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Top 12 Remarkable Picture Book Themes That You Need to Read Right Now

Bonus: We have included several book recommendations for each picture book themes to help you explore further. You can also find our picture book reviews for a few.


As we read more picture books, the NBPB Reviewers have become fonder of them. Picture book authors discuss modern and complicated topics, like other authors, but for a younger audience.

The values and interests of society change regularly. Picture books now cover modern issues from fresh viewpoints for all ages. We are exploring the top twelve children's book themes addressing society's needs.

  1. Mindfulness and Mental Health

  2. Social Media and Technology

  3. Sustainability and Environmental Activism

  4. Representation of LGBTQ+ People

  5. Anti-Racism and Racial Equity

  6. Mental Health and Crisis Coping

  7. Advocacy for Social Justice

  8. Heritage and Cultural Identity

  9. Intersectionality

  10. Innovation and the Future

  11. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence Education

  12. Non-Binary Identities and Gender Fluidity

Mindfulness and Mental Health

Mindfulness and Mental Health

Picture books for young readers focus more on mental health and well-being. They teach emotional resilience, self-awareness, stress management, and mindfulness. Some picture books address these topics so young readers can understand and enjoy them. Here are a few examples.

  1. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld is a heartwarming tale about empathy and emotional support. The story is about a child in a difficult situation and the animals who try to comfort them. But, the rabbit differs from the others because it listens quietly and patiently, showing us the value of being there for someone who needs us. NBPB Review awarded this book the Star of the Month.

  2. Kevin Henkes' book, Wemberly Worried, is a realistic portrayal of anxiety and worry. The main character, Wemberly, is a little mouse worried about everything, no matter how big or small. Throughout the story, Wemberly learns to deal with her worries and find comfort through companionship.

  3. Sulwe, a book by Lupita Nyong'o, deals with self-esteem and accepting uniqueness. It tells the story of a young girl who faces difficulties because of her dark skin and desires to be lighter. The book takes readers on a journey of self-acceptance and teaches them to appreciate their beauty.

  4. My Magic Breath is a children's book by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor. It teaches kids how to calm and find inner peace using mindful breathing. Children can learn to be more aware and at ease by regulating their emotions through deep breathing.

  5. Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein is a book that helps kids understand and accept their emotions. The book teaches children how to analyze their feelings and express them healthily.

  6. When Sadness Is at Your Door is a children's book that teaches kids about sadness. It shows them it's okay to feel sad and provides ways to deal with difficult emotions. The book by Eva Eland is both sweet and clever, emphasizing the importance of understanding and appreciating our feelings.

  7. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde teaches children how to practice mindfulness. The book emphasizes the value of being present and finding inner peace during difficult times.

  8. Gabi Garcia's book, Listening to My Body helps kids listen to their bodies and emotions. This allows kids to recognize and address their physical and emotional needs.

  9. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings is an interactive picture book by Jo Witek. It uses die-cut pages to help children understand and express their emotions. The book covers a range of emotions, making it easy for kids to comprehend and describe how they feel.

  10. Patrice Karst's book, The Invisible String, is not only about mental health. It helps children deal with their fear of being away from loved ones by explaining how love creates an invisible connection between people.

The stories help young people develop emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and coping skills. They're also helpful in starting conversations about mental health and emotions with young readers. Share your favorite picture books on mental health and mindfulness in the comments section.

Social Media and Technology

Social Media and Technology

Picture books now discuss technology-related topics, like social media and screen time. They aim to promote healthy digital habits and critical thinking skills in children because of the increasing use of technology. Here are some examples of picture books about social media and technology.

  1. Tek: The Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell is a funny story that shows how primitive life clashes with modern technology. Tek, a cave boy, finds a tablet and gets hooked on the virtual world. The story highlights the need to balance screen time with real-life experiences.

  2. The Technology Tail by Julia Cook is a story about digital footprints and online behavior. It features a young girl who learns about the consequences of her internet activity and the importance of being careful about what she shares online.

