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Books to Help Little Children Handle Big Emotions

girl and father holding hands walking

One of the most crucial skills we human beings learn is how to manage our emotions. But it’s a hard skill to learn, and sometimes adults need help guiding the emotional development of the children in their lives.

As part of our mission to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, ZERO TO THREE has built a collection of research-backed books designed to help parents and caregivers as they guide young children through challenging times. These stories provide the vocabulary little ones need to share their feelings, and help families focus on belonging, and the connectedness we all cherish.


This story helps children and grown-ups start difficult conversations about emotions and snuggle in closer together.

This book features children expressing their feelings about their mother being away on deployment.

This book features children expressing their feelings about their father being away on deployment.

This board book with photo inserts reminds children that they will be loved, nurtured, and protected, no matter what the circumstances.

This book helps families with young children readjust to life together after a long separation due to military deployment.

This story helps parents and children talk about difficult separations, reconnect, and find a way back to each other.

Once I Was Very Very Scared: Ippen, Chandra Ghosh, Ippen jr., Erich Peter:

This story helps grown-ups understand the impact of stress and trauma and supports families in beginning a conversation that leads to healing.

This story was developed to open doors to conversations with young children who have difficult questions when family members have challenges.




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