All our children get angry from time to time, and that’s OK. Sometimes our children ( and even some adults!) might need some help learning about this big emotion called anger; and books can be a very powerful tool.
I love using books when working with children. It’s such a lovely way to start a conversation about their feelings and even introduce some strategies to help them.
Here are some of my favourite books to use to help kids learn to notice, understand and manage their anger.
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1. A Volcano in My Tummy: Helping Children to Handle Anger
Using easy to understand yet rarely taught skills for anger management, including how to teach communication of emotions, A Volcano in My Tummy offers engaging, well-organised activities which help to overcome the fear of children’s anger which many adult care-givers experience. By carefully distinguishing between anger the feeling, and violence the behaviour, this accessible little book, primarily created for ages 6 to 13.
2. Tiger Has a Tantrum
A lively picture book that examines feelings of anger in an amusing but reassuring way through animal characters – perfect for young children who are experiencing angry emotions. The story offers a gentle way in to discuss this difficult emotion. At the end of the story there are notes for parents and teachers with suggestions of ways to help children deal with anger.
3. When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry
Everybody gets angry sometimes. For children, anger can be very upsetting. Parents, teachers, and children can talk about it. People do lots of different things when they get angry. In this Caldecott Honor book, kids will see what Sophie does when she gets angry.
4. Everybody Feels Angry!
Has someone ever taken something that belongs to you? Have you ever been angry and shouted? How did you feel? Did you clench your fists? Read about Sophie and Ethan, and what they did when they felt angry. With a mix of stories, questions for the reader, and advice, this book focuses on why children may feel a certain way and how they can deal with those feelings. With fun, engaging illustrations the book reassures young readers, providing them with a vocabulary to express and understand their feelings as they grow up and encounter different situations.
5. Spinky Sulks
Spinky is convinced that his family hates him and goes off to sulk in his hammock. His brother and sister try to make amends. His mom even brings him a beautiful tray of food. But nothing can get Spinky to stop sulking–not even a circus passing by on his street! Will Spinky ever cheer up?
5. When I Feel Angry
As an adorable bunny encounters things that make her angry, she learns to deal with anger in constructive ways that won’t hurt others, in a charming story that helps children to realise that anger is a normal feeling and shows them how to cope with their anger.
6. Zach Gets Frustrated
Zach and his family go to the beach, but Zach is having a lousy day. First, he dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. Then his best friend went to someone else’s birthday party instead of joining him. But most frustrating of all, he can’t get his kite to fly! Zach kicks sand, yells angry words, and asks his dad if they can just go home now. Instead, his dad teaches him a simple, three-step approach to get a handle on frustration and find a way to enjoy himself even when things aren’t going his way: 1) name it (why are you frustrated?); 2) tame it (self-regulation exercises such as deep breathing or visualisation); 3) re-frame it (change your thoughts to change your feelings).
7. How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger
Children need help learning how to manage their anger. Blending solid information and sound advice with humour and lively illustrations, these anger-management tips guide kids to understand that anger is normal and to learn they can express it in healthy ways. The book teaches them how to recognise 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.
8. What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger
This book guides children and their parents through the cognitive-behavioural techniques used to treat problems with anger. Engaging examples, lively illustrations, and step-by-step instructions teach children a set of “”anger dousing”” methods aimed at cooling angry thoughts and controlling angry actions, resulting in calmer, more effective kids.
9. A Monster Handbook
An interactive, part work book part activity toolkit that helps children tame and train their monster emotions. The Monster Handbook is written in a scrap book style and is bursting with positive exercises and activities to help children understand and work with their emotions. Each chapter covers a different monster feeling such as sadness, anger, anxiety and worry. The book is written in child language and so would be easily accessible to young families. The book is designed to be an ongoing toolkit to help children feel more in control of their emotions and feelings. It can also be used in the classroom and by therapists. Suitable for Ages 5-9.