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Books in this series have won the following awards: 

100 Best, 10 Best Socially Responsible Products, Best Children’s Product, Best Smart Play/Smart Toy from Dr. Toy

Platinum Award, Gold Award, Special Needs Award from Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Seal of Excellence from Creative Child

Hot Award Winner from iParenting Media

Parents’ Choice Approved

Read, America! Collection Selection

The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

ASPCA© Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award


Simple words and delightful full-color illustrations guide children to choose peaceful, positive behaviors. Each book in the series, for ages 4–7, includes a special section for parents and caregivers with ideas for discussion and activities.

Each book: 40 pp., color illust., S/C, 9" x 9"

“Offers youngsters an alternative to hitting and other forms of hurtful behavior, guiding them to a more peaceful and positive outcome.” —School Library Journal

“Helps children understand that they have the power to choose not to hurt people.”Teaching Tolerance

Hands Are Not for Hitting
by Martine Agassi, Ph.D., and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

This fresh edition of a Free Spirit classic presents charming new illustrations along with the familiar encouraging message of the original. Psychologist Martine Agassi helps young children understand that violence is never okay, that they can manage their anger and other strong feelings, and that they're capable of positive, loving actions. Especially at an age when children are interacting more with others and starting school, they need to know that hitting is unacceptable. Words tell—and pictures show—the many wonderful things kids can do with their hands instead of hitting.


“Recommended for home, school, and childcare center early childhood library resources and character education reading lists.”Midwest Book Review

Words Are Not for Hurting
by Elizabeth Verdick, and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Children learn that their words belong to them: They can think before they speak, then choose what to say and how to say it. The book makes the connection between hurtful words and feelings of anger, sadness, and regret. It introduces positive ways for children to respond when others say mean or unkind words to them. And it reinforces the importance of saying “I’m sorry,” two little words that can be a big help. Includes activities and discussion starters that parents, caregivers, and educators can use when working with children.


Germs Are Not for Sharing should be included in every pediatrician’s and family physician’s waiting room and at every childcare center, preschool, and early elementary school.” —Joseph J. Sockalosky, M.D., Director of Medical Education, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

“It may be the most important book your child reads all school year!”Woman’s Day Magazine

Germs Are Not for Sharing
by Elizabeth Verdick, and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Sneezes, coughs, runny noses, spills, and messes are facts of everyday life with children. And that’s why it’s never too soon to teach little ones about germs and ways to stay clean and healthy. This book is a short course for kids on what germs are, what they do, and why it’s so important to cover them up, block them from spreading, and wash them down the drain. Simple words complement warm, inviting, full-color illustrations that show real-life situations kids can relate to.


“A fun book sure to be enjoyed by parents, their children, and their pets!” —Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus, Columbus Zoo, and host of Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures

Tails Are Not for Pulling
by Elizabeth Verdick, and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Pets may not have words, but they can communicate. Paying attention to an animal’s cues—a joyful bark, a scary growl, a swishing tail—can help a child understand what the animal is “saying” and what an appropriate response might be. That’s part of what this book is about. But mostly it’s about showing children how to love pets gently—because pets are for loving, after all. Kids learn that teasing isn’t nice, that they can choose to be kind to animals, and that if you want to touch someone else’s pet, there’s one important rule you should know: Ask the owner first! A special section for adults includes ideas for teaching kindness to animals, activities, and discussion starters.

Voices Are Not for Yelling
by Elizabeth Verdick, and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

As parents and teachers know, yelling comes naturally to children. This friendly, encouraging book, geared to preschool and primary children, introduces and reinforces where and when to use an “indoor voice” or an “outdoor voice.” In classic Best Behavior style the author tells young readers, “Your voice is a powerful tool. How you use it is up to you.” Vivid illustrations show the times and places for an indoor voice, the ways people ask us to quiet our voices, and times when yelling might occur. “What happens if you’re mad or frustrated or really, really excited? Your voice gets louder and LOUDER.” But yelling hurts people’s ears and feelings. Children learn that they can quiet their voice and use their words to talk about a problem. “Think before you yell, and use your words well!” Includes a special section for parents and caregivers with activities and discussion starters.

Save when you purchase all 5 paperbacks in the Best Behavior series!
$53.75 (10% Savings!)



Board Books also available! These titles, and more, are available in board books for ages baby–preschool. Learn more about the Best Behavior board book editions.

Bilingual editions available! Select titles in the Best Behavior series are available in bilingual English-Spanish editions in both board book and paperback format. Learn more about the Best Behavior bilingual editions.


About the authors and illustrator:

Elizabeth Verdick is the author of more than 30 highly acclaimed books for children and teenagers, including books in the Toddler Tools® board book series, the Best Behavior® series for young children, and the Laugh & Learn™ series for preteens. Her most recent titles include Calm-Down Time and Don't Behave Like You Live in a Cave. Elizabeth lives with her husband, daughter, son, and five pets near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Marieka Heinlen received her BFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and also studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She launched her career as a children’s book illustrator with the award-winning Hands Are Not for Hitting. As a freelance illustrator and designer, Marieka focuses her work on books and other materials for children, teens, parents, and teachers. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and children.


Martine Agassi, Ph.D., is a clinical therapist with extensive experience as a behavioral consultant, counseling children and families in schools, residential facilities, foster care, and private practice. She has led workshops and group counseling in communication skills, parenting, drug and child abuse prevention, divorce, and self-esteem. Martine, her husband, and their daughter live in Fallbrook, California, with their dog Toby.



Common Core