100 books like Group Hug

By Jean Reidy, Joey Chou (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Group Hug fans have personally recommended if you like Group Hug. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hug

Jessica L. Borelli Author Of Nature Meets Nurture: Science-Based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids

From my list on people who want to connect with their child.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by relationships since I was a kid. I grew up a keen observer of the relationships in my own family, mostly focused on the way in which the dynamics were difficult for me. This led me to develop a strong interest in psychology, a passion I pursued in my undergraduate education. I became acutely intrigued by an idea a professor exposed me to early on – that experiences of safety and security within attachment relationships are essential in order for children to thrive, and that without safety/security, they can experience chronic struggles. This early interest paved the way for what developed into my career as a psychology professor and therapist.

Jessica's book list on people who want to connect with their child

Jessica L. Borelli Why did Jessica love this book?

This is a children’s book that tells the story about a sweet chimp who is looking for a hug from a variety of different animals and can’t seem to get one.

The story evokes strong feelings from young children about rejection, the need to be connected to other people, and the need to belong. I love this book because there are very few words in it, so it gives you and your child the opportunity to fill in the gaps with what you think is happening. 

Also, talking about experiences of rejection can be very difficult for children, and this experience can create opportunities for your child to speak with you about times when they have wanted comfort and haven’t received it.

By Jez Alborough,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Hug as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A tiny chimp invokes the universal language, uniting his friends in a group hug to end all group hugs. Just try to resist Jez Alborough's latest charmer!

Ever feel like you need a hug? A really big hug from someone who loves you? That's how Bobo, the little chimp in this book, feels. Walking through the jungle he passes lots of creatures enjoying a cuddle together: elephants, chameleons, lions, giraffes, hippos - even the snakes have got someone special to squeeze. But poor Bobo is alone. Will he ever find the hug he needs? Using only the single word "hug"…


Book cover of Bird Hugs

Sandra Horning Author Of The Giant Hug

From my list on children’s books about hugs.

Who am I?

As a children’s author of board books through picture books (Baby Code series, Chicks!, Bizarre Birds, and The Biggest Pumpkin) and as a librarian, I love books that make children feel good and loved. When I was working on my picture book The Giant Hug, I researched what other hug books had been published. There weren’t many back in 2002, but I continued to be on the lookout even after mine was published. I’m happy to report that there are quite a few hug books out there now, spreading love, hugs, and kindness to readers of all ages. We all need them!   

Sandra's book list on children’s books about hugs

Sandra Horning Why did Sandra love this book?

I couldn’t resist a title with two of my favorite things, hugs and birds. (In fact, I’ve written early readers about birds.) Bird Hugs, by author-illustrator Ged Adamson, tells the story of Bernard, a sweet little bird with wings too long to fly. He tries to fly many times, but isn’t successful. He feels useless and lonely until he meets an orangutan who needs a hug. It turns out Bernard’s long wings are just perfect for hugging. One hug leads to another and soon all the animals come to Bernard when they need comfort. Bird Hugs tells a lovely story with a positive message about fitting in when you’re different and, of course, how a hug can brighten your day. 

By Ged Adamson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bird Hugs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bernard isn't like other birds. His wings are impossibly long, and try as he might, he just can't seem to fly. He's left wondering what his wings are good for...if they're even good for anything at all. But a chance encounter with a dejected orangutan leads Bernard to a surprising discovery: that maybe what makes him different is actually something to be embraced.


Book cover of Hugs and Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug

Sandra Horning Author Of The Giant Hug

From my list on children’s books about hugs.

Who am I?

As a children’s author of board books through picture books (Baby Code series, Chicks!, Bizarre Birds, and The Biggest Pumpkin) and as a librarian, I love books that make children feel good and loved. When I was working on my picture book The Giant Hug, I researched what other hug books had been published. There weren’t many back in 2002, but I continued to be on the lookout even after mine was published. I’m happy to report that there are quite a few hug books out there now, spreading love, hugs, and kindness to readers of all ages. We all need them!   

