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5 Classic Children's Books That Promote Emotional Intelligence

Updated: Aug 24, 2023



Why do people adore the classics? Because they bring a little magic into our lives! These stories are like timeless treasures that never grow old. When we flip through the pages of classics like "Where the Wild Things Are" or "Charlotte's Web," we're not just reading a story; we're embarking on an adventure that has been loved by generations before us.


These books hold a special place in our hearts because they carry the wisdom of the past and the promise of a world where imagination knows no bounds. They are our childhood friends, inviting us to relive moments of innocence, curiosity, and wonder with each page turned.


Here are five classic children's books that not only provide engaging stories but also offer valuable lessons about emotions, relationships, and self-awareness. In their own unique ways, the following books can help children develop emotional intelligence skills that are essential for their personal growth and well-being. Let's dive in!



  • Summary: This beloved picture book follows the story of Max, a young boy who goes on a wild adventure to an imaginative land inhabited by "wild things." After becoming their king, he realizes the importance of home and family.

  • How it Promotes Emotional Intelligence: The story teaches children about empathy and understanding the emotions of others. Max's journey helps kids explore their own feelings of anger, loneliness, and acceptance.

  • Reading Age: 4-8 years



  • Summary: This timeless novel tells the tale of a friendship between a young pig named Wilbur and a wise spider named Charlotte. Charlotte works to save Wilbur from becoming dinner by weaving messages into her webs.

  • How it Promotes Emotional Intelligence: Through Charlotte's actions, children learn about compassion, sacrifice, and the value of true friendship. The characters' emotions and challenges provide opportunities for empathy.

  • Reading Age: 8-12 years



  • Summary: Alexander experiences a series of frustrating and disappointing events over the course of a single day. He wishes he could move to Australia to escape his bad luck.

  • How it Promotes Emotional Intelligence: The book helps children recognize that everyone has challenging days and experiences negative emotions. It encourages empathy by showing that bad days are a universal part of life.

  • Reading Age: 4-8 years



  • Summary: In this colorful and simple picture book, the author explores a wide range of feelings children might experience, from happiness and excitement to sadness and frustration.

  • How it Promotes Emotional Intelligence: By introducing a variety of emotions, this book helps children develop an emotional vocabulary and the ability to identify and express their feelings. It normalizes the experience of different emotions.

  • Reading Age: 3-6 years



  • Summary: This classic story follows Peter Rabbit's misadventures in Mr. McGregor's garden as he disobeys his mother's warning and enters the forbidden territory.

  • How it Promotes Emotional Intelligence: The story teaches children about the consequences of their actions. Peter's adventure leads to a mix of emotions, including fear and regret, which can spark discussions about decision-making and empathy.

  • Reading Age: 4-8 years

So, next time you are looking for a cozy classic to read with your little one, travel back in time with one of these gems!

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