Tantrums: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes board books and picture books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about tantrums, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I’m Frustrated to popular sellers like Llama Llama Mad at Mama to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Rabbit Listened.

We hope this list of kids books about tantrums can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

The Rabbit Listened book
#1
The Rabbit Listened
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Taylor’s block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling

Llama Llama Mad at Mama book
#2
Llama Llama Mad at Mama
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Yucky music, great big feet. Ladies smelling way too sweet. Look at knees and stand in line. Llama Llama starts to whine.

Does any child like to go shopping? Not Llama Llama! But Mama can’t leave Llama at home, so off they go to Shop-O-Rama. Lots of aisles. Long lines. Mama is too busy to notice that Llama Llama is getting m-a-d! And before he knows it, he’s having a full-out tantrum! Mama quickly calms him down, but she also realizes that they need to make shopping more fun for both of them. Parents and children are sure to recognize themselves in this fun-to-read follow-up to the popular Llama Llama Red Pajama.

The Most Magnificent Thing book
#3
The Most Magnificent Thing
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

Tough Guys Have Feelings Too book
#4
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too
Written and 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!

No Fits, Nilson! book
#5
No Fits, Nilson!
Written and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Nilson and Amelia do everything together. But if one little thing goes wrong, Nilson throws the biggest, most house shaking-est fit ever! Amelia helps Nilson control his gorilla-sized temper by promising him banana ice cream and letting him play with her froggy coin purse. But, sometimes, Amelia needs to be calmed down, too.

Inspired by Ohora’s own “negotiations” with his two sons, No Fits, Nilson! is a hilarious preschool pick for kids and parents navigating the treacherous tantrum phase.

  1. You Get What You Get - Melvin likes to throw a tantrum when he does not get what he wants, but he learns that the classroom rule, “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” applies at home as well.

  2. Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love - This delectable follow-up to the bestselling Cookies and Christmas Cookies defines words that are associated with love. From letting your friend have the last cookie (selfless) to waiting to lick the bowl together (considerate), here is a book for anyone who wants to say I love you. Meanings are illuminated in this different kind of dictionary, which is every bit as heartwarming as the experience of baking cookies with someone you love. Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s sweet little lessons, mixed with warm and inviting illustrations by mother-daughter duo Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer, make for a book that will hit the spot!

  3. Mouse Was Mad - When his little brother breaks his toy, Miles gets mad, but when he looks at himself in the mirror he sees a big, red, furry monster named Mad.

  4. When I Feel Angry - A little rabbit describes what makes her angry and the different ways she can control her anger.

Cool Down and Work Through Anger book
#10
Cool Down and Work Through Anger
Written and illustrated by Cheri J. Meiners
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone gets angry, so it’s never too early for children to learn to recognize feelings of anger, express them, and build skills for coping with anger in helpful, appropriate ways. Children learn that it is okay to feel angry—but not okay to hurt anyone with actions or words. They discover concrete skills for working through anger: self-calming, thinking, getting help from a trusted person, talking and listening, apologizing, being patient, and viewing others positively. Reassuring and supportive, the book helps preschool and primary-age children see that when they cool down and work through anger, they can feel peaceful again.

Talk and Work It Out book
#11
Talk and Work It Out
Written and illustrated by Cheri J. Meiners
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s the best way to solve problems between people? By talking them over and working them out. It’s never too soon for children to learn the process of peaceful conflict resolution. This book distills it into clear, simple language and supporting illustrations. Children learn to calm themselves, state the problem, listen, think of solutions, try one, evaluate results, and even agree to disagree when a solution isn’t possible. Includes skill-building games and role plays for adults to use with children.

When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry... book
#12
When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry...
Written and illustrated by Molly Bang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young girl is upset and doesn’t know how to manage her anger but takes the time to cool off and regain her composure.

