PBIS Resource Library

Thirty-Four Picture Books That Support Social-Emotional Learning

School Library Journal editors provide a “starter collection” of picture books that build the skills of identifying and processing emotions, being aware of oneself and others, controlling impulses, appreciating and embracing different perspectives, demonstrating empathy, building relationships, and making good decisions. To see specific categories please view the article here.

  • Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony (Scholastic, 2014)
  • Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley (Roaring Book, 2015)
  • Sam’s Pet Temper by Sangeeta Bhadra (Kids That Can, 2014)
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (Putnam, 2015)
  • How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham (Candlewick, 2008)
  • Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2006)
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2015)
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2015)
  • I Like Being Me: Poems About Kindness, Friendship, and Making Good Choices by Judy Lalli (Free Spirit, 2016)
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig (Knopf, 2013)
  • The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia McKissack (Aladdin, 2003)
  • Move Your Mood by Brenda Miles and Colleen Patterson (Magination, 2016)
  • Wild Feelings by David Milgrim (Hold, 2015)
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson (Chronicle, 2000)
  • Zen Shorts by Jon Muth (Scholastic, 2005)
  • I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien (Charlesbridge, 2015)
  • Why Am I Here? by Constance Orbeck-Nilssen (Eerdmans, 2016)
  • One by Kathryn Otoshi (KO Kids, 2008)
  • The Feelings Book by Todd Parr (Little, Brown 2005)
  • The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown, 2009)
  • Ish by Peter Reynolds (Candlewick, 2004)
  • A World of Pausabilities: An Exercise in Mindfulness by Frank Sileo (Magination, 2017)
  • Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver (Plum Blossom, 2009)
  • The Dark by Lemony Snicket (Little, Brown, 2013)
  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires (Kids Can, 2014)
  • Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas (S. & S./Beach Lane, 2011)
  • The Forgiveness Garden by Lauren Thompson (Feiwel & Friends, 2012)
  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuth (Abrams, 2014)
  • Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail (Scholastic, 2005)
  • And Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst (Farrar, 2014)
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2007)
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012)
  • Hooray for Hat! By Brian Won (HMH, 2014)
  • Jack’s Worry by Sam Zuppardi (Candlewick, 2016)
  • “Hearts and Minds” by the editors in School Library Journal, February 2017 (Vol. 63, #2, p. 30-31), no free e-link available

Books on Teaching Social Skills

© Flordia PBIS

104 Activities That Build: Self-esteem, Teamwork, Communication, Anger Management, Self-discovery, and Coping skills
Basic Social Skills for Youth: A Handbook from Boys Town
Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out: The Anger Management Book
Reaching Out, Joining In: Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism
Ready-To-Use Social Skills Lesson & Activities for Grades 1-3; 4-6; 7-12
Six Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenager: Teaching Social Skills to Your Teen
Social Skills Activities for Secondary

Students with Special Needs

Alanna Jones “Teamwork activities are fun to lead, exciting to participate in, challenging, and almost always the favorite type of therapeutic games to play.”
Boys Town Press: Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home. Val J. Peter (Designer)
Jerry Wilde
Sandra L. Harris, Expert clinicians introduce social skills programs for preschool & kindergarten children with Autism, with a focus on play, rules, empathy & Inclusion
Ruth Weltmann Begun “Behavioral Objectives: The student will exhibit good listening and concentration skills that are appropriate for classroom learning and everyday life.”
James Windell
Darlene Mannix “Rationale: Being able to listen to others is probably one of the most important social skills that an individual can acquire.”
Ellen T McGinnis & Arnold P.  Goldstein. For Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary. Teaches 50 plus social skills necessary to be successful in school. Some example are Accepting “no”, Following Instructions, Listening

Children’s Literature Tools for Teaching
School-Wide Expectations and Rules

© Flordia PBIS

General Expectations, Rules, Social Skills
  • Three Little Kittens
  • The Ants and the Grasshopper
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek
  • The Empty Pot
  • The Littlest Mermaid
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scienscka
  • Please by Alicia Aspinwall
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria by Rathman
  • Anasasi the Spider by Gerald McDermott
  • The Grouchy Ladybug
  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  • The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora
  • The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf
  • Curious George Visits The Police Station
  • The Little Red Hen
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Phister

The following books are good examples of working together for a common purpose:

  • Berson, Harold. Pop Goes the Turnip
  • Brenner, Barbara, Mr. Tall and Mr.  Small
  • Brett, Jan. Berlioz the Bear
  • Brown, Marcia Wise. Stone Soup
  • Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Zinna and Dot
  • Evans. A Bundle of Sticks
  • Galdone, Paul. The Little Red Hen
  • Hoban. Lillian. A Bargain for Frances
  • Lionni, Leo. Swimmy
  • Lord, John Vernon. The Giant Jam Sandwich
  • Mitchell, Margarie King. Uncle Jed’s Barbershop
  • Silverman, Erica. The Big Pumpkin

The following books illustrate being able to count on, depend on, and trust.

  • Blake, Olive. Mystery of the Lost Letter
  • Mahy, M. The Seven Chinese Brothers
  • Scarry, Richard. Richard Scarry’s Busiest People Ever
  • Smith, Dennis. The Little Fire Engine That Saved a City

The following books are good examples of being truthful and fair:

  • Aesop, The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • Alexander, Lloyd, The Truthful Harp
  • Avi, Nothing But the Truth
  • Bauer, Marion Dane, On My Honor
  • Brown, Marc., The True Francine
  • Bunting, Eve, A Day of Work
  • Calmenson, Stephanie, The Principal’s New Clothes
  • Choroao, Kay, Molly’s Lies
  • Cole, Joanna, The Secret Box
  • Coleman, H.C., Tell Me No Lies
  • Collodi, Carlo, Pinocchio
  • Demi, The Empty Pot
  • Girion, Barbara, Misty and Me
  • Havill, Juanita, Jamaica’s Find
  • Hoban, Russell, A Bargain for Frances
  • Hughes, Dean., Honestly, Myron
  • Ness, Evaline, Sam, Bangs,  and Moonshine
  • Turkle, Brinton, The Adventures of Obadiah
  • Weinman, Marjorie, A Big Fat Enormous Lie
  • White, E.B., The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Wylie, J. & D., A Big Fish Story

Additional Resources

The links below are listed as a courtesy to our website visitors. While these sites are offered as a resource for our visitors, the Elk Grove Unified School District does not control the information contained in the linked websites and accepts no liability for any of the information.

National PBIS Technical Assistance Center
California PBIS Technical Assistance Center
Placer County Regional Technical Assistance Center
PBIS for Family
PBIS for Parents
PBIS Bully Prevention
Learning System Missouri Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support – Assisting schools and districts

Social Emotional Learning /PBIS Resources: