Teaching About Relationships: SEL Books for Home and Classroom

Teaching About Relationships: SEL Books for Kids

12 February 2022 • Words by Allison Henry 2 mins

Reading books aloud to children is a fun bonding experience that also builds important literacy skills. And, depending on the stories that you choose, books teach really important lessons. The focus of this month is on relationships and second to practicing relationship skills in real life is learning about them through stories.  Having positive relationships take practice and social and emotional (SEL) skills. Books are a great way to make SEL topics concrete for kids.

How SEL skills connect common relationship themes in kids’ books: 

Questions to ask kids after you read books about relationships: 


The books below highlight some of the most common and relevant themes for children as they form relationships with their peers and with adults. They are fun to read aloud and inspire rich conversations.  Snuggle up and enjoy reading together!


Early Childhood, PreK – 3 Grade

Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie books explore themes such as compromise, communication, and self-awareness.


A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

Mouse and Bear form an unlikely friendship and kids learn about loneliness, acceptance, and happiness.


BEAR book series by Karma Wilson

Bear and his friends navigate through common kid issues such as feeling sick and scared, losing teeth, and celebrating.


Upper Elementary, 4-5 Grade

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

The Recess Queen teaches children about assertiveness, empathy, and conflict resolution. 


Millie Fierce by Jane Manning

Through Millie’s decisions and interactions with her family and friends, kids learn about empathy, assertiveness, communication, self-control, and self-awareness.


That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell

Kids learn about an expanded definition of relationships to include special objects and how to teach others to find things to love.


Moshi Stories that teach important relationship lessons:




Looking for more book options for your children? Check out these blogs:

Our Favorite Books About Mental Health Written by Female Authors

The Best Mindfulness Books for Kids

5 Insightful Books about Neurodiversity

Our Favorite Books for Aspiring STEM Girls

  • Allison Henry