Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and fifty-eight

Hugs are one of those things that can bring a little sunshine into a grey day, and I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the people who live in Ashland, my home of almost four years, are very huggy. It is always interesting to see visitors or new arrivals experiencing this phenomena. Some look puzzled, some are not sure how to respond, and some are a little prickly, just like the porcupine in this story.

How Do You Hug a Porcupine?How do you hug a porcupine?
Lauren Isop
Illustrated by Gwen Millward
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2011, 978-1-4424-1291-0
   There are lots of ways we can show our affection for others, but one of the best ways is to give them a hug. This is especially true when we want to show animals how much we love them. They cannot, alas, understand what we are saying when we talk to them, but they surely must understand what a hug means.
   Most animals are easy to hug, even big ones like horses and cows. Cats and dogs are very easy to hug because they can be picked up. Bunnies are even easier. It might be challenging to hug a giraffe or an elephant, but it can be done. You need to be a little careful when you hug a hedgehog, but that too can be achieved if you are cautious. You probably can even figure out how to hug an ostrich. There is one animal though that is not easy to hug at all and this is a porcupine. With all those long spines, a porcupine is quite a challenge. The thing is, under all those spines a porcupine is just as deserving of a hug as all the animals that are “soft and furry.”
   With its rhyming text and its amusing art, the story explores the idea that everyone deserves a hug. At times it might be a challenge to give someone a hug, but it can be done if you are creative. And careful.

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