Recommended Social and Emotional Books for Children

  • child looking out window Books can be like a mirror that reflects children’s feelings, cultures and experiences. Other books are like windows, giving children and opportunity to see the world from a different perspective.

     child looking at self in mirror  

    The books below reflect on our diversity and celebrate it. ‌They ‌enhance children’s social and emotional development and help them to empathize with others. Most of these books are have been added to the Williwaw SEL Collection in May 2016.‌ Books may also be searched by tags (i.e."social awareness") in the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog.)  Examples of other searchable tags include "anger," "bullies," and "friends."


    • A Gift from Papa Diego by Benjamin Alire Saenz
    • In My Family by Carmen Lomas Garza
    • I Love My Hair by Natasha Anatasia Tarpley
    • Looking Like Me by Walter Dean Myers
    • Marisol MacDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
    • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto


    • Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban
    • My name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada
    • Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail
    • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline (Novel)
    • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
    • Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Social Awareness

    • Last Stop of Market Street by Matt De La Pena
    • Mirror by Jeannie Baker
    • Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds
    • Marisol MacDonald doesn’t match by Monica Brown
    • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia (Novel)
    • The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
    • Wonder (Novel) by R.J. Palacio

Relationship Skills

    • Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Williams
    • Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng
    • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
    • Extra Credit by Andrew Clements (Novel)
    • Mathew and Tilly by Rebecca Jones
    • Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
    • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson