cover image The Perfect Hug

The Perfect Hug

Joanna Walsh, illus. by Judi Abbot. Simon & Schuster, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-6606-7

Hugs aren’t “one size fits all” learns a little panda, replacing the penguin that sought the ideal smooch in Walsh and Abbot’s The Biggest Kiss (2011). A variety of toylike animals offer the panda a squeeze with mixed results, including a butterscotch grizzly bear (“A hug from a grizzly/ is big but scary./ Grin and bear it,/ but do be wary”), a spider (“Then there’s the question of arms./ What’s too many?”), and a tree full of leggy monkeys (“Fantastic hugs!/ Elastic hugs!”). A same-species hug from a fellow panda proves just right. Sugary verse and a playful animal cast result in a feel-good story for year-round snuggling. Ages 4–8. (Dec.)