cover image Hugga Bugga Love

Hugga Bugga Love

Diane Ohanesian, illus. by Gilliant Flint. Little Bee, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4998-0395-2

A redheaded toddler-age boy protests, to no avail, the cavalcade of kisses that his mother bestows on him at all times of day: “She calls it hugga bugga love./ She hugga bugga loves me!/ I’m hugga bugga’d head to toe.../ my arms, my legs, my tummy!” There’s the sense that the boy doesn’t entirely mind the attention—in Flint’s airy cartoons, he’s all smiles when hiding from his mother’s kisses—but the setup still strikes an uneasy note. The opening lines (“Please, Mama! No more kisses./ I get kisses all day through!/ I need some space! And it’s my face./ One hug and kiss will do”) establish a firm, polite request on the child’s part, one that his mother completely ignores. A parent’s kisses can be reassuring, but no ought to still mean no. Ages 3–6. [em]Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Group. (Dec.) [/em]