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We Get Angry Too!

Emotions are a normal part of life for all humans, even and especially for little ones. While children do not yet have much practice understanding and dealing with anger in healthy ways, this list of picture books tackles the topic of different approaches for children to think about this common emotion. The positive message of these books is “It’s Okay to be angry and it’s possible to still be you by learning to approach and understand your anger.”

There are many things in life that can make us feel angry and frustrated, some of those things tend to pile up. The problem isn’t feeling this anger, it’s how we deal with and understand it. In this story, pout-pout fish is in this exact spot dealing with a lot of frustrating things. However, this story doesn’t end with anger, it ends with relief as pout-pout fish learns ways to help manage this unpleasant emotion. Can pout-pout fish’s tricks work for you too?

Since children are (thankfully) not robots, they respond to the world around them and that includes responding to difficult and frustrating circumstances such as being too small to do certain things. Ravi’s roar follows a little boy whose anger transforms him into a tiger, but his actions have negative consequences for him and his friends and family. Will this ferocious little tiger become a boy again by learning healthy and positive ways to manage anger? Read Ravi’s Roar to find out!

As seen in the previous book on this list, the inability to do certain activities because of age and size is one possible ingredient for anger, and another common one is the challenges of interacting with others. Friendships are great and necessary things, but they can be hard and crumble when you are still new to dealing with emotions. Rita and Ralph’s rotten day tells the story of two friends who learn that anger is not the end-all of friendships and that healing the divide is possible even for the smallest of us.

Using one very angry cookie, author Laura Dockrill shows that the solution to anger is NOT taking it out on friends or us, the readers. While we feel anger personally, thinking about how our actions affect not only us but others are important elements to dealing with anger. This book also lets young readers know that it’s okay to talk about how we feel.

The big angry roar is another book on the list that involves learning to deal with anger in healthy ways. While angry has a tendency to build and become bigger and bigger, does this book end with an explosive roar or a happy lion cub?

Most of the stories on this list talk about how to deal with anger once it becomes very loud and big in a child’s mind. A little spot of anger teaches children how to “shrink” and control that first little drop of anger before it becomes a BIG emotion.

Once anger becomes a big emotion for kids, it can be hard to calm down. However, with a little help from her big brother, Allie learns a few healthy and helpful ways to take back control of her anger and feel like herself again.

Many of the books on this list have focused on how to prevent or handle full-blown anger, Kindness grows takes a slightly different approach. This book presents a gentle reminder about the power of kindness in slowing and handling anger, not just from a personal point but on how to deal with anger in others.

Sometimes big emotions can happen in pairs, such as anger and sadness. This book teaches children to learn to recognize anger in others, such as best friends in the case of Coco and Marlo. Learning empathy not only helps children to connect and help their friends and others, but it can also teach children to understand their own anger as well.

What happens when a child is still too new to managing emotions and not as able to verbalize what makes them angry? While anger in smaller children with fewer words can develop into temper tantrums quite easily, Mad, mad bear presents the reader with one of the most important assurances about hard emotions for small children: emotions and even the hard ones, are temporary.