Sandra's book list on children’s books about hugs

Sandra Horning Why did Sandra love this book?

I was delighted when Eric Carle wrote Hugs and Kisses for The Grouchy Ladybug because I read many of his books during my preschool story time at the library. They are just right for the under-five age group. Hug and Kisses for The Grouchy Ladybug is a small and cute book, perfect for little hands to hold. Like many of Carle’s stories, each page has a different animal that young children can proudly identify. Each animal shows what happens when they receive hugs and kisses. They smile, clap, and jump across the page. Fans of The Grouchy Ladybug will enjoy learning that even the grouchy ladybug smiles when she receives hugs and kisses. 

By Eric Carle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hugs and Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller!

“A charming tale that shows how love can move even the grumpiest among us. A welcome addition to both the ever-popular Carle collection as well as books for Valentine’s Day.” —School Library Journal

From the World of Eric Carle comes a brand-new book starring the Grouchy Ladybug, a favorite character for over 40 years!

Perfect for fans of Love from the Hungry Caterpillar, this reminds us that that hugs and kisses truly make the world go 'round and that we all need love, even when we’re grouchy.

With Eric Carle’s signature bright collage illustrations featuring…


Book cover of How to Hug a Pufferfish

Sandra Horning Author Of The Giant Hug

From my list on children’s books about hugs.

Who am I?

As a children’s author of board books through picture books (Baby Code series, Chicks!, Bizarre Birds, and The Biggest Pumpkin) and as a librarian, I love books that make children feel good and loved. When I was working on my picture book The Giant Hug, I researched what other hug books had been published. There weren’t many back in 2002, but I continued to be on the lookout even after mine was published. I’m happy to report that there are quite a few hug books out there now, spreading love, hugs, and kindness to readers of all ages. We all need them!   

Sandra's book list on children’s books about hugs

Sandra Horning Why did Sandra love this book?

Author-illustrator Ellie Peterson’s recently published book How to Hug a Pufferfish is much needed in today’s world. It’s a story not only about giving hugs, but also about asking permission to give a hug. In an engaging and fun way with cartoonish illustrations, Peterson uses the prickly pufferfish to humorously show that not everyone wants to receive a hug all the time. If you’re a pufferfish, you need to be asked. It’s a book about consent for the youngest readers, presented in the sweetest age-appropriate way you can imagine. I will definitely be reading this at my story time, and might even gift this to a few prickly adults! 

By Ellie Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Hug a Pufferfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A picture book about a group of underwater friends who learn to ask for permission before showing their prickly, pufferfish pal some love.

So, you want to hug a pufferfish...

Who could blame you? That friendly, gap-toothed grin is hard to resist! Only, when Pufferfish is hugged or touched unexpectedly by their friends, things can get a little…spiky.

It’s not that Pufferfish doesn’t ever want hugs—it’s just that they need to have a say in when and how they’re hugged. Luckily, they have great friends who are willing to listen and learn the best ways to show Pufferfish some love…


Book cover of Hugless Douglas

John Priest Author Of Where's My Granny Gone?

From my list on funny stories to give your child the giggles.

Who am I?

My name is John Priest and I've been writing children's books, mystery stories, and factual articles since the 1980's. I've been traditionally published and have publshed my own books too. I love writing funny books and rhyming stories. Seeing my 5 grandchildren reading a book and laughing is one of the best sights of all. I've worked in schools and really believe that having your imagination ignited by any book is the start of building your own personality and creating wonderment in your own mind. And who knows? Maybe one day your child will write the next batch of  beautiful books!

John's book list on funny stories to give your child the giggles

John Priest Why did John love this book?

The title of the book tells you that the book is going to be F-U-N. Hugless Douglas. When Douglas the bear wakes up after his Winter sleep, all he really wants is a nice big hug! Douglas sets off in search of the best hug, and the hugs he gets just seem to lack something, but what? 

Does Hugless Douglas finally get the hug he really wants? This is such a lovely, heart-warming book and it is especially nice at bedtime!