  3. David Bedford's book, Once Upon a Time... Online: Happily Ever After is Only a Click Away! explores the intersection of technology and fairy tales. The book highlights the dangers of excessive screen time and its impact on our lives.

  4. Goodnight iPad is a funny parody of the classic children's book Goodnight Moon. The book shows a family saying goodnight to their gadgets and devices before enjoying a screen-free bedtime.

  5. Chicken Clicking is a story by Jeanne Willis that warns about the risks of the internet. It's about a curious chicken who explores the online world and learns about the dangers of sharing too much information and the need to be anonymous.

  6. The Berenstain Bears' Computer Trouble is a book by Jan and Mike Berenstain. It tells the story of a family and their new computer. The book teaches kids about responsible computer use and balancing screen time with other activities.

  7. Randi Zuckerberg's book, Dot., is about a girl who loves technology. She learns how to use it in moderation and balance. The book is an excellent read for young people.

  8. Dan Yaccarino's Doug Unplugged follows a robot named Doug on a mission to learn about the world beyond technology. It urges readers to escape their screens and explore the natural world.

  9. Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale by Jamie Lee Curtis is a funny yet eye-opening account of a selfie-obsessed mom. It explores the potential problems of a world obsessed with smartphones.

  10. Doreen Cronin's Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type is a funny tale about farm animals who use a typewriter to communicate and bargain with the farmer. It focuses on social media and technology.

These picture books promote discussion and reflection on how we use technology and how to do so ethically. They can start conversations about digital citizenship and finding balance in the digital era. Share your favorite picture books on technology and social media in the comments section.

Sustainability and Environmental Activism

Sustainability and Environmental Activism

Children's literature promotes environmental activism and sustainability. It inspires young readers to care for the planet and take action. Many picture books promote these themes and encourage children to protect the environment. Here are some examples of picture books that do just that:

  1. The Watcher by Jeanette Winter tells the story of Jane Goodall's life and her dedication to protecting chimpanzees. This book highlights the importance of conservation and how our actions affect the environment. It's a fantastic story that emphasizes the significance of individual efforts to preserve nature.

  2. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry is a beautifully illustrated book that shows how life in the Amazon rainforest is interdependent. In the story, a man falls asleep under a kapok tree he wants to cut down. But then, different animals explain why they need to save the tree. This book emphasizes the importance of preserving biodiversity.

  3. One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul tells the true story of Isatou Ceesay and a group of women in Gambia. They find a creative way to repurpose plastic bags to solve an environmental problem. The book shows how grassroots efforts and recycling can effectively combat plastic pollution.

  4. Oliver Jeffers' Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is a gentle guide for children to care for our planet and all living things. It honors the beauty of our world and encourages environmental consciousness.

  5. The Water Princess is a book about a girl in Africa who faces challenges getting water. The author, Georgie Badiel's childhood inspired the story. It highlights the significance of having access to clean water and conserving it.

  6. The Lorax, written by Dr. Seuss, is a well-known tale about the results of harming the environment. It motivates people to act to protect our planet.

  7. Our Tree Named Steve is a heartwarming picture book by Alan Zweibel. It tells the story of a family and their beloved tree, Steve. The book emphasizes that nature is essential and trees can create lasting memories. It encourages readers to appreciate and cherish trees' role in our lives.

  8. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown tells the story of Liam, a young boy who turns a neglected city area into a beautiful garden. The book highlights the power of nature and community to make positive environmental changes.

  9. In We Planted a Tree, Diane Muldrow celebrates the positive impact of planting trees globally. The book emphasizes that even small actions. Such as growing trees can influence sustainability and pave for an eco-friendly future.

  10. The Lonely Polar Bear by Khoa Le has illustrations depicting climate change's impact on polar bears and their surroundings. It prompts young readers to consider how climate change affects animals.

These picture books help teach children about environmental conservation, sustainability, and stewardship. They inspire young readers to become passionate about protecting the Earth and taking action to make a positive impact. Share your favorite picture books on environmental activism and sustainability in the comments section.

