Books to Help Kids Manage Anger
Learning how to express emotions is important to a child’s social-emotional health and development. Kids need to learn that it’s okay to feel angry, but it’s not okay to hurt anyone with actions or words.
As parents, we need to help our children understand their feelings and build skills for coping with emotions such as anger in safe ways.
The best way for children to learn these coping skills is by watching and learning from us. When I get angry I do my best to show appropriate ways to manage it.
This includes calm down techniques, apologizing when necessary, and talking about my feelings when appropriate. I’m nowhere near perfect… I just do the best I can like every other parent out there.
Books to Help Kids Manage Anger
The next best way to help your children learn to manage anger is by reading books to help kids manage anger. This is not a static list. I have updated it and will continue to add books that we find useful. Be sure you sign up for my newsletter below so you don’t miss anything!
There are books on this list for kids of all ages; toddlers, preschoolers, elementary aged kids, and teens. By reading these stories kids can begin to learn how their emotions and actions are related, and learn to manage both.
Look for these at your local library. If you can not find them I have provided affiliate links for your convenience. Thank you for choosing to support this blog!
25 Books to Help Kids Manage Anger
1. Calm-Down Time (ages 1 – 3) by Elizabeth Verdick
The children in my home daycare loved this book and wanted to read it often. It shows other toddlers using simple tools to calm themselves down. The children in this simple story learn to use their calm-down place—a quiet space where they can cry, ask for a hug, sing to themselves, be rocked in a grown-up’s arms, talk about feelings, and breathe: “One, two, three . . . I’m calm as can be. I’m taking care of me.”
2. Words Are Not for Hurting (ages 2 – 3) or Words Are Not for Hurting (ages 4 – 7) by Elizabeth Verdick
This was another favorite at my home daycare. It’s amazing to me how much the children actually liked these behavior books. They must really speak to a place inside them that needs this information. I find them sort of strange but they totally work! This is a good book to help toddlers understand the power of words and how they can use positive words instead of negative ones…even to express their negative emotions.
3. Teeth Are Not for Biting (ages 2 – 3) by
4. Feet Are Not for Kicking (ages 2 – 3) by
This book was another favorite similar to the ones listed above. It is great for all caregivers of children to have on hand to help when kids start hitting. I needed and used it with the kids in my care way before they turned 2 years old. It Includes tips for parents and caregivers in the back. In simple words, this book helps teach these important concepts in ways even very young children can understand. It’s never too soon for children to learn that violence is never okay, hands can do many good things, and everyone is capable of positive, loving actions.
6. No Hitting!: A Lift-the-Flap Book (ages 2 – 5) by Karen Katz
The title of this book, “No Hitting” is a little misleading. Only the first page actually addresses hitting, while the rest of the book addresses other inappropriate behaviors that kids might do when they are mad. I found it perfect for steering the kids in my home daycare toward acceptable behaviors and away from the negative ones. With the help of this book, toddlers will learn to say NO to hitting, screaming, squeezing and yelling while saying YES to fun!
7. I Was So Mad (ages 3 – 7) by
This book shows the Critter family saying no to everything Little Critter wants to do. Finally, mad at the world, Little Critter announces he will run away. When pals come by and ask him to come and play baseball, our young hero’s mood quickly changes.
8. When I Feel Angry (ages 3 – 8) by Albert Whitman
As this little bunny experiences the things that make her angry, she also learns ways to deal with her anger–ways that won’t hurt others. One of my favorite elements of this book is that it gives several options for dealing with anger. My 2.5-year-old and I read this together to help us BOTH remember how to behave when we get angry.
9. I’m Mad (ages 3 – 8) by
This book is a part of the dealing with feelings series that help children accept and acknowledge their emotions. Another book in this series “I’m Furious,” can be found directly below. Reading these books can help children learn to distinguish between feelings and actions. I love that the stories give kids several ways to cope with feelings by utilizing the books’ “choose-your-own-ending” format.
10. I’m Furious (ages 3 – 8) by
This book is from the same dealing with feelings series as the one directly above. In these books, the authors provide guidance and suggestions that help parents and children find solutions that work.
11. The Very Frustrated Monster (ages 3 +) by
This book is a part of The WorryWoo Monsters Series of books about emotions for kids. Click through to find others in the series. “Why me?” and “It’s not fair!” are favorite phrases used by Twitch, The Monster of Frustration. Though Twitch tries very hard to get everything right, he quickly gets upset when things don’t go his way.
12. Voices Are Not For Yelling (ages 4 – 7) by
As parents and teachers know, yelling comes naturally to children. This friendly, encouraging book, geared to preschool and primary children, introduces and reinforces where and when to use an “indoor voice” or an “outdoor voice.”