By David Melling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hugless Douglas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Hugless Douglas in on a hunt for the perfect bear hug! Join him and see why this delightful cuddly tale has been entertaining families for ten years.

Hugless Douglas is a huggable, lovable young brown bear who wakes up one morning in need of a hug. He goes to try and find one but none of them seem quite right.

This very special anniversary edition of Hugless Douglas' first adventure is a must for fans of this much-loved series, which has sold over 1.6 million copies in 26 languages to date. David Melling is one of the UK's best-loved author-illustrators…


Book cover of Just a Touch Away

Laina Villeneuve Author Of Birds of a Feather

From my list on neurodiverse women who love women.

Who am I?

I was thrown into the deep end to learn about autism when our first son was diagnosed as autistic. As first-time parents, how were we to know that the struggles we faced went beyond the norm? We also have twins, one of whom is ADHD and the other dyslexic. Thus, not only have I spent a lot of time learning about autism, but I also enjoy turning to fiction to learn how others both struggle and find solutions. I started writing because the bedtime routine with my kiddos was very difficult. Nearly twelve years later, I am still using my writing to overcome the obstacles in my life. 

Laina's book list on neurodiverse women who love women

Laina Villeneuve Why did Laina love this book?

I was surprised to see this on a list of neurodiverse books because I hadn’t remembered that Hannah, the professional cuddler has aphantasia which means she cannot form pictures in her head.

This story is an opposites attract where the characters have to live together for ninety-two days if they are to inherit a building. Hannah’s warmth is the polar opposite of Winter’s reserved coldness which makes living together difficult. However, the more Winter learns about how Hannah thinks and functions, the more she thaws.

I loved that each character helped the other step beyond her comfort zone. 

By Jae,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just a Touch Away as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enemies-to-lovers lesbian romance with an ice queen whose frosty facade is melted by the power of touch.

Hannah Martin has an unusual job: she’s a professional cuddler. While she has a big heart for her clients, she hasn’t found someone special to snuggle up to in her personal life.

Winter Sullivan isn’t looking for love. She’s an aloof workaholic who’s built walls of ice around herself. She would rather drive toothpicks under her fingernails than cuddle, and she certainly doesn’t want to share her space with anyone.

When Winter’s estranged father dies, he leaves her one last surprise: she…


Book cover of Hank Finds an Egg

Adam B. Ford Author Of Ryder, Sky, and Emmaline

From my list on children's stories with a magical sense of place.

Who am I?

I never stopped reading children’s books and started writing my own when I hit the age of 40. I gravitate toward crisp drawing styles and illustrations that bring out the magic in the everyday. These books are a few of my favorites.

Adam's book list on children's stories with a magical sense of place

Adam B. Ford Why did Adam love this book?

This story stands out from other children’s books because it is told wordlessly entirely with photographs.

The stuffed bear Hank, as the title suggests, finds an egg and has to figure out where it belongs. The details in the real sets are a joy to see and the story is told effortlessly with wonderful studio photographs.

By Rebecca Dudley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hank Finds an Egg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While walking through the woods, Hank finds an egg all alone on the forest floor. Spotting its home high up in a tree, Hank diligently tries to return the egg to its nest, but is met with failure each time. After keeping the egg warm overnight, he returns to the scene the next morning. To his surprise, he is met by another forest creature. Will they find a way together to see the egg safely home? Artist Rebecca Dudley crafts each tiny leaf, flower, and creature that appears in Hank's forest in breathtaking detail, bringing the sunlit woods to life.…


Book cover of Kind

Leslie Kimmelman Author Of The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

From my list on more elusive than ever kindness.

Who am I?

I am no expert on kindness—though more than twenty years at Sesame Workshop, working on a TV show that focuses on kindness, may give me a slight edge. And I am not unfailingly kind, though I try my hardest. But I am passionate about nurturing this quality in children. At the risk of sounding naive, I feel that it’s our last best hope of solving some of the world’s biggest problems.  

Leslie's book list on more elusive than ever kindness

Leslie Kimmelman Why did Leslie love this book?