Representation of LGBTQ+ People

Representation of LGBTQ+ People

Children's literature now has more LGBTQ+ representation. Picture books feature a range of stories about gender and identity that are diverse and inclusive. Here are some examples of LGBTQ+ characters and themes in picture books that celebrate them.

  1. And Tango Makes Three is a heartwarming true story written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. It is about two male penguins named Roy and Silo. They form a loving bond and raise a baby penguin named Tango. The book gently introduces the concept of same-sex parenting, which is appropriate for all ages.

  2. Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty is a beautiful book for young kids because it has an inclusive, positive portrayal of families with mixed race and two dads.

  3. Stella Brings the Family is about a girl named Stella who worries about Mother's Day at school because her family is different. Despite her initial hesitation, her classmates' support prompts her to invite all important people, including her two dads.

  4. Morris Micklewhite likes a tangerine dress in the class's dress-up center. However, some classmates don't get why. Christine Baldacchino's book Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress promotes gender acceptance and expression.

  5. Introducing Teddy is a heartwarming book by Jessica Walton. It tells the story of Teddy, a teddy bear who confides in her friend Errol that she wants to be called Tilly. The book discusses gender identity and the significance of having supportive friends.

  6. It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr celebrates diversity. The book includes diverse family structures and gender expression, though it is not only focused on LGBTQ+ representation.

  7. Michael Hall's book, Red: A Crayon's Story, is about a blue crayon that was labeled as red by mistake. The labeling causes the crayon to struggle with fitting in. The story serves as a metaphor for accepting one's true self, including gender identity.

  8. Daniel Haack's book, Prince & Knight, is a fairy-tale-inspired story. It follows the quest of a prince to find true love. Along the way, he meets a brave knight and falls in love. The book presents a same-sex romance in a traditional story format.

  9. Heather Has Two Mommies is a book by Lesléa Newman. It's groundbreaking because it introduces readers to Heather, who has two moms. The book emphasizes that love and care are the most important things in a family, regardless of the family structure.

  10. Aidan is a transgender boy. He's preparing for his new sibling. When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff is a book about his journey. It shows the challenges and joys of growing up and being true to oneself.

These picture books promote a more inclusive and diverse world for young readers. They help foster understanding, empathy, and acceptance of LGBTQ+ identities and family structures. Share your favorite picture books on LGBTQ+ representation in the comments section.

Anti-Racism and Racial Equity

Anti-Racism and Racial Equity

It is crucial to educate young readers on diversity, inclusion, and the importance of opposing racism and discrimination. Picture books that promote racial equity and anti-racism play a vital role in achieving this goal. Some excellent examples of these types of picture books include:

  1. The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, is a stunningly illustrated book. It celebrates the resilience and accomplishments of Black Americans across history. The book highlights their strength in the face of adversity.

  2. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation is a book by Duncan Tonatiuh. It tells the true story of Sylvia Mendez and her family's fight for desegregation in California schools. The book emphasizes the importance of equality and justice.

  3. The picture book, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, is about two girls, one Black and one White. They live on different sides of a fence that divides their town. The book emphasizes the significance of friendship and how it can help to dismantle barriers.

  4. A is for Activist is an alphabet book that introduces young readers to social justice, activism, and inclusivity. It covers racial equity, gender equality, and environmental justice.

  5. Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson is about the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade. The book tells the story of young protesters who marched for civil rights and equality. These children were brave and powerful.

  6. Amanda Gorman's beautiful anthem in Change Sings, will inspire children to be more compassionate, collaborative, and accepting of the world around them.

  7. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry is a heartwarming book that follows a young girl named Zuri and her father as they embrace and celebrate her natural hair. It promotes self-acceptance and challenges stereotypes.

  8. The book, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson tackles the experience of feeling like an outsider. It emphasizes the importance of having the courage to share one's unique stories and experiences. The book also encourages empathy and understanding.

  9. Julius Lester's Let's Talk About Race promotes open conversations on race and diversity. It helps kids build a positive racial identity and appreciate differences.

