cover image Big Hugs, Little Hugs

Big Hugs, Little Hugs

Felicia Bond. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25614-1

This jubilant ode to the joys of hugging boldly announces its message on the first page: “Everyone hugs all over the world.” What follows are tidy snippets of text that declare what animals like to hug (“Cats hug/ Dogs hug/ Bears hug/ Hogs hug”), as well as where, how, and when this hugging takes place. Bond (the If You Give... series) works in torn- and cut-paper collage, her cheerful animal families showing various happy emotions, from elated roosters hugging on an indoor perch to contented rabbits embracing under an abstract sun. Stark white pages contrast with the bright colors and soft textures of the various papers Bond uses; geographical locations are just hinted at—a few brushstrokes create a snowy scene for two deer, while a polka-dot sun hangs over foxlike robots that prove that, even in the future, hugging is still a celebrated way to show one’s affection. The book’s many whimsical touches should prove both comforting and entertaining. Agency: namelos. Ages 3–up. (Jan.)