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Crying: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about crying?

As you can see, this list of kids books about crying is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about crying, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

Why Do We Cry?
Written by Fran Pintadera & illustrated by Ana Sender
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This sensitive, poetic picture book uses metaphors and beautiful imagery to explain the reasons for our tears, making it clear that everyone is allowed to cry, and that everyone does.

In a soft voice, Mario asks, “Mother, why do we cry?” His mother thinks for a moment, and then begins to tell him about the many reasons for our tears. We cry because our sadness is so huge it must escape from our bodies. Because we don’t understand the world, and our tears go in search of an answer. Because we can’t find the right words, and our tears speak a universal language. Most important, she tells him, we cry because we feel like crying. And, as she shows him then, sometimes we feel like crying for joy.

By exploring the causes of our tears, Fran Pintadera’s thoughtful, poetic picture book story defends the right to cry and reinforces crying’s importance as a way to release our pain, to calm us and to help us grow. Though the question is asked by the boy, the illustrations of his mother’s answers feature her as a child, adding a layer of empathy to her message. Ana Sender’s artwork uses color and symbolic images along with facial expressions and body language to beautifully capture the mood and emotion being described on each spread. This warm, reassuring hug of a book provides just the response every adult would want to have to the central question. Supporting social-emotional learning, it makes an excellent choice for discussions about feelings and crying. To extend the concepts in the story, back matter describes the physical aspects and benefits of tears and provides two activities.

Big Sibling Getaway
Written & illustrated by Korrie Leer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

First came the boxes. Then the baby. Then the loud, nonstop crying! Desperate to get away, new big sister Cassie climbs into one of the empty boxes and sets off. She drives, she sails, and she soars…but she still hears whimpers. How far will Cassie have to go to finally get some peace and quiet? Perfect for families with new babies, this imaginative picture book lets big siblings escape—and makes them want to come back.

Big Boys Cry
Written & illustrated by Jonty Howley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Let boys cry! This picture book imagines a world in which boys are encouraged to express their full range of emotions. It’s Levi’s first day at a new school, and he’s scared. His father tries to comfort Levi by telling him “Big boys don’t cry.” Though the father immediately understands his misstep, he can’t find the words to comfort his son, and Levi leaves for school, still in need of reassurance. Fortunately, along his walk to school, Levi sees instance after instance of grown men openly expressing their sadness and fear. His learned mantra, “Big boys don’t cry,” slowly weakens, and by the time he’s at school he releases a tear. Once he’s there, things aren’t so bad after all, and on his walk home he sees everyone he’s encountered earlier, feeling better now that they expressed their emotions. Upon his arrival home, he finds his father waiting for him on their porch, tears in his eyes. His father is able to admit that he was scared and the two embrace, closer than before. Jonty Howley’s gorgeous debut paints the world we wish existed for our boys, and offers a path there! This story is the truest interpretation of the notion that we should “let boys be boys”: let them express the full range of their emotions, vulnerable parts and all!

Cry Baby
Written by Karen Beaumont & illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Hush, hush! Rush, rush! When Baby cries, her family and neighbors try to stop her tears and help her to sleep. But all their rushing and hushing, tickling and rocking, and feeding and burping can’t stop Baby’s tears. Roy, the old retriever, knows what Baby needs to fall asleep-her little white sheep! In this rhythmic and soothing lullaby of a story, doggy knows best. Good boy, Roy!

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