  10. The book, Something Happened in Our Town talks about racial injustice and police violence. It tells the story through the eyes of two families and promotes conversations about race and empathy. The authors are Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard.

Picture books are used to teach kids about racial equity, anti-racism, and social justice by parents, educators, and caregivers. These books help young readers become agents of change and advocate for a more inclusive and fair world. They offer helpful tools to encourage conversations that promote diversity and acceptance among kids. Share your favorite picture books on racial equity and anti-racism in the comments section.

Mental Health and Crisis Coping

Mental Health and Crisis Coping

Picture books can help children deal with difficult emotions and situations during a crisis. Many picture books specifically address mental health and guide on handling crises. Here are a few examples of such books:

  1. Patrice Karst's book The Invisible String helps children cope with separation anxiety and fear. It explains the invisible connection of love that ties people together, even when they're apart. It's not about a crisis but beneficial for children struggling with these emotions.

  2. Eileen Spinelli's Someday is a gentle book that helps children deal with difficult emotions such as loss and hopelessness. It offers comfort and encouragement to young readers who are going through tough times.

  3. Sarah Lynne Reul's The Breaking News is about a family dealing with bad news in their community. The book stresses the significance of hope, support, and unity during challenging times.

  4. The book, The Red Tree by Shaun Tan tells the story of a young girl who experiences sadness and despair throughout her day. The book sensitively and compassionately explores themes of depression and mental health.

  5. In his book Gibberish, Young Vo successfully describes the feelings of children starting out in a distant country and shows how an act of kindness can change their perspective.

  6. Hope's Broken Snow Globe by Kelly Chang Rickert is a a child's expectation for Christmas from her just separated parents. It talks about how a child copes with anxiety and accepts her new situation.

  7. Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Beth Griffin is a tale of a little girl's emotional healing while conversing with her granny on their way to a new home.

  8. In The Koala Who Could, Rachel Bright shares the tale of Kevin. He's a koala who conquers fear and adapts to change with the help of his friends. Kevin learns to embrace new experiences, and this transforms his life.

  9. The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions by Anna Llenas is a helpful tool for children to understand and express their emotions. It is not about a specific crisis but can be helpful during difficult times.

  10. When Sadness Is at Your Door is a book by Eva Eland that deals with sadness. It helps children deal with their emotions by teaching them to recognize and handle their feelings.

Picture books can help children understand emotions and how to deal with tough times. These books assist children and parents by tackling challenging emotions and situations. Share your favorite picture books on mental health and coping during crises in the comments section.

Advocacy for Social Justice

Advocacy for Social Justice

Picture books inspire young readers to advocate for social justice. They showcase the power of collective action and instill a sense of empowerment in children. Picture books encourage children to take an active role in creating a better world. They explore topics like diversity, equality, and environmentalism. Picture books spark important conversations and foster empathy and understanding. They engage children of all ages with complex issues in an accessible and engaging way. Ultimately, picture books provide a valuable opportunity to inspire positive change.

  1. Carole Lindstrom's book, We Are Water Protectors, is inspired by the activism of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The book stresses the importance of protecting water and the environment and urges young readers to speak up for their beliefs.

  2. The book, The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson is about Audrey Faye Hendricks, a young civil rights activist who was only nine years old. She played a big part in the Birmingham Children's Crusade during the Civil Rights Movement.

  3. Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote a picture book called Malala's Magic Pencil. The book talks about her journey and her work to promote education for girls globally. It's an inspiring book that encourages readers to support this cause.

  4. Todd Parr's The Peace Book promotes diversity, acceptance, and kindness toward each other. It urges young readers to become peace advocates and prioritize understanding.

  5. Chelsea Clinton's book, She Persisted, highlights 13 American women who changed the world. These women were tenacious and made noteworthy contributions to different fields. The book aims to inspire readers to follow their dreams and fight for change.

  6. In Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, Carole Boston explores the story of Harriet Tubman. Her courageous efforts brought enslaved people to freedom through the underground railroad.

