Toddlers may be little, but they sure do come with some big feelings.
Big emotions like anger, hitting + biting, fear, and of course the infamous tantrum are actually a normal and healthy part of toddler development—even though they can be a frustrating (and exhausting!) experience. And as is the case with so many other things in our lives, we've found books to be an amazing way to help our little ones identify and work though all of the big feelings they may be having as they learn to navigate their way through this big, big world.
The next time you're at your wit's end about your toddler's biting or don't think you can possibly endure one more tantrum, take a moment, breathe, and pull one of these books off your shelf for some reading time between you and your tiny human.
We hope you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Hitting + biting
This longstanding classic is a simple, straightforward way to teach toddlers that instead of hitting, hands can do so many good things.
Told through vibrant, toddler-friendly art and interactive flaps, this book shows little ones that there are better ways to deal with frustrations instead of biting.
Everyone's favorite tiger will help your little one understand that sometimes everyone feels mad—but there are lots of things that can help you feel better, too!
Getting angry can be upsetting to young children; this picture book will help them talk through their anger and learn to identify things they can do about it.
Sometimes being still and quiet is the perfect solution to all that anger—and this sweet, silly story about self-expression will teach your toddler how to do just that.
Identifying + managing feelings
Your toddler will love identifying with the many feelings illustrated throughout this bright, kid-friendly book.
The adorable Duck and Goose use simple text and colorful illustrations to help your little one identify common feelings like happy, sad, and scared.
Connecting words and emotions can be tricky for toddlers—this book will teach them how.
Waiting is not easy, especially for toddlers! The beloved Gerald and Piggie will show them that sometimes, though, it pays off.
This sweet, gentle board book offers toddlers the skills they need to learn follow routine, listen, and be calm.
Some days you feel silly, or cranky, or even sad, and this book will help your little one understand all of her ever-changing moods!
Fear + sadness
Little Llama is worried that mama won't come back when she drops him off for his first day of preschool. This rhyming, reassuring story teaches little ones that it's okay to miss mama, but that she always comes back!
What happens when you're forced to confront your fears? Scaredy Squirrel is about to find out...
Perfect for the little worrier in your life, this sweet, reassuring story of a tiny mouse who always finds something to worry about will help toddlers learn to manage their fears and be brave.
Mindful mantras aren't just for adults—they're a great way to calm and reassure kids, too. We love the self-assuring message of this positive, confidence-building book.
It's common for toddlers to get really frustrated when they make a mistake. This book does a great job of helping little ones learn about and deal with these common emotions.
Teaching your toddler that expressing his creativity is better than always getting it right is a beautiful lesson, and this book does an extraordinary job of showing him why.
This funny, clever book packs a super important message—being okay can really be quite great!
Toddlers will learn to celebrate their mistakes instead of getting upset by them in this imaginative, interactive book.
You might also like:
- Best books for toddlers: The only 22 books you need
- Montessori at home: 34 books every kid needs—for newborns to 6-year-olds
- Book review: 'Making the 'Terrible' Twos Terrific!'
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