The most recommended books about hugs

Who picked these books? Meet our 5 experts.

5 authors created a book list connected to hugs, and here are their favorite hug books.
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Book cover of Group Hug

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?

Jean Reidy’s Group Hug begins with a slug “needing someone to hug.” Slug offers a hug to a lonely beetle and together they then offer a hug to a mouse. The circle of comfort grows with animals of different sizes and emotions. When a bear comes along, the group is afraid, but slug presses on to include the bear. Reidy’s rhyming text and Chou’s bright art beautifully show that both the hugger and huggee experience joy from the hug. This makes another great story time read to spread kindness and understanding. 

By Jean Reidy, Joey Chou (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Group Hug 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?

What do we all need when we're feeling down? yes, that's right, a group hug!
A slug is the unlikely hero of this feel-good tale: "You need a hug? I have one," said Slug, "to keep your heart snug!" More and more sad-looking animals arrive, and one by one slug persuades each to join the group hug until a scary looking bear turns up. But who will be brave enough to hug bear?
A wonderful read-aloud book with irresistible rhyme, vibrant nature scenes and huggable animals.


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 Daddy Hugs

Jessica Dall Author Of Forever Bound

From Jessica's 4-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Novelist Romance Addict History Buff Reader Bibliophile

Jessica's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Jessica's 4-year-old's favorite books.

Jessica Dall Why did Jessica's 4-year-old love this book?

(Are you getting the sense that we have a bit of a daddy’s girl around here?)

But anyway, adorable illustrations, a cute story about different animal dads hugging their kids/pups/chicks that human dads can act out, and simple sentences that are structured to be easy enough for early readers to help pick out some of the words has made this one a favorite all year.

It was so well loved that we ended up having to buy a copy from Amazon so that we didn’t have to keep renewing it from the library.

By Nancy Tafuri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daddy Hugs 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?

Little ones love daddy hugs.

Feathered hugs... whiskered hugs... cozy hugs.

Just-daddy-and-me hugs.

All across the woodlands, animal daddies and their little ones cuddle up together. From furry bear hugs to silky hare hugs, Nancy Tafuri celebrates all the hugs that are extra special because they are just-daddy-and-me hugs. A special author's note includes a list of critters to seek and find on each page, along with their scientific names.


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 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 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 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…