many colored days. Every parent and teacher should read it out loud to small people they love.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions


Hedgehog Needs a Hug by Jen Betton

hedgehog needs a hugHedgehog wakes up feeling a little blue, and all he wants is a hug. No one can see past his prickles, and all the animals shy away from him. Finally, he finds skunk, who also needs a hug. This time hedgehog has to look past the stink and be a good friend to get a friend. In the end, they both get a hug that will make them feel better.  Simple, sweet, with a perfect lesson, reach out to the person that might seem stinky or prickly at first, and you just might find the perfect friend.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

Hedgehog Needs a Hug

Making a Friend by Tammi Sauer

making a friendBeaver is very good at making things, but he cannot make a friend. He tries very hard, but it just doesn’t happen. Finally, he makes a friend, a snowman. Racoon comes along and helps him. When they are finished, they see that snowman is not very fun to play with. However, they realized how much fun they had together. There it was, a friendship created. I love everything Tammi Sauer has written. I simply love her books. Buy them all, she is a genius.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

Making a Friend

My Heart by Corinna Luyken

my heartCorinna Luyken is a master of both illustration and writing. Our hearts are deep wells of emotion, able to open wide, break, and mend. This book makes an abstract concept, our heart, concrete and accessible for young children.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

My Heart


Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal

words and your heartA delightful and poignant book about how our words and feelings are intricately linked. It reminds us all to be kind with our words and loving to ourselves. Perfect for preschool and younger elementary.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

Words and Your Heart


Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer

mostely monsterlyI adore this book, it has been out 9 years now, yet it has stood the test of time. Tammie originally wrote this as a valentine’s day book, but it came out all monsterly. Bernadette is a monster with a secret, she is nice and sweet on the inside, not a proper monster at all. She can’t fit in at monster school unless she learns to be a little more like a real monster. However, in the end, she becomes mostly monsterly, and stays true to herself as well.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

Mostly Monsterly

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

mr. hatchMr. Hatch lives in a grey world, his days are the same, without joy. One day a mysterious package of chocolates arrives at his door, with a simple note, “somebody loves you.” These words change Mr. Hatch’s life, he begins to smile and care about other people, and everyone begins to care back. When the mail man comes back to tell him the box of chocolates was not for him, he is devastated. However, he now has made real friends, because he was brave enough to love them first. This is my all-time favorite Valentine’s Day book. Read it to every grade, older children love being read to, and young children understand the meaning of the story. I love this book.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, please use this link:

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (paperback)

10 Earth Day Picture Books

My Kindergarten students contributed their thoughts on these books.  Please read my quick synopsis and their review or take away.  All names changed to protect the innocent.

The Earth Book by Todd Parr

Perfect for preschoolers through First grade.  Simple and fun, but gives environmentalism a fresh feel.

the earth book_Kindergarten Reviews

Alex: It teaches you to reuse paper.               Arnold: It reminds you to recycle and save a little food.                                                                   Cara: It makes you learn to clean up the whole earth.

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs-Martin

The real life account of a professional basketball player building a community garden in an abandoned city lot.  An incredible story.  Great for 2-5, but my Kindergarteners were enthralled.

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here:

The EARTH Book

Kindergarten Review:


Ben: “You can read it so other kids know to eat vegetables, vegetables, not just fruit.  Vegetables make your poop come out.”

To Purchase on Amazon, click here: Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow

I love this book, the text is simple and beautiful.  The pictures follow two families on different continents plant a tree.  It comes full circle in the end to show how their family grew as well as the tree.  My students were enchanted by it.

Kindergarten Reviews:

we planted a treeJoey: “It shows tree on different continents.”

Trevor: “You will become a fan of plants trees, and that is good.”

To purchase on Amazon, click here:We Planted a Tree

Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson

A non-fiction book in story form, it tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the first African American woman and environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Kindergarten Reviews:

seedsofchangeSam: “Read this book because it teaches you not to take things for yourself and help the whole world.”

Nicholas: “I knew this was true because there were plants and no monsters.  The guys that planted the coffee were bad because they just wanted the money for themselves, not the experience of the adventure.”

To Purchase from Amazon, click here: Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace

Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do you know me? by Anne Rockwell 

anne rockwellSimple, repetitive, with a nice beat for preschoolers. It is a guessing game book, so you can make extensions or tie it in with a plant unit easily. Great for early childhood to Kindergarten.l Lesson plans to go with it can be found online.

My students simply say: “You learn about flowers, that is nice.”

To Order on Amazon, click here: Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me?: A Garden Guessing Game

These Bees Count! by Alison Formento

bees-coverWhat a wonderful book to show children how bee-keeping works.  Part counting book and part informational narrative, it is great to show children bees are not to be feared, but cared for. Lesson plans to go with it can be found in a google search.

One student said: “If you don’t like bees then you can see the experience of the bees. It helps you learn about them.”

To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: These Bees Count!

Miss Rumphius by Barbar Cooney

Positively Timeless, it is perfect for young children to help them think about how they can help the world, and perfect for older elementary for the same reason.  A good book to read out loud every Earth Day.

miss-rumphius-cover Sophie: “It teaches you about kindness and keeping the world beatiful instead of stony and ugly.”

To buy on Amazon, click here:Miss Rumphius

Honey a Gift From Nature: by Yumiko Fujiwara

honey a gift from nature_A wonderful book that shows a boy and his father keeping bees and harvesting the honey.  A great blend of story and information, with beautiful pictures.

To buy on Amazon, click here: Honey: A Gift from Nature

Composting: Nature’s Recyclers by Robin Kootz 

composting bookLA simple but clear and concise book on how ecosystems and decomposing work.  Good extensions and experiments to try in the back.

To buy on amazon, click here:Composting: Nature’s Recyclers (Amazing Science)