Mad At Mommy book
#13
Mad At Mommy
Written and illustrated by Komako Sakai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The creator of last year’s sleeper success THE SNOW DAY returns with another pitch-perfect story of real childhood experience — what happens when you get MAD AT MOMMY.

Little Bunny is VERY MAD at his mommy. She sleeps too late. She talks too much. She watches her silly shows instead of cartoons. And she gets mad for no reason — just a few little bubbles on the floor.

The only thing left to do is run away. But does he really want to leave Mommy behind forever?

With the charming illustrations and spot-on understanding of young children’s thinking that distinguished THE SNOW DAY and EMILY’S BALLOON, Komako Sakai brings us a REALLY ANGRY — and ultimately sweet — new story.

Soda Pop Head book
#14
Soda Pop Head
Written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Allison Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Product Description There goes Lester. Watch him fester. His ears start to fizz. He gets mad as a griz. His face turns red. He’s a Soda Pop Head. You just never know when Lester will blow. His cap will go flying. If it hits you, you’ll be crying, so you’d better stay away from Lester today! His real name is Lester, but everyone calls him “Soda Pop Head.” Most of the time he’s pretty happy, but when things seem to be unfair his ears gets hot, his face turns red and he blows his top! Lester’s dad comes to his rescue by teaching him a few techniques to “loosen the top” and cool down before his fizz takes control. Soda Pop Head will help your child control his/her anger while helping them manage stress. It’s a must for the home or classroom.

  1. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! - The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

  2. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies - This classic Berenstain Bears story is a perfect way to teach children about self-control and the importance of compromise! Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. Brother and Sister are having a bad case of the “gimmies.” Whenever they don’t get what they want, they throw a tantrum. But is this really the best way to handle their emotions?

  3. I'm Frustrated - A young boy discusses his feelings of frustration with his mother who suggests ways for him to understand and deal with such emotions.

  4. Calm-Down Time (Toddler Tools) - Every parent, caregiver—and toddler—knows the misery that comes with meltdowns and temper tantrums. Through rhythmic text and warm illustrations, this gentle, reassuring book offers toddlers simple tools to release strong feelings, express them, and calm themselves down. Children learn to use their calm-down place—a quiet space where they can cry, ask for a hug, sing to themselves, be rocked in a grown-up’s arms, talk about feelings, and breathe: “One, two, three . . . I’m calm as can be. I’m taking care of me.” After a break, toddlers will feel like new—and adults will, too. Books include tips for parents and caregivers.

Hands Are Not for Hitting book
#19
Hands Are Not for Hitting
Written by Martine Agassi Ph.D. and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi. This book teaches children learn that violence is never okay. Children can learn to manage their anger and other strong feelings. Hands are capable of positive, loving actions such as playing, making music, learning, counting, helping, and much more! Includes a special section for adults with activities and discussion starters.

I'm Furious book
#20
I'm Furious
Written by Elizabeth Crary and illustrated by Jean Whitney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A young boy discusses his feelings with his mother when his little brother ruins his possessions, and she suggests ways he can control his anger.

The Bad Mood and the Stick book
#21
The Bad Mood and the Stick
Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

New York Times bestselling author Lemony Snicket sheds light on the way bad moods come and go. Once there was a bad mood and a stick.The stick appeared when a tree dropped it.Where did the bad mood come from?Who picked up the stick?And where is the bad mood off to now?You never know what is going to happen.

Again! book
#22
Again!
Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A little dragon and his favorite book make for a combustible combination in this clever picture book with a surprise ending.

It’s nearly Cedric the dragon’s bedtime, and for Cedric, bedtime means storytime! When his mother reads him his favorite book, he likes the story so much that he wants to hear it again…and again…and again!

Cedric’s mom understands that the best stories are ripe for repetition, and she tries very hard to be patient. But sometimes dragons will be dragons—which is why this bedtime tale ends with an incendiary surprise!

Little Monkey Calms Down book
#23
Little Monkey Calms Down
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Oriol Vidal
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down.

