Listen to My Latest Podcast Episode
Listen Here
Book Reviews

KidLitPicks: Little Kids, Big Emotions 17 Picture Book Recommendations

Did you know that reading with your kiddos supports the development of emotional intelligence? Well it does! By enhancing vocabulary, creating an openness to experience, and providing safe space for emphatic imagination, books open our children to the world of emotions in pretty powerful ways. This month, the #kidlitpicks theme is Little Kids, Big Emotions and we are excited to share some great picture books that address your children’s big and budding feelings! Some books will aim directly at helping kiddos understand and express themselves (a major tantrum-busting skill) by featuring an array of emotions, illustrations, and feeling words. Other books will feature stories that give children the opportunity to imagine themselves in interesting narratives about sadness, hope, joy, fear, angry, and all the rest.  This month’s @kidlitpicks theme was chosen and introduced by @afriendlyaffair, with a special message: As a clinical psychologist, I feel strongly about the importance of giving your kids a plethora of ways to express themselves. Hopefully your feed will be full this month of books that help us all along the way of building a good base of knowledge, play, and imaginative experiences so that our kids can understand the world around them and be resilient.

Places To Be, by Mac Barnett and Renata Liwska
“All the ups and downs in life, the zigzags and u-turns, can be difficult to navigate, but with a friend at our side in all those places to be, we’ll get through.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

Feminist Baby, by Loryn Brantz
“She’s a force to be reckoned with!” — Mel from @spiky_penelope

“It is wonderful for opening discussions on feelings, friendship, diversity and, of course, abstract art..” — Clarissa from @book.nerd.mommy


Tiny Tantrum, by Caroline Crowe and Ella Okstad
“We all know a little girl like her!” —  Kim from @bookbairn
Brave, by Stacy McAnulty and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
“This primer is a perfect introduction for kids and a great refresher for their grownups.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

In My Heart, by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
“The die cut hearts are one of the many appealing features of this book.” — De from @books_and_babycinos

The Forever Garden, by Laurel Snyder and Samantha Cotterill
“A wonderful story about friendship and gardening! ” — Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore

Emily’s Blue Period, by Cathleen Daly
“For families going through separation or divorce, Emily’s Blue Period is an especially compassionate and helpful book…be sure to have some art supplies ready to make your own collage afterward.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

My Brother, by Dee Huxley
“Older children will appreciate this metaphorical story that is a tender exploration of loss and grief from a sibling’s perspective.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

A Book of Feelings, by Amanda McCardie
“What sets this book apart is that it not only focuses on different kinds of emotions but also how those emotions may affect them and how to identify and understand them in other people.” — Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

I’m New Here, by Anne Sibley O’Brien
“I think this book is great for both welcoming children to classrooms and also providing American children with an understanding of what it feels like to be new and learn how to speak and write a new language..” — Charnaie from @hereweeread
The Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus, by Edward Hemingway
“It was a great reminder for me that there are times to be firm and strict but there are just as many times to show empathy. Both are important.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader
Everyone, by Christopher Silas Neal
“A beautiful and hopeful look at understanding emotion.” — Heather from @kidlitbookbits

The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings, by Anna Llenas
The Color Monster is the perfect emotional primer for young kids. It explores the range of emotions children experience — all through amazing pop-up pages bursting with color!” — Anna from @kidlitcrafts

Today I Feel, by Madalena Moniz
Today I Feel fits in perfectly with the theme. It’s an Alphabet book of feelings.” — Mel from

Annie’s Chair, by Deborah Miland
“In a deceptively simple way, it taps into some of the BIG preschooler emotions around sharing and space..” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

Grumpy Pants, by Claire Messer
“A great door to talk to kids about these grumpy feelings and learning how to deal with them.” — Michelle from

Your turn: What books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

children's literacy

Feeling Nostalgic: My Favorite Childhood Books

This week I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic and started reminiscing about some of my favorite books, television shows and toys I loved as a kid.  I think these thoughts popped into my head because I was thinking how fortunate all of the children who have access to so many wonderful books are today.  There are literally books for just about any topic you can think of.  Can you imagine having so many books at your fingertips during your childhood?

My Favorite Childhood Books

If you grew up in the eighties like me, you’ll remember some great stories that were huge back then. These were the books that got you through childhood, the characters acting as companions when all the older kids rode their bikes to the park without you.

One of the joys of parenting I’m looking forward to is when my kids are old enough to read the books from my  childhood.  It will be a chance to not only relive the magic of the stories, but also provide the comfort of being a kid again.

Here are some of the favorites I can remember from my childhood.  Any of these look familiar to you?

Blubber by Judy Blume
The cover to this book has since been updated, but I believe this is the original image.

What happens when teasing goes too far? This classic middle grade novel from Judy Blume addresses the timeless topic of bullying and has a fresh new look.

Corduroy by Don Freeman
Who doesn’t love Corduroy?  Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today then he was when he first came on the scene in 1968. This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin
Remember Stacey, Mary Anne, Dawn, and Claudia from The Babysitter’s Club book and television series?  These 4 girls helped guide me through my teenage years with dreams of growing more independent.  I so wanted to start my own babysitter’s club, did you?

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is the ultimate girlhood role model: she’s strong, independent and fun, and just as relevant now as she was back then.

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Amelia Bedelia and she is a silly maid who takes everything literally. She is hired by Mrs. Rodgers to clean her home and prepare dinner while Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers are out. Amelia Bedelia performs every item on Mrs. Rodger’s list exactly as it says.  Oh, Amelia!

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Peter explores many of my favorite aspects of playing with snow, from snow ball fights, to making snow angels, to trying to hold on to snow even inside (even though the snow ball melts in his pocket). I think Keats perfectly captures the wonder kids feel when going out to play in the snow.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
The cover to this book has since been re-printed, but I believe this is the original image.

Eight-year-old Ramona Quimby’s zest for life is infectious as ever. Whether speaking her mind to her third-grade teacher, or befriending her schoolyard bully, Ramona can’t be kept down!

I’m sure there are other books I may be forgetting, but these are the ones that came to mind first.  I hope you enjoyed that little walk down memory lane.

Your turn:  What were some of your favorite “back in the day” books from your childhood?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Just for fun!  Our friends over at Bookroo kicked off a fun project this week. They’ve created 100 posters of well-known children’s books, along with a quiz people can use to test their knowledge using the posters. The goal of this initiative is to remind people of the simple joy of children’s books–to bring back wonderful reading memories, but also encourage the making of new ones!

Test your knowledge today by taking the FREE quiz here! How many can you get right?  Note:  This is not an affiliate link and I am not being compensated for promoting their quiz.  Enjoy!