When you go to the grocery store with your kids, your toddler might throw a tantrum, or your preschooler might not want to share. As a parent, you’re bound to deal with your child’s temper at some point (perhaps you do daily). Each and every person gets angry at least once in their lives. As a family, you can read these picture books together and talk about how even though we all get angry, there are many things we can do to calm down.
The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain
All kinds of emotions, from happy to sad, angry to proud, are shown in this picture book. It’s a good way to show kids that a wide range of emotions, including anger, are normal parts of our emotions. Some of the many different types of feelings that a child might have can also be taught by this.
When Sophie Gets Angry —Really, Really Angry…, by Molly Bang
It shows how little kids get angry when they have to share a favorite toy. Her mother will say that Sophie’s sister can play with her stuffed gorilla. What will she do? Kids will be able to understand Sophie’s feelings and what she has been through. How will she deal with it? How would they act?
Why did this book win an award? An angry little girl is named Sophie. This story tells about her and how she tries to calm down when she gets angry. Her favorite place is her favorite place to run. She takes a break, runs there, spends some time alone, and then goes back to her activities when she’s calmer. When a child is angry, this is a great thing to do.
I Was So Mad, by Mercer Mayer
As you know, Little Critter doesn’t like it when he can’t do the things that he wants to do. Because he’s mad, His mother doesn’t let him keep frogs in the bathtub. In the next step, his dad won’t let him play with his sister’s dollhouse, either. When it comes to Little Critter, what can they do? Is there anything that’s fun that isn’t banned? It’s not that he doesn’t want to play in the sandbox or slide down the slide, though. This cute picture book is kind and understanding of Little Critter’s anger at being told “No!” It also shows how an adult’s “Yes” at the right time can make a big difference.
My No, No, No Day, by Rebecca Patterson
Bella is having a bad day, from her breakfast to a trip to the grocery store, to a play date. When she is angry, how does she deal with her feelings? There are times when we all have “those days.” This is a good book to read to remind us that we all do.
Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney
This rhyming book is about going shopping on a Saturday. Llama Llama is back in this book. This is how it works: The little llama, like many young kids, doesn’t like shopping at big stores. He takes his anger out on his mom. When they work together, they come up with ways to make the experience even more fun for both of them! This book in Anna Dewdney’s popular series is a good one to read to your toddler or preschooler before you go grocery shopping or run errands with them, because it has a lot of fun stories.
When I Feel Angry, by Cornelia Maude Spelman, illustrated by Nancy Cote
When we are made fun of, have to clean our room, or something isn’t fair, we can get angry. But how should we handle our anger? This book shows you how to deal with angry feelings without yelling or lashing out, like taking deep breaths, taking time for yourself to cool down, or going outside and changing your scenery.
Cool Down and Work Through Anger, by Cheri J. Meiners
Anger is a common emotion for kids, but it can be hard for them to find ways to deal with their feelings in a healthy way. This book is full of ideas for how to cool down when angry, like exercising, spending time with friends, reading, or drawing. Talking calmly and with respect, apologizing when you’re in the wrong, and forgiving others when they are are also good ideas for how to behave.
“How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
You should not do these things when you’re angry, but there are a few simple things you can do instead (like counting or taking a deep breath) to help you deal with your anger. A lot of young kids like the illustrations and the fact that it has dinosaurs in it.
“No More Tantrums (Big Kid Power)” by Maria van Lieshout
When a fictional character talks about how she used to have temper tantrums, she talks about how she now uses things like counting to help her calm down. If you are working on anger management with your kids, this is a great way to remind yourself and read the same things over and over again.
When Miles Got Mad” by Sam Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller
This story is about a little boy named Miles. When he was angry, he looked in the mirror and saw his anger in the form of a monster. This helpful monster shows Miles how to make him (and the anger that comes with it) go away. Because this book is written in a way that kids can understand, I love that it includes not only ways to calm down but also how anger makes us feel and how it affects our bodies.
“I Don’t Want To!” by Joseph Maxfield and Nate Anderson
This book talks about how to use your imagination to make boring, everyday things fun. My favorite thing about it is how it teaches kids that they have the power to control the situations they are in and how they feel. I also like that the format goes through a lot of real-life examples (like having to go to school) that kids can understand.