Thirty-Four Picture Books That Support Social-Emotional Learning

In this School Library Journal feature, the editors provide a “starter collection” of picture books that build the skills of identifying and processing emotions, being aware of oneself and others, controlling impulses, appreciating and embracing different perspectives, demonstrating empathy, building relationships, and making good decisions. Here’s the list:

  • Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony (Scholastic, 2014)

  • Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley (Roaring Book, 2015)

  • Sam’s Pet Temper by Sangeeta Bhadra (Kids That Can, 2014)

  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (Putnam, 2015)

  • How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham (Candlewick, 2008)

  • Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2006)

  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2015)

  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2015)

  • I Like Being Me: Poems About Kindness, Friendship, and Making Good Choices by Judy Lalli (Free Spirit, 2016)

  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig (Knopf, 2013)

  • The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia McKissack (Aladdin, 2003)

  • Move Your Mood by Brenda Miles and Colleen Patterson (Magination, 2016)

  • Wild Feelings by David Milgrim (Hold, 2015)

  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson (Chronicle, 2000)

  • Zen Shorts by Jon Muth (Scholastic, 2005)

  • I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien (Charlesbridge, 2015)

  • Why Am I Here? by Constance Orbeck-Nilssen (Eerdmans, 2016)

  • One by Kathryn Otoshi (KO Kids, 2008)

  • The Feelings Book by Todd Parr (Little, Brown 2005)

  • The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown, 2009)

  • Ish by Peter Reynolds (Candlewick, 2004)

  • A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank Sileo (Magination, 2017)

  • Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver (Plum Blossom, 2009)

  • The Dark by Lemony Snicket (Little, Brown, 2013)

  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires (Kids Can, 2014)

  • Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas (S. & S./Beach Lane, 2011)

  • The Forgiveness Garden by Lauren Thompson (Feiwel & Friends, 2012)

  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuth (Abrams, 2014)

  • Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail (Scholastic, 2005)

  • And Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst (Farrar, 2014)

  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2007)

  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012)

  • Hooray for Hat! By Brian Won (HMH, 2014)

  • Jack’s Worry by Sam Zuppardi (Candlewick, 2016)

“Hearts and Minds” by the editors in School Library Journal, February 2017 (Vol. 63, #2, p. 30-31), no free e-link available