Hugs

Alice McLerran, Author, Mary Morgan, Illustrator Scholastic $4.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-590-44637-2
Nursery-room valentines, these two small-format books may look identical, with heart-patterned endpapers and filmy, feel-good illustrations, but one is saccharine and the other sweet. Hugs only squeezes by, with predictable rhymes governing its coy verse: ``Hugs are almost magic, / Hugs are fun to do. / Other people give you hugs, / You can give hugs, too.'' Fortunately, Kisses takes more liberties with its subjects (the weather ``kisses'' with sun on your cheek, snow on your tongue or a raindrop in your hand; a butterfly kiss is described). Rhyme schemes are also more fanciful. Accompanying a picture of Eskimos rubbing noses: ``For Eskimos a kiss is THIS: / The reason, I suppose, is / Since they're dressed for blizzards, / They can only show their noses.'' Both books feature multiracial casts--the Hugs gang in variations on a blameless embrace, the Kisses crowd slightly more animated--but neither title is likely to break any hearts. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Children's
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