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Pre-K

Growing Reader

XOXO: 8 Picture Books All About Hugs and Kisses

by Jennifer Garry

hugs and kisses
Image credit: PeopleImages/Getty Images

During a time when we’re all craving more human connection, these sweet picture books about hugs and kisses are like a warm embrace. Tackling everything from hugs that turn the day around to creative ways to send hugs and kisses to understanding how to respect body boundaries, these books are perfect to read while snuggling up with your favorite little reader.

  • Crocodiles Need Kisses Too

    by Rebecca Colby, illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan

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    Rhyming and repetitive, this fun-to-read-aloud book goes through a whole bunch of lumpy, bumpy, prickly, and slithery animals who — despite their not-so-cuddly exteriors — still need kisses and hugs. With gorgeous illustrations, this book drives home the idea that everyone is worthy of love.
    (Ages 2 - 5)

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  • Hug!

    by Tiger Tales, illustrated by Ben Mantle

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    This sweet book is an adorable celebration of hugs in all different shapes and sizes — from squishy to bouncy to cozy and everywhere in between. Featuring animals as different as the ways they embrace, it’s perfect for reading at bedtime or while snuggled up on the couch.
    (Ages 2 - 5)

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  • Dinosaur Kisses

    by David Ezra Stein

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    Newly-hatched dinosaur Dinah is full of energy and wants to learn all there is to do in the world. After perfecting stomping and chomping, she discovers kissing and wants to try that. Little readers will love the struggles Dinah has as she tries and tries to kiss. In the end, she finds the perfect recipient for her dinosaur kisses.
    (Ages 2 - 5)

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  • Hug Me

    by Simona Ciraolo

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    Felipe comes from an old family with many rules. They do not hug — but Felipe could really use one. When he meets a bold new friend (who happens to be a big, bright balloon), they grow close until something goes very, very wrong. Felipe’s family blames him and never once thinks to give him the hug he needs. So, Felipe goes out in search of a new family. With little luck, lonely Felipe decides to live on his own — until he discovers someone else who is very lonely and he knows just what to do.
    (Ages 3 - 5)

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  • Don't Hug Doug

    by Carrie Finison, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman

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    Doug likes lots of things, but hugs are not one of them. In fact, the only time he likes a hug is when it’s from his mom to say goodnight. He does love to give high fives though. A great starting point for conversations on big topics like body boundaries and consent, this book reinforces the idea that we all get to decide when and if we want to hug.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

    (On Sale: 1/26/21)

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  • The Giant Hug

    by Sandra Horning, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev

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    All Owen wants to give his Granny for her birthday is a great big hug. His gift turns into a chain reaction of hugs through the postal service as his gift makes his way to Granny. When the hug finally makes it to her, Granny is so thrilled she decides to send back a great big kiss.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • Hedgehog Needs a Hug

    by Jen Betton

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    Hedgehog wakes up a little sad and knows that a hug will make him feel better. There’s just one problem: none of his forest friends will give him one. He tries again and again and is about to give up after he gets an offer from a very sly fox. But when he stumbles upon another animal who is just looking for a hug, it becomes clear that the two are a perfect pair.
    (Ages 4 - 8)

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  • Octopus Hug

    by Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Kate Salley Palmer

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    When Mom goes out for dinner with friends, Becky and Jesse are sad and grumpy. Dad comes to the rescue with a series of fun, imaginative horseplay games that start out with a big octopus hug. This silly hug immediately cuts the tension and sets the stage for an energetic night filled with bonding.
    (Ages 5 - 7)

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