2014 Summer Reading List

Your child’s first years are a crucial time for social and emotional development. Children are not born with the ability to recognize their emotions, control their behavior, or understand the social world around them. These fundamental social and emotional skills — like most others — must be learned through experience.

Help your kids learn about their emotions! The @UrbanChildInst Summer Reading List can help! Tweet this!​

Kids Learn About Emotions Through Experience

A child’s earliest experiences are especially important, because between birth and age 3 his brain is developing faster than at any other time in life. That means early experiences can have long-term consequences.

Books Can Help

Here are 10 popular books that help kids understand and learn to talk about their emotions and different moods.. You can promote your child’s emotional and social skills by including some of them in your shared reading activities. A strong foundation of these skills supports learning and exploration and helps children reach their full potential.

Feelings by Aliki

Happy, sad, shy, excited — how do you feel? Sometimes it’s hard to explain your feelings. Share this book with a friend and you’ll both feel terrific! Get it from Amazon.com

Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberly

Glad, sad, silly, mad - monsters have all kinds of different feelings! In this innovative die-cut book, featuring a snazzy foil cover, you’ll try on funny masks as you walk through the wide range of moods all little monsters (and kids!) experience. Get it from Amazon.com

Lots of Feelings by Shelley Rotner

You can read a book, but did you know that you can also read a face? A face can tell you what someone is feeling. In this expressive photo-essay, simple text and photographs introduce basic emotions happy, grumpy, thoughtful, and more and how people show them. Get it from Amazon.com

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, was a letter outlining his hopes of finding "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the "first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color." Get it from Amazon.com

On Monday When It Rained by Cheryl Kachenmeister

In simple, straightforward text and marvelously expressive pictures, the author and photographer have captured the thoughts and feelings of one small boy. Whether he is proud or scared, lonely or excited, the boy’s face mirrors his emotion with the wonderful directness of childhood. Get it from Amazon.com

Sometimes I Feel Like a Storm Cloud by Lezlie Evans

This book is illustrated in vibrant acrylics by Marsha Gray Carrington. In similes that can be read and understood by young and old alike, a vivacious child describes how it feels to experience the everyday ups and downs of childhood. Get it from Amazon.com

Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis

Everybody gets angry sometimes. For children, anger can be very upsetting. Parents, teachers, and children can talk about it. People do lots of different things when they get angry. In this Caldecott-honor book, kids will see what Sophie does when she gets angry. What do you do? Get it from Amazon.com

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

The zany characters who sniffle, soar and shriek through this book will help kids understand the concept of such emotions as joy, disappointment, boredom and anger. “The Way I Feel” will also show kids how to express their feelings with words. Get it from Amazon.com

When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Through simple language, a young rabbit relates the things that make her angry and the positive ways in which she can deal with her emotions. The situations are realistic and will strike a familiar chord with most children-being ridiculed on the playground, having to stop a favorite activity to do a chore, not being able to get a drawing right, losing a ball game. Get it from Amazon.com

When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang

Dealing with anger in a socially appropriate way can be a particularly difficult skill for toddlers and young preschoolers. When Sophie Gets Angry-Really Really Angry… is a fabulous book for exploring the feeling of anger and facilitating discussion about constructive ways to handle this powerful and challenging emotion. Get it from Amazon.com