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Thorndyke Thoughts: Do You Need a Hug?

Little Bear and Thorndyke

Hey Kids,

Sometimes the world is a rough place, so I'm taking a minute today to remind myself to be kind to others. It can be hard to show kindness when we're feeling angry or scared, but nothing makes me feel better than finding something nice to do for someone else. So if you're looking for books that might help you show understanding or compassion to someone who needs it, these are some of my favorite. I hope they inspire you, too. If you have your own inspiring books, please share them as a comment below.

Bear Hugs,


Wolfie the bunny by Ame Dyckman

When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook | video | e-video

Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts going to school and the other children make fun of it.

A boy and a jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz

A true story of a boy who lives with a stutter. He struggles to overcome his own challenges, but finds inspiration in advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves: animals.

Last stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Also available in: e-book | video | e-video

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

The farmer and the clown by Marla Frazee

When a little clown gets lost after falling off a train, a farmer finds him and befriends him until the train returns.

Each kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Also available in: e-audiobook

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya's shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

The whispering town by Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren
Also available in: e-audiobook | video | e-video

In Denmark during World War II, young Annet, her parents, and their neighbors help a Jewish family hide from Nazi soldiers until it is safe for them to leave Annet's basement.

A sick day for Amos McGee by Philip Christian Stead
Also available in: e-audiobook | video | e-video

Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day he woke with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn't make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.

Sidewalk flowers by JonArno Lawson

A little girl collects wildflowers while walking through town with her father. She silently distributes beauty as she goes.

For hundreds of thousands of years Great Auks thrived in the icy seas of the North Atlantic, bobbing on the waves, diving for fish and struggling up onto rocky shores to mate and hatch their fluffy chicks. But by 1844, not a single one of these magnificent birds was alive. A combination of their own biological features and the sudden and swift influence of human activity sealed their fate.

Also available in: e-book

Depicts various families, from England to California and from 1710 to 2010, preparing and eating the dessert called blackberry fool. Includes a recipe and historical notes.

Happy in our skin by Fran Manushkin

Depicts families of different colors and orientations as they play at a park, swim, and celebrate at a block party.

Julie welcomes all lost and homeless creatures into her house, whether they be cats or trolls, ghosts or dragons, but soon realizes that each must have a chore in order for the arrangement to work.

Strictly no elephants by Lisa Mantchev

A boy is excluded from joining his friends' pet club because of his unusual pet, but he refuses to be discouraged.

Red Knit Cap Girl and her animal friends create a library inside a mighty oak tree, where they can read and exchange books.

Stella brings the family by Miriam B Schiffer

What happens if your family doesn't fit the traditional mold? Stella brings her two fathers to school to celebrate Mother's Day.

The storybook knight by Helen Docherty

Ordered by his parents to tame a dragon, a gentle knight who prefers reading to fighting arms himself with a book.

I'm new here by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Three children from other countries (Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea) struggle to adjust to their new home and school in the United States.


I like "A Splendid Friend, Indeed" by Suzanne Bloom. :)