The best children’s books about anger

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a peacemaker, so anger can be a really uncomfortable emotion for me. I think that’s true of lots of people! As a mom and mental health counselor, it was important to me to write a book that honored the protective nature of anger. Feelings give us important information. Putting this book together felt like a big puzzle to solve, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Bright and engaging illustrations, relatable characters, and tips for grown-ups in the back to help us all say hello to our anger and whatever might be hiding underneath! 


I wrote...

Book cover of Hello, Anger

What is my book about?

The students at Sunnyvale Elementary carry a lot in their backpacks – including some things you can’t see quite so well, like big, confusing emotions. Today, one fiery red book keeps spilling out and exploding onto everyone: anger! It’s time for the kids to use their best detective skills to figure out what’s underneath those angry feelings. Become a backpack detective like this diverse group of students and you can learn to:

Stop when I’m furious. Pause and be curious. What is underneath the mad? Am I lonely, stressed, or sad?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Grumpy Monkey

Jessica Sinarski Why did I love this book?

What a delightful book on every level. Brilliant illustrations, relatable story, and it encourages sweet relationships even through difficult emotions. It’s great for 4-7-year-old children, playfully showing that even the best advice about helping people with big feelings doesn’t always meet the need…at least not as much as a little connection with someone who “gets it.” 

By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Grumpy Monkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A hilarious and reassuring New York Times Number 1 bestseller about feeling your emotions - sometimes it's okay not to feel okay!

Meet Jim Panzee.

He's in a BAD mood.
Nothing feels right!
Nothing will do, and Jim just doesn't know why...

His friends give him tips and suggest things that make THEM feel happy, however poor old Jim gets overwhelmed and snaps . . .

Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

This modern classic is the perfect reminder that 'grumpy monkey' days never last for ever.


Book cover of I Love You When You're Angry

Jessica Sinarski Why did I love this book?

I have spent much of my adult life working with kids (and grown-ups) who had some tough stuff happen early in life. Traumatic experiences can lead to some big, angry behaviors that make the parent-child relationship challenging. This precious book is an antidote to that negative pattern. Enjoy this sweet story with ages 3 and up.

By Erin Winters, Kaitin Bucher (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Love You When You're Angry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

I love you when you’re angry
I love you when you’re sad
I love you when we both have days
That try to drive us mad!

This heartwarming book affirms over and over that a parent or caregiver’s love is unconditional. Watch your child’s eyes light up at the adorable animal illustrations, and their worries be calmed by the encouraging reminder that good days and bad days end the same - with an “I love you, now sleep tight!”

Written by Licensed Professional Counselor Erin Winters, this book normalizes emotions, promotes unconditional love for children, grace for parents, and provides…


Book cover of Roaring Mad Riley: An Anger Management Story for Kids

Jessica Sinarski Why did I love this book?

I have a special affection for the name Riley, which initially drew me to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this little tale of everyday struggles that impact young children. Author Allison Szczecinski (aka @_missbehavior) is well-versed in social-emotional learning and expertly wove in activities that readers can try alongside the dinosaur Riley.

By Allison Szczecinski, Dean Gray (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roaring Mad Riley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

No need to roar like a dinosaur—a story about anger management for kids ages 5 to 7

Find out that there are lots of easy ways to stop being angry with a little help from some super friendly dinosaurs! Roaring Mad Riley is a story about anger management for kids that is both a picture and activity book, making it fun to learn how to pause and cool down, even when you’re super upset.

Join Riley, Parker, and Mr. Rex on this adorably illustrated journey exploring anger management for kids. They’ll find out how to keep calm by breathing deep,…


Book cover of The Boy with Big, Big Feelings

Jessica Sinarski Why did I love this book?

This powerful book normalizes the big, big feelings that, for many kids, might look like angry outbursts or meltdowns. The gentle rhyme and soft illustrations are great for elementary-age kiddos. The Boy with Big, Big Feelings is especially important for highly sensitive children, helping them see their strengths in a new light.

