by May Bleeker, updated 10 May 2017
As a parent, teacher, counsellor or family member you might be interested in these books and resources that encourage children to be themselves, to focus on what is loving and good in their lives, and to develop the skills needed to deal effectively with the world.
Learning to understand and handle feelings are an essential part of growing up and developing maturity. Many of the books below focus on this aspect of growing up.
I've partnered with Powell's Books to provide this list. Click on the book covers to find the individual books on their website, or browse the whole bookshelf at Powell's here. Powell's is a USA based store that ships to USA addresses. For Europe and elsewhere these books are available on Amazon.
The Little Brute Family
I found this little book many moons ago on the floor of a children's home where I used to work. It was torn, had no cover, and the pages were grubby. Intrigued by the first few lines, I sat down on the carpet amidst a chaos of toys and read it all the way through. The story stayed with me, as a pinprick of light, throughout my adult life. The Brute Family are not a happy family. They eat stick and stone stew that hurts their tummies and their kites don't fly. Then one day, while out in a field of daisies, Baby Brute finds something nice. It changes everything. Don't miss this one, folks! Its a beautifully told tale with truth at its core. Even though its written for kiddies, it has wisdom and heart for all ages.
Feel Good Book
by Todd Parr.
A cute, bright and colorful book that focuses the attention on things that feel good. Great for young children, and helping them develop positive mind habits through remembering the things that make them happy. Use the book as a starting point for a bedtime game of 'what felt good today?' Or to help cheer a youngster up by helping him or her remember the things they like.
How Do I Feel? / Como Me Siento?
A little book about feelings with animals to demonstrate the different emotions.
Helpful for guiding 'littlies' towards a basic recognition and understanding of different emotions. The text in this book appears in both English and Spanish.
Love Is A Good Thing To Feel
by Barbara Joosse.
In this book about love - sweet, quirky little Harriet does a whimsical exploration of what love feels like and all the ways she can think of to say "I love you".
With adorable illustrations, this little book makes an excellent bedtime read for 3-5 year olds or even a little older! A lovely gift, too.
Hello Kitty: A Little Book Of Happiness
This is a cupcake in book form. Sweet, lighthearted, and just meant to make you smile for the moment. Hello Kitty and friends enjoy a few things that make them happy, like building sandcastles, playing outside in the sun, swinging, or (apparently) just standing about looking incredibly cute.
The large, bright and colorful illustrations will make this little book appealing for tiny tots or little girls of 5-9 years who love Hello Kitty.
Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney.
A much loved favourite story for little guys and girls, all about love and how impossible it is to measure love, as told by Little and Big Nutbrown Hare. Beautiful illustrations and a warm, loving topic to share with your toddlers of about 2-4 years.
If you want to browse the whole of this bookshelf at Powell's go here.
More children self esteem resources
Self esteem games