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Benny Doesn't Like to Be Hugged
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Benny Doesn't Like to Be Hugged

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A little girl uses rhyming verse to describe the unique traits of her autistic friend. Benny likes trains and cupcakes without sprinkles, but he can also be fussy sometimes. The narrator doesn't mind, however, because "true friends accept each other just the way they are." A gentle story encouraging children to appreciate and accept our differences.
Published September 29th 2017 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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This book is lyrically told, beautifully illustrated, and great for all ages of readers. Benny is an autistic Black child, whose experiences and personhood are celebrated in this glowing story. I loved getting to know Benny through his personality, favorite activities, and his community -- his family, his best friend (the narrator), and his classmates (which include kids who are indigenous, Muslim, gender non-conforming, and disabled). Benny has particular needs around connection, loud noise, ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Benny does like cupcakes without sprinkles and he likes his shirts with no wrinkles.

About a particular boy who likes to have fun and be quiet sometimes with friends. Cute story.
Jared White
Hooray for lots of diversity (racial, ethnic, and Autism representation) and for a book that teaches respect for personal space!

This book is told from Benny's friend's perspective and is about things he likes and doesn't like. I like that it shows his friend start to hug him but then his friend points out to the reader that he doesn't like it, because I think many kids (and adults) probably do start to go in for a hug before remembering certain people do not like them. Also, instead of Benny
Cara Byrne
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Benny likes clothes that don’t have any wrinkles. Benny can name the brightest star – and he knows why it twinkles. But Benny doesn’t like to be hugged.” Told from the first person perspective of Benny’s unnamed friend, this picture book helps children recognize and accept differences – whether in eating habits, communication styles or preferences. With its simple sentences and rich, colorful illustrations, this picture book shows that friendship can grow and blossom even when two friends see ...more
Alissa Pletcher
This book is an example in inclusivity from the first page to the last. The book text never mentions the word "autism". It just talks about the endearing character Benny and ways he is different from his friend, the narrator. The illustrations are darling. Benny's quirks are relatable. I think every kid should read this book so they know how to treat their autistic classmates - like the wonderful friends they are!
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A picture book from Benny's best friend's perspective. She tells everyone about all the things he likes and a few things that he doesn't. But it's no big deal b/c you love your friends for who they are. Nice introduction to autism.
Kate Buechler
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I need to read more Zetta Elliott books immediately.
So good. Stock it on your shelves. Buy it for your children. Read it to your class.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
About autism, but not own voices.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jp2018
The world needed this book, and I am so glad it now exists. Short and simple enough for a toddler or preschool storytime, with a great big message.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it

Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged (2017), written by the brilliant and prolific Zetta Elliott and richly illustrated by Purple Wong, is a sweet and accessible story about the relationship between a boy with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and his sister. At the end of the book, Elliott provides a detailed note about her investment in creating inclusive children’s books. She discusses wanting to write a book about autism with a Black male protagonist because
Jillian Heise
A book that is beneficial for my elementary library collection to represent kids on the autism spectrum from the standpoint of a friend who is understanding and accepting of all that entails in her friend, Benny. Lays out his unique characteristics in a non-judgmental way that will appeal to kids. Though it does feel a little bit forced at times - in both the rhyming prose and the illustrations that seem to represent a large variety of cultures and identities, yet with many kids not repeated so ...more
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I’m a Black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. I was born and raised in Canada, but have lived in the US for 20 years. I earned my PhD in American Studies from NYU in 2003; I have taught at Ohio University, Louisiana State University, Mount Holyoke College, Hunter College, Bard High School Early College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. My poetry ...more