  7. The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates promotes inclusivity. It shows how an enormous umbrella can welcome and shelter everyone, no matter their differences.

  8. Enough!: 20 Protesters Who Changed America by Emily Easton profiles twenty influential American activists. It showcases their dedication to social justice and contributions to improving the nation.

  9. Jennifer Elvgren set the story of The Whispering Town during World War II. And it tells the story of a Danish community that comes together to protect a Jewish family from Nazi persecution.

  10. Carole Boston Weatherford's Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream and You talk about the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and promotes justice and equality. It uses poetic language and powerful illustrations to encourage young readers.

Picture books can be valuable resources to introduce young readers to important topics such as social justice and advocacy. By exploring these themes, children can learn about the power of positively impacting the world and become inspired to become compassionate advocates for a more just and fair society. These books can shape the values and beliefs of young readers. They can encourage them to make positive differences in their communities and beyond. Ultimately, the potential is there for these books to have a significant impact. Share your favorite picture books on social justice and advocacy in the comments section.

Heritage and Cultural Identity

Heritage and Cultural Identity

Picture books are an excellent way for kids to learn about different cultures and traditions. These books celebrate cultural identity and heritage. Kids can learn about their cultural backgrounds and appreciate the cultures of others. Here are a few picture books focusing on cultural identity and origin.

  1. Matt de la Peña's Last Stop on Market Street tells the story of a boy named CJ and his grandmother. They ride a bus through the city, and along the way, CJ discovers the beauty and diversity of their community.

  2. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi tells the story of Unhei. She moves from Korea to the US. Unhei is hesitant to share her name, so her classmates help her by creating a name jar to find the ideal name for her.

  3. Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka is a nearly wordless book. In this book, two boys from different cultural backgrounds meet on the street. They discover a new friendship despite their language barriers.

  4. Islandborn, written by Junot Díaz, is about a girl named Lola. Lola can't remember the island where she was born. She discovers her heritage and the beauty of her birthplace with the help of her classmates.

  5. Patricia Polacco's The Keeping Quilt is about his family's history. The book tells the story of a quilt that gets passed down through generations. The quilt represents the significance of family and cultural traditions.

  6. Yamile Saied Méndez's book, Where Are You From? is about a young girl who is repeatedly asked where she comes from. She takes pride in her cultural heritage and shares her family's story through thoughtful responses.

  7. How My Parents Learned to Eat is a story by Ina R. Friedman. It's about a girl with an American dad and a Japanese mom. The story explores cultural differences in dining customs and how they overcome them.

  8. Caldecott Medal-winning Grandfather's Journey follows the journey of author Allen Say's grandfather from Japan to the United States and back. It explores the significance of heritage and the desire for a home.

  9. The Name I Call Myself by Hasan Namir tells the story of a transgender boy who searches for a name that truly reflects his identity and heritage.

  10. My Name Is Sangoel is a book by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed. It is about a boy from Sudan who moves to the United States. He faces a challenge in preserving his cultural identity and name in a new environment.

These picture books celebrate cultural diversity, promote understanding, and encourage young readers to embrace their cultural heritage. They teach children to respect and appreciate the cultural identities of others. Share your favorite picture books on cultural identity and heritage in the comments section.

Intersectionality

Intersectionality

To understand diversity and inclusion, you must understand intersectionality. This means people can face different treatment based on their identities. However, there are only a few picture books that concentrate on intersectionality. Some picture books address various aspects of identity and representation. Here are a few examples:

  1. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold is a book that celebrates diversity and inclusivity in schools. It features children from different backgrounds, cultures, and identities who come together to learn and play.

  2. The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio tells the story of two friends, Lily and Salma. They come from different cultural backgrounds but learn to appreciate each other's unique traditions. They bond over their shared love of sandwiches.

  3. Mama's Nightingale, authored by Edwidge Danticat, portrays the story of Saya, whose mother is detained by immigration authorities. The book focuses on the impact of immigration and family separation and the significance of preserving traditions.

