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Psychology: Books For Kids

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

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to psychology. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about psychology.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about psychology, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear to popular sellers like Life of Pi to some of our favorite hidden gems like You’ve Got Dragons.

We hope this list of kids books about psychology can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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You've Got Dragons
Written by Kathryn Cave & illustrated by Nick Maland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Worries, fears, and anxieties are all dragons that sneak up on most of us at one time or another.

Lots of people get dragons. Even really really good people get them. And sometimes they are hard to get rid of. So what can a young boy with a bad case of the dragons do? He can pretend they are not there, or that they are really quite harmless. Hugs from his mom help. Looking his dragon straight in the eye at least once every day helps even more. But most reassuring of all is the reminder that dragons don’t stay forever.

Kathryn Cave’s lighthearted writing style and illustrator Nick Maland’s appealing pen-and-ink drawings exaggerate the humor of the text without minimizing the seriousness of the underlying themes. It is the perfect read-aloud story for young children whose fears can sometimes get the better of them.

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Tough Guys Have Feelings Too
Written & illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A boldly illustrated picture book read-aloud about how everyone gets sad—ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, everyone . . . even daddies have emotions!

Did you know wrestlers have feelings? And knights. Even superheroes and ninjas feel sad sometimes. In fact everyone has feelings—especially dads who love their children!

Children will love recognizing their feelings in Keith Negley’s bold illustrations which accompany a fun-to-read-aloud narrative.

Parents can joyfully engage with children in a lighthearted discussion about emotions and how they affect us all!

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Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves
Written by Kate T Parker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. So simple and yet so powerful, Strong Is the New Pretty celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves. Real beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes, or having your hair done (or even brushed). Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it. Kate T. Parker is a professional photographer who finds the real beauty in girls, capturing it for all the world to see in candid and arresting images. A celebration, a catalog of spirit in words and smiles, an affirmation of the fact that it’s what’s inside you that counts, Strong Is the New Pretty conveys a powerful message for every girl, for every mother and father of a girl, for every coach and mentor and teacher, for everyone in the village that it takes to raise a strong and self-confident person.

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It Feels Good to Be Yourself
Written by Theresa Thorn & illustrated by Noah Grigni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

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The Heart of a Boy
Written & illustrated by Kate T Parker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

In her international bestseller Strong Is the New Pretty (with 329,000 copies in print), the photographer Kate T. Parker changed the way we see girls by showing us their truest selves—fearless, messy, wild, stubborn, proud. Now it’s time to talk about our boys. Prompted by #metoo, school shootings, bullying, and other toxic behavior, there’s a national conversation going on about what defines masculinity and how to raise sons to become good people. And Kate Parker is joining in by turning her lens to boys. The result is possibly even more moving, more eloquent, more surprising than Strong. The Heart of a Boy is a deeply felt celebration of boyhood as it’s etched in the faces and bodies of dozens of boys, ages 5 to 18. There’s the pensive look of a skateboarder caught in a moment between rides. The years of dedication in a ballet dancer’s poise. The love of a younger brother hugging his older brother. The unself-conscious joy of a goofy grin with a missing tooth. The casual intimacy of two friends at a lemonade stand. The shyness of a lone boy and his model boat. The intensity in a football huddle. The proud, challenging gaze of a boy bald from alopecia—and the same kind of gaze, but wreathed in tenderness, of a boy a few years younger with flowing, almost waist-length hair. There are guitarists, fencers, wrestlers, star-gazers, a pilot—it’s the world of our sons, in all their amazing variety and difference. The photographs feel spontaneous, direct, and with so much eye contact between the viewed and the viewer that it’s impossible to turn away. And throughout, words from the boys themselves enrich every photo. What a gift for boys and anyone who is raising them.

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  • An Artist - Briefly explains how the artist tries to recreate God’s world using his paints.

  • Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France - Discover how Benjamin Franklin's scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer's mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true moment in history.

  • Bye Bye Pesky Fly - _Pig was having a feel-good kind of day. Pig was just hanging around, thinking about his favorite things. Sunshine, rainbows, and the feel of cool mud on a hot summer day. Then out of the blue came a Pesky Fly, That Pesky Fly buzzed around Pig’s nose. He buzzed around Pig’s ears._ Suddenly Pig’s peaceful, feel-good day wasn’t so peaceful anymore. Pig needs to figure out the best way to handle it, instead of yelling or swatting… that wouldn’t be kind! Fly needs to figure out how to better interact with his friends and respect Pig’s space, and decides Pig is a good friend to have! Pig and Fly work through their problem and move on to having a feel-good day…together! Includes a Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals with more information on helping children deal with frustration and build positive relationships.

  • Show Me a Sign - Deaf author and librarian Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting Own Voices story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 19th century.

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It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear
Written & illustrated by Vicki Lansky
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

KoKo bear learns what divorce means, how to deal with changes and how to recognize and deal with feelings

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Mindful Arts in the Classroom: Stories and Creative Activities for Social and Emotional Learning
Written by Andrew Jordan Nance & illustrated by Sara Christian
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-108

Written especially for the teacher or camp director who wants to bring mindfulness, social and emotional learning (SEL), and the arts into their busy day through storytelling and fun games, this book offers a complete course that helps kids identify and talk about their feelings, self-regulate and self-soothe when stressed, and learn from easy mindfulness practices.

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Life of Pi
Written by Yann Martel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-99

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

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Everybody's Somewhere
Written & illustrated by Cornelia Maude Spelman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Where exactly do people go when you can’t see them? Everybody’s Somewhere, the thoughtful children’s book from award-winning author Cornelia Maude Spelman, reassures young kids that everyone-moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, and more —are somewhere, even if you can’t see them. Whether your family enjoys it as a story for naptime, bedtime, or any time in-between, Everybody’s Somewhere will become a beloved bookshelf classic.

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