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Good picture books for emotional development


Pictures tell a thousand words, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. Books are a great tool. They can be a source of information and knowledge. They can also be a source of enjoyment and leisure. They are also a good tool for bonding between parent and child. Reading books is an important part of a child’s development. It is a useful tool, not only in terms of cognitive development but for emotional development. It helps children to learn about the world through the lens of others and therefore learn about the similarities and differences that they have with other people. It is also a great platform to reflect upon and think inwards, about the emotions they have when they read the books. These reflections will then impact how they may think or react when a situation, similar to what they read, occurs to them. In this article, we will share 4 books that you could tap on to share with your child.


  1. Peter Panda Melts Down! By Artie Bennett


This book describes the different situations in which Peter Panda has a melt down. The various situations shown in the book mirror common situations in which toddlers and preschoolers may throw their temper tantrums or create a melt down situation. The cute illustrations and rhymes make the book suitable even for younger preschoolers. Throwing tantrums is something very common and often results from a situation where they do not get what they want. After experiencing a melt down, bringing this book out to read can be a way to go through with them about what they have just experienced. Reading the book allows them to think about how they felt in the similar situation and learn to manage their emotions in a different manner. At the same time, they can also step outside of the situation they were once in and look at it from their parent’s point of view and what their parents are experiencing. This could work both ways, as adults can also pick up pointers from how Mama panda reacts to the various situations. Even if there’s no special circumstances to pick up this book, you can still read this book with your toddler or preschooler!


  1. I like myself! By Karen Beaumont


As the title goes, this book is about accepting and loving yourself for who you are. It is a good book to tap on during this stage where children are developing their sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. This sense of self-esteem and self-confidence starts from them learning to accept themselves and how they look on the outside and how they are inside. The book also brings up the point about how other peoples’ opinions shouldn’t matter so much. The preschool years are the years where they learn to play in groups and have more interactions with others. They will start to hear more about what others say about themselves and these may have an influence on what they think and how they may continue to behave. This book helps provide a gentle reminder that what others see are only part of them and an important part of growing up is learning about self-love and self-acceptance. This book is suitable for 3 years and can continue to be used for early primary years.


  1. The Pigeon has to go to school by Mo Willems


Going to childcare may not be a smooth and happy occasion everyday for toddlers and preschoolers. While some may take this process very well, others may struggle to get out of their bed or refuse to budge even at the doorstep of the place. Prior to entering childcare, it may be good to read them a storybook, providing a platform for them to talk about their feelings. They may have some worries and anxieties about this new place. This book by Mo Willems lists the many possible imagined thoughts and fears that stop the pigeon from wanting to go to school at first. There will be some parts listed in the story which match the reasons your child may feel the same about going to school. However, later the pigeon also realises the positives of school and starts to be more positive about going to school. Therefore, reading this book to them can help alleviate any worries they may have and help them to see the positives of going to childcare. It will serve as a good encouragement for them to make the transition to school smooth. The book also comes as a series, following the main character, the Pigeon, in other situations. “Don’t let the Pigeon drive the bus” is a popular book out of the series, similarly suitable for older preschoolers to let them understand about what it means to keep a promise.


  1. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins


This book also starts off by sharing some anxieties about the first day of school but the focus of this book then moves to the process of making friends. Though not so applicable for lower age groups, for older preschoolers who start to engage in cooperative play, friends start to become an important part of their schooling life. Learning how to interact with others is part of their emotional development process and this book can help bring them some insights. The context of the story will also be quite hilarious for children as it is about the main character, Penelope, a T-rex, seeing her classmates, normal human beings, as delicious snacks. However, the story changes when Penelope puts herself in the shoes of her classmates and realises what it has been like for her friends to be seen as snacks. It is a good book to learn about how to treat friends and about empathy and is suitable for 3 to 5 years old. This best-seller also comes with two more books written in this series.


There are many suitable books to read with your child. I hope that if you have a chance, you will enjoy these 4 books shared in the article.


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