  4. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is a book by Kevin Noble Maillard. It has beautiful illustrations and celebrates Native American culture and history. The story is about a family who makes fry bread together.

  5. The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler celebrates diversity by recognizing that people come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. It promotes acceptance and self-esteem. Although it's not directly about intersectionality, the book embraces the concept.

  6. I Am Enough is a book by Grace Byers that inspires readers to accept themselves and recognize their worth. It emphasizes that every person is enough, regardless of their identity or appearance.

  7. The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali follows two sisters, one of whom wears a hijab for the first time on her first day of school. It addresses identity, faith, and embracing one's cultural heritage.

  8. It's Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr celebrates diversity in various forms. It does not explicitly focus on intersectionality. The book covers different abilities, family structures, and appearances.

  9. What Happened to You? by James Catchpole distinguishes itself from a delicate storytelling and stunning illustrations. It teaches children the value of personal space and accepting people for who they are.

  10. Andrea Wang's Watercress tells the story of a young girl who initially finds her migrant family's behavior strange. Through beautiful illustrations, the book explores the complexities of family dynamics. Eventually, the girl learns to accept and embrace her identity.

More picture books may focus on intersectionality in the future, but we should recognize the importance of the current selection. These books teach children about diversity, identity, acceptance, and inclusivity. They prepare young readers to accept differences and celebrate diversity, shaping the next generation's minds. These picture books are crucial in promoting a more tolerant and accepting society. Share your favorite picture books on intersectionality in the comments section.

Innovation and the Future

Innovation and the Future

Picture books can encourage children to explore the future, innovation, and science themes. These books depict imaginative worlds and technologies yet to be discovered. They stimulate curiosity and interest in space exploration, technological advancements, and positive change. Here are some examples of picture books that focus on these themes.

  1. Rosie Revere is an engineer who dreams big and invents many gadgets. She learns the importance of perseverance and creativity along the way. The book, written by Andrea Beaty, follows Rosie's journey.

  2. If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen is an imaginative book of a young boy, who envisions his dream house with futuristic features and fantastical elements.

  3. The book, The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires is about a girl who wants to build something magnificent but faces difficulties. The story highlights the significance of resilience and accepting failure when innovating.

  4. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis is a book that inspires creativity and imagination. It follows a young rabbit who uses a simple box to transform into different imaginative scenarios. Although it's not explicitly about the future, this book encourages children to think beyond what is immediately visible.

  5. Peter H. Reynolds' book, The Dot, inspires readers to embrace creativity and think unconventionally. It shows that even a dot can be a catalyst for innovation.

  6. Josh Funk's book, How to Code a Sandcastle, teaches coding to a young girl who, along with her robot friend, uses coding skills to build a fantastic sandcastle.

  7. Ada Twist, Scientist is a book by Andrea Beaty. It tells the story of Ada, a curious girl who loves science. Ada conducts experiments to learn more about the world.

  8. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen is like If I Built a House, follows a young boy's wild imagination as he designs his dream car with futuristic features.

  9. Kobi Yamada's book, What Do You Do with an Idea? focuses on the importance of ideas and innovation. It inspires readers to cultivate and pursue their imaginative thoughts.

  10. Field Trip to the Moon is a visually stunning book by John Hare. It imagines what a field trip to the moon might look like. The book inspires young readers to dream big and explore the possibilities of space travel.

Children can get inspired by these picture books and imagine themselves as inventors, explorers, and more. These books encourage kids to imagine themselves as inventors, explorers, and problem solvers who can shape the world with their ideas. As a result, they provide an excellent tool for encouraging children to develop a positive mindset and an eagerness to learn. Share your favorite picture books on the future and innovation in the comments section.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence Education

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence Education

Picture books are now supporting emotional intelligence and empathy education. The aim is to teach children how to comprehend and respond to the feelings of others. Kids must learn emotional intelligence and empathy to handle their emotions and care for others—many picture books focus on emotional intelligence and empathy education.

