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Hands Are Not for Hitting

Hands Are Not for Hitting

Best Behavior® Series


“Hands are not for hitting. Hands are for saying hello . . .” And for playing, creating, helping, working, learning, encouraging, taking care of oneself, and so many more good things.

This Free Spirit child behavior classic presents charming illustrations along with the encouraging message. 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.

Made to be read aloud, Hands Are Not for Hitting also includes a special section for adults, with ideas for things to talk about and activities to do together.

Recommended for anyone in a caring relationship with a young child; perfect for childcare, preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school classrooms.

“Hands Are Not for Hitting” is a registered trademark of Violence Free Minnesota, and is used with permission.

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Paperback $11.95 23081 Paperback 23081 $11.95

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ISBN: 978-1-57542-308-1
Reading Level: Grade 1
Interest Level: Ages 4–7
Guided Reading Level: H
Lexile Measure: 510L
Illustrated: color illust.
Trim Size: 9" x 9"
Page Count: 40

Praise for Hands Are Not for Hitting
“Imagine raising your kids without the help of Goodnight Moon or Is Your Mama a Llama? or Hands Are Not for Hitting.”—Jennifer Garner, actress and Save the Children ambassador

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

“Highly recommended . . . ideal ‘read aloud’ book for parents and care givers.”—Midwest Book Review

“The simple but important message . . . helps children understand that they have the power to choose not to hurt people.”—Teaching Tolerance

“Highly recommended for parents, teachers, clergy, childcare providers, but most importantly, for the world’s greatest resource—children.”—Childhelp

“An excellent resource to refer to whenever your children or students need a reminder about calm and peaceful hands.”—Chasing Supermom blog

Award for Hands Are Not for Hitting:

  • Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Winner
  • iParenting Media Award Winner
  • National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
  • Read, America! Selection
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Special Needs Award
  • Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Selection
  • Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially Responsible Products Selection
  • Midwest Independent Publisher Award

Awards for the Best Behavior series:

  • Creative Child Seal of Excellence and Preferred Choice Award
  • Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Socially Responsible Products and Best Children’s Product
  • National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Special Needs Award
  • Read America! Selection
  • iParenting Media Hot Award Winner
  • Common Core State Standards


Related Resources

We Listen to Our Bodies: A picture book about body awareness and consent.
10 Essential Books for Preschoolers
Why Should I?
Feeling Angry
Zach learns a strategy for dealing with frustration when things aren’t going his way.
Zach learns how to make an apology.

User Reviews

Sort By:
June 14, 2021 / Megan Lopez
5 stars!

Hands Are Not for Hitting is a staple in my K-2 classrooms. Those social skills are crucial teaching points for our young students who are still learning how to play well together!

June 12, 2019 / Maria Elena Gonzalez - Edinburg, Texas
Best Book to Support My Students!

It was 2007. I was in the exhibit hall at NAEYC in Chicago, walking through the booths. Then, I saw it! Yellow, with beautiful pictures on its title page. "Hands Are Not For Hitting." That school year I was struggling with a student who was hitting his peers, and I was looking for something to help him move forward. So when I saw this book, I stopped and browsed it. And I fell in love with it!

Marieka Heinlen (the illustrator) was there, so she talked about the book, and she even signed my copy!

I don´t have to tell you that this is the book I used the most during many school years. Every student feels inspired for all the positive things we all can do with our hands....and the importance and the POWER we have by being aware of it!

This book really opened a new perspective to handle my classroom management by promoting a sense of respect, responsibility and love among us. Couple of years later I moved to a leadership position and I got this book for every classroom in my school and I had conversations about it with teachers.

So this was one of the books to use in class meetings, but also when an incident had happened it helped us to reflect with children, once they cooled down, about their choices and empathy. I love it!


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