Picture Books that Help with Thoughts and Feelings: Roundup and Review

May 14, 2024
Basic Linkedin Icon
Basic Pinterest Icon
Basiic Maill iicon

As stuttering therapists we encounter plenty of issues that aren’t just about stuttering! Here are some of our favorite picture books that help us address a range of topics.

Perfectly Norman

Written and Illustrated by Tom Percival

We use it for: teaching about differences

Norman is a normal, average kid - until one day he grows a set of wings! Determined to hide his difference, Norman wears a coat everywhere, even to the swimming pool. When Norman finally decides to embrace his differences, he learns that lots of other kids have been hiding things, too! A great book for starting a discussion about how stuttering may be different, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.


Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

We use it for: teaching about differences

Why can’t Spoon cut like Knife, twirl spaghetti like Fork, or be sophisticated like Chopsticks? This short, sweet book acknowledges that not everyone can be great at everything. But, as Spoon learns, we each have our own special talents.

First Day Jitters

Written by Julie Danneberg

Illustrated by Judy Love

We use it for: first day of school, meeting new people

Throughout the book, Sarah Jane gets ready for her first day at a new school - with a lot of nervousness. What if she doesn’t know anybody? What if it’s hard? Maybe she could just say home instead! But we never quite see her face until the end of the book, when we learn that Sarah Jane is actually the teacher! Learning that adults can be nervous too is a comforting message for children, and watching her face her nervousness can provide an in for talking about how a child might be feeling.

Don’t Be Your Own Bully

Written by Kerri Golding Oransky, LCSW

Illustrated by Jason Oransky

We use it for: kids who are hard on themselves

This creative approach to REBT helps kids understand negative beliefs and emotions by describing them as “brain bullies” - internal voices that might put us down. The cast of characters includes “Mind-reading Max” (who worries what other people are thinking of him), “Judge Joanna” (who tells you everything you do has to be perfect), and six others who correspond to frequently held unhelpful thoughts. The book then teaches kids how to identify and cope with these thoughts when they occur, including separate strategies for each type of bully and step-by-step worksheets to practice.

My Strong Mind

Written by Niels Van Hove

Illustrated by Diki

We use it for: low frustration tolerance, developing growth mindset

“A Story about Developing Mental Strength”, reads the subtitle, and that’s a great description of My Strong Mind. The book’s main character, Kate, finds herself faced with difficult situations where her first instinct is to retreat. But she learns that she can enlist her strong mind to help her meet life’s challenges.

For picture books about stuttering, check out our roundup here!

The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY, Atlanta, GA, and Los Angeles, CA, and services are also available online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.

Close icon