  1. The Feelings Book by Todd Parr teaches kids about emotions and encourages them to express their feelings using colorful pictures.

  2. The Way I Feel by Janan Cain uses colorful illustrations to explore emotions. This helps children to comprehend better and express their feelings.

  3. Trudy Ludwig's The Invisible Boy is about Brian, who feels excluded and invisible. The story teaches empathy and kindness as his classmates learn to see and include him.

  4. Dr. Seuss' book, My Many Colored Days, uses colorful pictures to link emotions with colors. This helps children recognize and manage their feelings.

  5. Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day is a book by Jamie Lee Curtis. It uses playful rhymes to depict various emotions. The book helps children understand and embrace their changing moods.

  6. Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O’Neill empowers and creates an awareness of food security in young children. It is a story of empathy, courage, and community told through a day in the life of Molly.

  7. Jayneen Sanders' You, Me and Empathy teach children about empathy and why it's essential to understand and appreciate other people's feelings.

  8. Listening to My Body by Gabi Garcia helps children recognize bodily sensations linked to different emotions, fostering emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

  9. In Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, Molly Lou Melon embraces her unique qualities with confidence and kindness, inspiring empathy and self-acceptance.

  10. The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill addresses bullying and encourages empathy and kindness on the playground.

Picture books can be highly beneficial tools in helping children develop emotional intelligence. They enable children to recognize and understand their feelings and cultivate empathy for others. Picture books promote emotional literacy and empathy education. They help build compassionate relationships with others. Share your favorite picture books on emotional intelligence and empathy education in the comments section.

Non-Binary Identities and Gender Fluidity

Non-Binary Identities and Gender Fluidity

As conversations around gender continue to evolve, picture books are now exploring gender fluidity and non-binary identities to promote acceptance and understanding. Through these books, readers can gain a deeper understanding of meaningful gender experiences. Some examples of such books include:

  1. Maya Christina Gonzalez's book, titled They, She, He, Me: Free to Be!, is a distinctive work. It uses illustrations and interactive elements to delve into multiple gender pronouns and identities.

  2. Neither by Airlie Anderson follows a creature named Neither who doesn't fit into the boxes of this or that, celebrating the concept of being oneself.

  3. Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton is a heartwarming book. It teaches young readers the story of a teddy bear named Teddy, who reveals their true identity as Tilly.

  4. In Worm Loves Worm, J.J. Austrian narrates about two worms who fall in love. They decide to get married, challenging traditional gender roles and expectations.

  5. Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall is about a blue crayon labeled red by mistake. The book emphasizes the significance of accepting one's true identity.

  6. Julián Is a Mermaid, written by Jessica Love, is a beautiful book with stunning illustrations. It tells the story of a boy named Julián, who dreams of becoming a mermaid. Through his journey, he learns the importance of being true to oneself.

  7. Who Are You? is a children's book by Brook Pessin-Whedbee that explains gender diversity in fun and playfully. The book uses simple language and illustrations to show children how to identify.

  8. The story of Bunnybear, written by Andrea J. Loney, is about a bear who identifies more as a bunny. The book highlights the importance of self-acceptance and embracing one's true identity.

  9. When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff follows a young transgender boy named Aidan as he prepares for his new sibling's arrival.

  10. Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children by Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch tells the story of Phoenix, a transgender child, as they navigate their first day at a new school.

Picture books are crucial in shaping young minds and promoting empathy and compassion for the world around them. Picture book themes tackle essential topics in a child-friendly way. New picture books promote inclusivity and individuality, representing gender fluidity and non-binary identities. These books help educate young readers about gender diversity and promote acceptance for all. Share your favorite picture books on gender fluidity and non-binary identities in the comments section.


While we have identified many themes that have the power to impact the world and create a brighter future for everyone, we would like to hear from you as well. We value your input, so please share with us the themes that hold a special place in your heart and the picture books that embody them.


Would you like us to include your book in one of the above themes in this article? Please send us a review request and ask us to consider inclusion in this article by quoting the relevant theme. If we deem fit, we will include your book.


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