In 1968 Fred Rogers asked, "What do you do with the mad that you feel?" While we have not yet arrived at a definitive answer to that question, we've since been given a wealth of resources to help us better understand ourselves, the way we feel, and the way those feelings affect others.

As your little one grows, they are sure to experience new, sometimes confusing or scary feelings -- sadness, frustration, disappointment, etc. -- and they may need a little help understanding what they're going through, or how to communicate what they're feeling to their caregivers.

I've selected five non-fiction titles, each centered around addressing a different emotion. These titles and more are available at the Barrington Area Library.


You're Angry: Throw a Fit or Talk It Out? You Choose the Ending...
Written by Connie Colwell Miller

Illustrated by Victoria Assanelli

So... what do you do with the mad that you feel? Connie Miller doesn't answer that question for readers; instead, she lets them explore for themselves.

In this book we follow Kendra, a young girl, who does not want to go to bed. Her father calls out to her, asking her to come inside... but what does Kendra do? Every page notes that Kendra has the option to either angrily lash out or make another decision, and with each decision made we see the outcome -- does Kendra get in trouble? Does she upset her father? Does she communicate her feelings in a constructive manner? That's up to the reader?

This is a fun way to address angry feelings, as it puts the power in your little one's hands, allows them to explore the consequences of throwing a tantrum (without actually experiencing one themselves), and supports emerging problem-solving skills.


I Feel... Anxious
By DJ Corchin

"Sometimes I feel anxious because of what people say.
Like when I hear adults argue... and I'm not sure it's OK.
Or when there's a germ in the air
And I can't go and play.
Bad thoughts stick in my head and they won't go away."

There's no way around it: we live in anxious times. Real life may be overwhelming at times, but DJ Corchin urges kids not to give in. Instead, with simple, empathetic poetry, he helps them work through their anxieties, first exploring the different causes then giving tips for management. The text is accompanied by expressive, if somewhat silly, drawings that perfectly capture how it feels to be overcome with anxiety.

The book is supplemented by specific anxiety management exercises with step-by-step instructions.


Get Unstuck from Disappointment
Written by Gill Hasson
Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

 What do you when things don't go your way, or someone lets you down?

Gill Hasson offers strategies for overcoming disappointment, whether it's something as simple as having a back-up plan or something that takes a little more work, like trying to look at things with a different point-of-view. But no matter what form your disappointment takes, Gill Hasson makes sure you know that you're not alone, and that you can get past it.


Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
By Keith Negley

It doesn't matter if you're a superhero, a pirate, a biker, or a ninja -- it's okay to be sad or upset, and it's okay to express it.

While this book is ostensibly for boys, especially those who feel uncomfortable expressing emotions like sorrow, any child can enjoy its universal message. You can be strong, brave, tough, and open with your emotions. And you are not alone in feeling the way you feel.

Unlike the other entries in this post, Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) does not offer solutions or strategies; instead, it encourages kids to express themselves when they feel sad, and to not feel ashamed for doing so.


Step Back from Frustration
Written by Gill Hasson
Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

Maybe things aren't going your way. Maybe you want something you can't have -- a new toy, a video game, a cool new book from your local library...

Maybe you feel like you're just going to explode if you don't get what you want.

It's okay to feel frustrated. It's okay to be upset that you're not getting the thing you want. But before you lash out, consider reading this helpful how-to guide on confronting frustration. Gill Hasson returns with this sister volume to Get Unstuck from Disappointment, which takes the same format: first telling the reader what frustration is, then offering examples of things that make us frustrated, before giving us tips on how to manage our frustrations.


Let us shop the shelves for you! Fill out a Browsing Bundle request, and a Librarian will bag up a small collection books or movies we think you'll love. 

  Youth Services Librarian Chris