cover image Cuddles for Mommy

Cuddles for Mommy

Ruby Brown, illus. by Tina Macnaughton. Bonnier/Little Bee, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4998-0203-0

Little Owl, a barn owl with round eyeglasses, “wanted to give Mommy Owl a cuddle, but she couldn’t decide what kind of cuddle to give her mom.” It isn’t exactly a high-stakes scenario, and in the subsequent pages, Little Owl tries out various cuddles, from a “good-morning cuddle” to the kinds that accompany goodbyes, bad dreams, and feelings of guilt, gratitude, and pride. Macnaughton (One Snowy Rescue) brings a characteristically cozy/fuzzy aesthetic to the pages, making a sugary story even more so. Brown (I Want to Be a Lion Tamer) does a fine job of cataloguing the everyday moments, good and bad, that warrant a hug, but since all the cuddles are essentially the same, the book’s domestic drama feels like much ado about nothing. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)