Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: HOW TO HUG by Maryann Macdonald

Macdonald, Maryann. How to Hug. Illustrated by Jana Christy. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7614-5804-3. $16.99. Ages 3-8.

How to Hug
does not really have a storyline, but is rather a lighthearted “how to” guide on, as indicated in the title, giving and receiving hugs. Done in watercolor using a pastel palette, the heartwarming pictures feature children interacting with various friendly animals, such as kangaroos, penguins, koala bears, and elephants. Playfully, the book instructs children on how not to hug—not too tightly, not too long. And hugging someone who is angry, or prickly like a porcupine, is not advised. Many “proper” ways to hug are illustrated as are the responses one might receive, such as bear hugs, sandwich hugs, hugs in return, and kisses on the cheek.

While the book may not have a major lesson or plot, parents will enjoy reading it to their children; it leaves an affectionate feeling. The simple text is also suitable for children in kindergarten or first grade who are learning to read, as the words are easy. My six-year-old niece had a wonderful time figuring out how to read all the words by herself; she proceeded to read the book out loud several times to different family members.

Joyce Myers

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