Emotional learning

One of the toughest tasks of childhood is learning to deal with feelings. We come into the world screaming at the top of our lungs, and then spend years learning to express ourselves in less, shall we say, vociferous ways. Here are few books that can help kids gain control.

Even Superheroes Make Mistakes

Although kids’ main job is to learn, some feel like they have to be perfect from Day 1. In this vibrant and playful romp, paragons of heroism endure their own goofy mess-ups. The superheroes then model the vital skill of resilience — of bouncing back emotionally from setbacks and trying again — that’s crucial to happiness and success. 

Ages 3–9 • $16.95


Just Breathe

Emotional learning continues well into late childhood. Written by Mallika Chopra, daughter of famed guru Deepak Chopra, this extensive primer on yoga, positive thinking and much more helps children (and parents) weather the turbulent teen years. 

Ages 8–12 • $9.99

Worries Are Not Forever

Local author Elizabeth Verdick wins again with the 11th book in Free Spirit’s Best Behavior series, a heartwarming board book that offers young worriers reassurance — and strategies for feeling better. Another version for ages 4 to 7 is especially helpful for children on the autism spectrum or any kids who often get overstimulated.

Ages 1–4 • $8.99

Allie All Along

When a young child blows a gasket, an older sibling can either help or make things worse. In this simple story, a boy skillfully brings his little sister down from a sudden, unpredictable tantrum. Kids can identify with either character, and parents might gain some insights, too!

Ages 4–7 • $16.95

Gentle Hands

Any parent of a Daniel Tiger fan knows how effective it can be to put emotional lessons into song. This gem from Minneapolis-based publisher Free Spirit takes songs everyone knows (Happy Birthday, B-I-N-G-O) and provides new lyrics to encourage kids to behave with kindness toward friends, take breaks when they get mad and more.

Ages 3–8 • $14.99

Ed Dykhuizen is an associate editor at Minnesota Parent and father of three who lives in St. Paul.