  1. How Do Dinosaurs Say I'M MAD? - Brimming with humor, this sparkling new book handles a timeless children’s topic with wit and wisdom. Romp and stomp! Roar and slam! Almost everyone gets angry. But how can young dinosaurs also learn to calm down, take a time out, and behave? The award-winning team of Yolen and Teague have created a fun, engaging book sure to help children handle anger and frustration. Readers will laugh at the antics of an Afrovenator’s tantrum and a storming Pachyrhinosaurus. Anger can be difficult to talk about with your child, but even when little dinosaurs are furious, it’s important to help them handle their feelings and remind them they are always loved. With the same warmth, charm, and humor in all the bestselling How Do Dinosaurs books, here is the perfect way to say, “I’m sorry—and I love you.”

  2. Sam's Pet Temper - The hero of this picture book, Sam, has to wait for everything on the playground one day, and this makes him mad. ?He got madder and madder until he was the maddest he had ever been in his whole life.? And then, suddenly, an unusual thing appears. It runs around, shoving and tripping and pinching and stomping, until all the other children have run away. ?It was hanging upside down from the monkey bars, grinning at him. Sam had never seen anything like it before, but he knew what it was. It was a Temper.? At first, having a pet Temper is fun. But before long, the Temper starts causing trouble for Sam. And eventually, Sam comes to the realization that his Temper is something he needs to learn to control. This funny but poignant title by Sangeeta Bhadra offers a perfect representation of just how frustrated and angry small children can get when circumstances in their lives make them feel helpless. Though never heavy-handed, Bhadra also manages to convey what the consequences can be when that anger takes over a child’s behavior. The quirky yet stunning illustrations by Marion Arbona keep the emotional focus on the Temper, as a way to help children identify that their anger is not who they are. The emphasis on feelings makes this a terrific tie-in for character education lessons on self-discipline and taking responsibility for your actions, as well as on patience and perseverance when solving your own problems.

  3. Cloud's Best Worst Day Ever - Book about emotions.

  4. Andrew's Angry Words - Andrew shouted angry words when his sister spilled his toys. He was instantly sorry, but Marion had already shouted the angry words over the phone to Ted. Andrew ran to Ted’s house—but it was too late. Ted had already passed them along, and the angry words were loose in the world. Children learn very early just how powerful words can be.

Here Comes Destructosaurus! book
#28
Here Comes Destructosaurus!
Written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Watch the unstoppable destructive force of a raging temper tantrum! Tremble at the enormous mess and disrespectful roaring! Despair as no amount of scolding can stem the heedless fury! Someone is heading for a time-out, Mister! Anyone who has witnessed (or been) a toddler in the throes of a full-blown fit will delight in this clever book’s moviemonster rampage, and may just come away from it with a bit more sympathy for toddler and caregiver.

Pablo & His Chair book
#29
Pablo & His Chair
Written and illustrated by Delphine Perret
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

For his birthday, Pablo receives exactly what he doesn’t want: a chair. Disappointed and angry, he locks himself in his room, determined not to sit on his new chair. But he starts to play around with it and, by the end of the day, becomes a chair acrobat. Pablo sets out into the world, performing in amazing places and drawing great crowds. Eventually, he returns, chair in hand, having learned that the greatest gifts aren’t always the most obvious and often lie in our imagination.

Betty Goes Bananas book
#30
Betty Goes Bananas
Written and illustrated by Steve Antony
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Like Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry, this book offers families a perfect opportunity to openly discuss emotions and behavior. Meet Betty, a gorilla. She wants to eat a banana, but . . . try as she might, she can’t open it! Poor Betty—she just can’t cope, and her frustration quickly becomes a great BIG tantrum. She cries and sniffles, kicks and screams. Luckily, Mr. Toucan is at hand to peel the banana and help Betty calm down. But what will happen when Betty spots another banana? Both preschoolers and parents will laugh out loud at this simple, utterly hilarious picture book about tantrums.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!