Hug? – Charlene Chua

  Hug? – Charlene Chua, Kids Can Press, (9781525302060), 2020

Format: Hardcover 

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  A little girl comforts her cat with a hug and soon finds herself surrounded by more animals wanting hugs.  When her cat coughs up a hairball, she offers a comforting hug which is observed by a dog.  The dog then wants a hug which she provides. Then she is approached by hug-seeking ducks, a skunk, a bear, a porcupine, a tiger, and a dragon. The only one who doesn’t want a hug is the unicorn. Each hug leaves the poor girl more and more bedraggled and smelly.  The skunk’s hug is stinky, the bear gives a crushing bear hug, the porcupine gives an ouch hug, and the tiger tries to eat her cat.  Finally, the good natured child has had enough and yells “STOP!”  The animals look on in distress while her cat asks “Do YOU want a hug?”  A gentle hug from her cat makes her feel better and all the animals share hugs with each other.  The final  page shows the unicorn being hugged by a bunch of children as it says “Ugh. Hug.”  The story is told through dialogue in word balloons and the limited vocabulary makes it a good choice for beginning readers.  The illustrations, rendered in watercolor, watercolor ink and colored pencil and then digitally manipulated, are bright and expressive.  This is a story that makes it clear that children can decide to say “No” when something makes them uncomfortable.  Overall a very fun story about the comfort of a hug!

Anything you didn’t like about it?   No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a good choice to pay with Hug by Jez Alborough.

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and pre-school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  12/17/2020        

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