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“Hug, Hug, Hug Your Books”

I did this song with Kindergarten and first grade students every week they were in the library. It’s easy to for them to learn; most will remember it easily after only one week. As my littlest students grew older, we would sing it occasionally because someone would request it every now and then. Nostalgia, I guess!

I do not claim to have written this song; I found it years ago on the internet. It’s the way I used the song that makes it special. You could really use any song in the same way to signal the end of library time.

(sing to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Hug, hug, hug your books
Very carefully
Down the hall and back to class
As quiet as can be

In my library, my classes sang this song three times in a row:

THE FIRST TIME–We sung the song in a normal voice, and this was their signal to get lined up, hug their book, and be ready to go. As I have always had a loud library (yeah, I know, the library should be quiet, whatever), I would just start singing and my kids would gradually hear me and follow suit. They were trained!

THE SECOND TIME— Immediately after the first time ended, we sung the same song again in a whisper voice. At this point, the students were (mostly) standing in line, hugging their books, facing the door, and smiling because they love the whisper part.

THE THIRD TIME–Immediately after the first two versions, we sung with no voice at all. That is, the students and I mouthed the words without any sound coming from our mouths. This was their favorite part of all, and they would get a little giggly sometimes while mouthing the words. This part was also kind of cute with the early kindergarteners because you could totally tell some of them were just opening and closing their mouths without singing the tune in their heads. I always thought they looked like little fish!

By the time the three verses were over about 45 seconds later, my students were in line, hugging their books (and not swinging them or hitting someone with them), quiet, and ready to go down the hall with their teacher.

Best of all, I had not shouted over a crowd one time, and the teacher had a class ready to walk quietly down the hall.


  • Who ever thought the library could get so noisy, right?

    Stay tuned for lots more–I just started a storytime section on my blog to help out librarians who, like I did, spend all weekend looking for fun new ideas for the next week.

  • Love your song. I will have to add it to my Library resources to use once I land my first library position.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Re-reading this post really makes me miss my elementary library days! I'm in a 6-8 middle school now, but every now and then, I wish we were K-12. Maybe it's time I volunteered again for storytime at the PL…

  • Wonderful. I like this a lot. I always used. The chant "we have a nice quiet straight line, ready to go to class."Two times, we say it in a normal voice and then the last time, we say in a whisper voice. It gets them calm and ready to got back to the teacher.
    I like yours better. Thank you!!


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