cover image Don’t Hug Doug (He Doesn’t Like It)

Don’t Hug Doug (He Doesn’t Like It)

Carrie Finison, illus. by Daniel Wiseman. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-984813-02-2

This upbeat, second person–perspective narrative introduces readers to Doug, a smiling child with dark hair, light brown skin, and round red glasses, who does not like hugs—the lone exception being a “JUST RIGHT/ bedtime hug /from his mom.” In rapid-fire parallel sentences, characters suggest situations in which Doug might like a hug (“hello hugs,” “goodbye hugs,” “game-winning home run hugs,” and “dropped ice cream cone hugs” round out one paneled page) before Doug shuts each of them down firmly with a friendly smile and a negatory response. “Don’t worry—Doug likes YOU,” Finison’s assured text declares. “He just doesn’t like HUGS.” Wiseman’s digital art has a simple, bold allure, supplemented by panels and speech bubbles. A gently humorous picture book that kindly, effectively highlights the importance of asking others before initiating physical contact. Ages 3–7. (Jan.)