4 books to help little boys deal with big emotions

Full length of young boy reading book in library

Sadness. Fear. Anger. Guilt. Sometimes our little dudes need help identifying and expressing intense emotions. And let’s face it, sometimes we parents could use a little help helping them! Guide your son through his emotional minefield(s) with these four fun and touching picture books.

1. Tough Guys Have Feelings Too by Keith Negley 

This boldly illustrated picture book is about how everyone gets sad, including ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, and the toughest tough guys of all – dads. Particularly good for fathers and sons, boys will enjoy recognising their own feelings in the ‘tough guys’ and parents will love the way this book helps you talk about emotions, and how they affect each and every one of us.


2. Finn Throws a Fit by David Elliott

Parents of tantrum-prone toddlers and pre-schoolers are sure to recognise Finn, who unleashes his furious anger like a hurricane… over a peach. Empathetic and hilariously easy to identify with, this picture book speaks directly to anyone who has ever had, or tried to contain, a real earth-quaking, ground-shaking, emotional storm of a tantrum. It tells your boy that you’ll love him no matter how angry he gets – just don’t try and read it to him when he’s in the middle of throwing a fit…

 3. Theo’s Mood: A Book of Feelings by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

It’s Mood Monday and Miss Cady’s class is sharing how they feel after the weekend. But Theo can’t figure out his mood. He has a new baby sister and he isn’t just happy like Eric who got a new bike, or sad like April who lost her dog – he’s all those things, and more.

Theo’s Mood does something that other ‘new sibling’ books don’t – it talks about the range of feelings that a child might feel in reaction to having a new sibling (jealous and happy at the same time) and underscores the idea that good and bad moods aren’t mutually exclusive.


 4. Mum and Dad Glue by Kes Gray

A beautiful book that explores the sensitive topic of divorce from a child’s perspective. A little boy searches for a pot of parent glue to paste his parents’ marriage back together. He soon realises that even though he feels sad that his parents’ marriage is broken, it’s not his fault, and their love for him remains as strong as ever. The book doesn’t patronise or make false promises, but is optimistic and encourages children to look forward. Warning: Mum and Dad Glue will probably make you cry, whether you’ve experienced divorce/separation or not.

Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

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