It’s the perfect choice for anyone who wonders, “But what can I do? I’m just a kid!” The book is filled with kid-friendly, practical ideas of ways to be kind: offering a smile or a hug; sharing; letting someone else take the first turn; learning words in a new arrival’s language; and much, much more. Each page features work by another terrific artist—it’s absolutely a visual feast for anyone who appreciates good illustration. The bonus is that sales of the book help raise money for a charity that assists refugees trying to make a new start. What could be better than feeling kind just for buying yourself a new book!

By Alison Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Imagine a world where everyone is kind
- how can we make that come true? With gorgeous
pictures by a host of the world's top illustrators, Kind
is a timely, inspiring picture book about the many ways children
can be kind, from sharing their toys and games to helping those
from other countries feel welcome.



The book is endorsed
by The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler
one
pound from the sale of each printed copy will go to the Three
Peas charity, which gives vital help to refugees
from war-torn countries.
comes with a dust jacket




Illustrators included: Beatrice
Alemagna, David…


Book cover of Be Kind

Ellen Leventhal Author Of A Flood of Kindness

From my list on the healing power of kindness.

Who am I?

I am a teacher, writer, mother, and grandmother who sees the debilitating effects of meanness and the healing effects of kindness daily. In case that isn’t reason enough for writing A Flood of Kindness, I’m also what some call “A Floodie.” Like my character’s home flooded, so did mine. As devastating as it was, the kindness of others was overwhelming. I spent time with children whose homes also flooded. Aside from losing material things, it is easy to feel powerless. Like myself, I found that the children began their healing when they were able to give back, even in very small ways. I knew this had to be my book. 

Ellen's book list on the healing power of kindness

Ellen Leventhal Why did Ellen love this book?

One of the things I love about this book is that Miller addresses the very true idea that being kind is not always easy. Often, we tell kids to “be kind,” but we don’t tell them how. In this book, the main character tries to help her friend, Tanisha, who spills grape juice on herself. But her initial attempts aren’t successful. The main character wonders what it means to be kind and knows that she can do small kindnesses. She thinks about how small kindness can be contagious and “spill out of the school” and go all around the world. As I wonder about the power of kindness to heal, this book makes me think about how wonderful it is that we can all help in our own small way.

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Jen Hill (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Be Kind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference - or at least help a friend. With awardwinning author Pat Zietlow Miller's gentle text and Jen Hill's irresistible art, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.


Book cover of The Language of Flowers

Jessica Roux Author Of Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers

From my list on illustrated florals.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by nature, even from a young age. My parents would set up easels for my sister and me to paint outdoors, and I haven’t stopped drawing since. I tend to focus on flora and fauna, making illustrations with subdued colors and intricate details. I love to create illustrations for books, and occasionally, I’ll write them, too. Often reflective of history, mythology, and folklore, my work captures an old-world feeling and a love of nature. In my spare time, you can find me in my garden or out walking my dog, Molly.

Jessica's book list on illustrated florals

Jessica Roux Why did Jessica love this book?

Dena Seiferling’s The Language of Flowers tells the story of Beatrice the bumblebee learning the language of flowers through the meadows she roams. As a fan of subdued colors, Seiferling’s illustration style drew me in, with soft lines and hidden faces within all of the featured blooms. The last two pages are an illustrated list of floral meanings, fantastic for children wanting to learn more about floriography, of which I am (very obviously) a fan!

By Dena Seiferling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Language of Flowers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

An adopted bumblebee learns the language of flowers from her floral family in this enchanting picture book, inspired by floriography, that celebrates one of nature's most important relationships.

Deep within a magical meadow, some lonely flowers receive a very special gift: a baby bumblebee in need. The flowers name her Beatrice, they care for her and help her find her wings. And as she grows older, Beatrice learns the language of her floral family — messages of kindness and appreciation that she delivers between them. With each sweet word, the flowers bloom until the meadow becomes so big that Beatrice…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in hugs, kindness, and animals?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about hugs, kindness, and animals.

Hugs Explore 7 books about hugs
Kindness Explore 27 books about kindness
Animals Explore 205 books about animals