cover image The Big Hug

The Big Hug

Megan Walker. Pow! Kids, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-57687-979-5

Two noodle-limbed, dot-eyed Black children, one wearing a red striped shirt and jeans, and one sporting a yellow dress, are inseparable buddies living “on opposite sides of a quiet street.” But “when, one day, they had to stop and go inside,” the friends must cope with sudden separation, feeling “as if their friendship had slipped out the window, into the quiet.” As the unnamed crisis continues outside, the duo discovers that many non-hug activities (“pictures in windows/ and puppet shows”) can convey the same emotions that hugs do. Author-illustrator Walker employs a warm paneled comics style, with thick linework and a rainbow-colored palette. Though contextualizing these events is left to adult readers, this is a hopeful read for contemporary youth, with a perennial message of love surviving distance. Ages 3–7. [em](Apr.) [/em]