13. When Mouse Was Mad (ages 4 – 7) by
This is a wonderful book for toddlers and preschoolers about dealing with angry feelings. Mouse is mad, and he tries them all sorts of ways of dealing with his angry feelings but nothing works for him. Finally, he figures out his own way of dealing with his feelings and realizes he isn’t mad anymore.
14. When Miles Got Mad (ages 4 – 7) by
Like Miles in this story, expressing emotions in healthy ways is something that all toddlers need to learn. This fun and entertaining book offers much-needed comfort to young children as they struggle to regulate their emotions.
15. When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry (ages 4 – 8) by Molly Bang
This is a favorite in our house. When I used to run an in-home childcare this book was selected to read by the children in my care a lot. One day Sophie gets really really angry! In the story, we see how she deals with her anger in a healthy way after an incident with her sister. A must read!
16. I Hate Everything! A Book about Feeling Angry (ages 4 – 8) by
Sam has a hard time when things don’t go his and cries, “I hate everything!” With the help of his aunt, Sam learns new ways to deal with his anger and feel better.
This book is a part of another series of books about emotions that uses brightly illustrated stories to help kids understand how their emotions and actions are related—and how they can learn to manage both. At the end of each book, a two-page series of pictures invites kids to tell a story in their own words. Click through to find more books in the series.
17. I Am so Angry, I Could Scream: Helping Children Deal with Anger (ages 4 – 8) by
This story introduces children to the idea that they can learn techniques for releasing anger in healthy ways. Young readers are shown how to keep an anger chart to identify the causes of their angry feelings and how to find positive ways to work through them.
18. Mad Isn’t Bad: A Child’s Book about Anger (ages 4 +) by
19. Angry Octopus: An Anger Management Story introducing active progressive muscular relaxation and deep breathing (ages 4+) by Lori Lite (author) and Max Stasuyk (Illustrator)
This book indispensable to me and my family. It does a wonderful job of guiding children (and adults) through a progressive relaxation exercise as well as conveying that angry feelings can be managed. Children can relate to the angry octopus in this story as the sea child shows him how to take a deep breath, calm down, and manage his anger. It is clear, and the illustrations are inviting and helpful.
20. Cool Down and Work Through Anger (ages 4 – 8) by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.
This is a fantastic book that shows kids that it’s normal to get angry. It begins with a few scenarios that might cause a kid to be angry – being left out of a play group, being treated with disrespect. Then it talks about the physical feeling of being angry – hot face, tense muscles, fast heartbeat. It talks about what you might want to do if you get angry, but then explains that these are not always the best choices. Finally, it gives some very helpful advice on what to do if you are feeling angry.
21. I’m Not Bad, I’m just Mad: A Workbook to Help Kids Control Their Anger (ages 6-12) by
Anger is a natural human emotion, but if it isn’t managed properly its effects can be devastating. Seeing Red is a curriculum designed to help elementary and middle-school aged students better understand their anger so they can make healthy and successful choices and build strong relationships.
23. A Volcano in My Tummy: Helping Children to Handle Anger (ages 7+) by
24. How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger (ages 8 – 13) by Elizabeth Verdick
This book is written by the same author as the first four books listed for toddlers at the top of this post. It teaches kids how to recognize anger in themselves and others, how to handle situations and emotions (loneliness, guilt, frustration, fear) that lead to or mask anger, and how to deal with the anger they feel. By reading this book kids can learn that violence is not acceptable and that there are safer, more positive ways to resolve conflicts. They can also discover what to do when people around them are angry, how to get help, and how to locate other resources when they need more support.
25. What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems With Anger (ages 8+) by
Learning how to express emotions is important to a child’s social-emotional health and development. It’s never too early for children to recognize the feeling of anger and learn to express it appropriate ways.
Kids need to learn that it’s okay to feel angry, but it’s not okay to hurt anyone with actions or words. As parents, teachers, counselors, and caregivers, we need to help our children understand their feelings and build skills for coping with emotions such as anger in safe ways.
There are books on this list for kids of all ages; toddlers, preschoolers, elementary aged kids, tweens and teens. By reading these stories and doing the activities kids can begin to learn how their emotions and actions are related, and how they can learn to manage both.
You may also like Books That Help Kids Understand Their Feelings and the other book lists below:
- Books That Teach Kids Important Life Lessons
- Books That Help Kids Develop Healthy Personal Boundaries
- 10 Books Every Parent of Young Children Should Read
Or, click on the link to learn more about Rhythms of Play!