Picture Books that Convey Emotions in Surprising Ways

Books for family time!
Have you read any of these emotionally rich picture books from Korea, Poland and Italy?

By Jen Kraar

Quality picture books create magical moments. As a reader, you enter into a world with a child and share more than a story. You turn the pages and often experience a strong array of feelings, anything from joy to a poignant sadness. Oftentimes you cannot define your emotional journey. Instead of giving emotions a name, a story may create a unique experience.

Our children are pandemic-weary and trying to understand the complex emotions of our troubling times. Schools in the U.S. are now including Social Emotional Learning (SEL) goals in their curricula. They are trying to teach students to understand their emotions, feel those emotions fully and show empathy for others. Publishers have targeted a number of their kids’ books to meet this need. While reading SEL-themed picture books, I began to understand how authors and illustrators can help children develop self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills.


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