By Julietta Skoog


The Power of the Perfect Children’s Book

One of the hardest parts of parenting is helping our young children navigate their emotional roller coasters. Yet big emotions are a necessary part of their development.  It helps them communicate when they don’t have the words or the skills to stay regulated, solve problems, face fears, deal with disappointment or frankly navigate all their young brains are learning and processing. It is a lot. The more that we can help children process their feelings and get comfortable with the uncomfortable, the stronger their brain development, setting them up for higher executive functioning as they grow older. There will still be big feelings and big challenges, but they will be much better equipped with coping skills, critical thinking, flexibility and resilience. So how do we do this? Books! Children love learning through characters and books. Making text to self connections when they are feeling cozy and as part of their daily routine gives them the practice and preview to strengthen their feelings vocabulary so when the big emotions hit, they are able to access that awareness and recover more quickly. 

So which books are the best?

Known as Nanny Miss Monique, our friend Monique DuPree has curated this special book list just for Sproutable.  As a child caregiver for over 20 years, Monique DuPree has gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience related to early childhood education, learning through play, early age reading, and the importance of diverse characters of color in children’s fictional literature. A native Chicagoan and proud wife & mother, she hopes to help other caregivers build their own libraries of inclusive children’s books that allow them to effectively teach children the importance of self-worth, cultural pride, and the celebration of diversity throughout the world.

How to use these books

  1. Have a special shelf or area to keep all of the feelings, social emotional, mindfulness genre of books.
  2. “Habit stack” the routine by linking one of these books to a daily part of the routine, for example during breakfast, in the bathtub, or just after naptime. 
  3. Keep these as “extra”; still allow your kiddos to choose their own books that they read before bedtime. 
  4. While reading, make connections and ask them about times they felt that way. Notice and teach how the character resolves the feeling or any tools they use. What helps?
  5. For the mindfulness books, remind your child that they are helping to grow their brain and building tools to help them the next time their lid flips.


Brave Molly by Brooke Boynton-Hughes

Cranky Right Now by Julie Barry

Fen’s Drop of Gray by Brian Wray

Mooncat and Me by Lydia Corry

My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain

Ruby Finds A Worry /tom Percival

The Comet Joe Todd Stanton

The Whatifs by Emily Kilgore

The Worrying Worries Rachel Rooney

Way Past Afraid

Way Past Lonely

Way Past Worried

*See our blog on Separation Anxiety


A Huge Hug by Jerome Ruillier

Hom by Jeanne Willis

How to Mend a Friend by Kark Newson

In My Heart by Mackenzie Porter

Lost in the Clouds by Tom Tinn-Disbury

My Big Dumb Invisable Dragon by Angie Lucus

No Longer Along by Joseph Coelho

Paper Planes by Jim Helmore

The Rhino Suit by Colter Jackson

There was a Hole by Adam Lehrhaupt

Way Past Sad Hallee Adelman

*See our blog on talking to kids about grief and death


Big Boys Cry by Jonty Howley

Feelings Libby Walden

Happy Right Now by Julie Barry

I am a Peaceful Goldfish by Shoshana Chaim

Listen By Gabi Snyder

Little Big Feeling by Deb Mils

Maps of my Emotions by Bimba Landmann

Max’s Box by Brian Wray

Mindful Mr. Sloth By Katy Hudson

The Boy With Big Big Feeling

*See our blog about mindfulness

Overcoming Adversity

I am Enough by Grace Byers

Maia and the very Tall Wall by Brian Wray

Ravi’s Roar Tom Percival

The Wind May Blow by Sasha Quinton

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day Davina Bell

*See our blog about overcoming adversity

And more!

Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival

Way Past Jealous

Way Past Mad

What are your favorite books? Comment below!

Author bio

Julietta Skoog is a Certified Positive Discipline Advanced Trainer with an Ed.S Degree in School Psychology and a Masters Degree in School Counseling with over 20 years of experience coaching families in Seattle Public Schools and homes all over the world. She draws from her real life practical experience working with thousands of students with a variety of needs and her own three children to parent coaching, bringing a unique ability to translate research, child development and Positive Discipline principles into everyday parenting solutions. Her popular keynote speeches, classes, and workshops have been described as rejuvenating, motivating, and inspiring.


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