By Britney Winn Lee, Jacob Souva (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boy with Big, Big Feelings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Highly recommended by parents, teachers, and therapists for children navigating feelings and coping with an array of emotions.

The Boy with Big, Big Feelings is relatable for any child -- especially kids experiencing anxiety, extreme emotions, autism, or who have been diagnosed as a Highly Sensitive Person. Beautifully illustrated and written in rhyming verse, children and adults explore the whole spectrum of feelings and readers navigate the emotional challenges they face throughout the day.

The main character has feelings so big that they glow from his cheeks, spill out of his eyes, and jump up and down on his chest.…


Book cover of Anh's Anger

Jessica Sinarski Why did I love this book?

“I’m the part of you that comes out when things don’t go your way.” I think we can all relate to that big, red monster that shows up when we feel mad. With beautiful, layered illustrations, Ahn’s Anger cleverly externalizes anger, sharing many of the feelings and sensations that may be involved. It also normalizes the time and presence that anger sometimes requires of us. Sending a child away when upset, which does occur in this story, may not be a great strategy for all families. It’s worth noting, however, that the grandfather does make the first move to restore the relationship and comfort Ahn.

By Gail Silver, Christianne Kromer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anh's Anger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

This wonderful and engaging 1st book in a trilogy that includes Steps and Stones and Peace, and Bugs and Understanding, gives children and caregivers a concrete practice for dealing with anger and other difficult emotions.

In Anh’s Anger, five-year-old Anh becomes enraged when his grandfather asks him to stop playing and come to the dinner table. The grandfather helps Anh fully experience all stages of anger by suggesting that he go to his room and, "sit with his anger." The story unfolds when Anh discovers what it means to sit with his anger. He comes to know his anger in…


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Kanazawa

By David Joiner,

Book cover of Kanazawa

David Joiner Author Of Kanazawa

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My book recommendations reflect an abiding passion for Japanese literature, which has unquestionably influenced my own writing. My latest literary interest involves Japanese poetry—I’ve recently started a project that combines haiku and prose narration to describe my experiences as a part-time resident in a 1300-year-old Japanese hot spring town that Bashō helped make famous in The Narrow Road to the Deep North. But as a writer, my main focus remains novels. In late 2023 the second in a planned series of novels set in Ishikawa prefecture will be published. I currently live in Kanazawa, but have also been lucky to call Sapporo, Akita, Tokyo, and Fukui home at different times.

David's book list on Japanese settings not named Tokyo or Kyoto

What is my book about?

Emmitt’s plans collapse when his wife, Mirai, suddenly backs out of purchasing their dream home. Disappointed, he’s surprised to discover her subtle pursuit of a life and career in Tokyo.

In his search for a meaningful life in Japan, and after quitting his job, he finds himself helping his mother-in-law translate Kanazawa’s most famous author, Izumi Kyoka, into English. He becomes drawn into the mysterious death of a friend of Mirai’s parents, leading him and his father-in-law to climb the mountain where the man died. There, he learns the somber truth and discovers what the future holds for him and his wife.

Packed with subtle literary allusion and closely observed nuance, Kanazawa reflects the mood of Japanese fiction in a fresh, modern incarnation.

Kanazawa

By David Joiner,

What is this book about?

In Kanazawa, the first literary novel in English to be set in this storied Japanese city, Emmitt's future plans collapse when his wife, Mirai, suddenly backs out of negotiations to purchase their dream home. Disappointed, he's surprised to discover Mirai's subtle pursuit of a life and career in Tokyo, a city he dislikes.

Harmony is further disrupted when Emmitt's search for a more meaningful life in Japan leads him to quit an unsatisfying job at a local university. In the fallout, he finds himself helping his mother-in-law translate Kanazawa's most famous author, Izumi Kyoka, into English.

While continually resisting Mirai's…


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Interested in anger, rage, and empathy?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about anger, rage, and empathy.

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