Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book #119: Hug by Jez Alborough

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Bobo, the little monkey, is walking through the forest and everywhere he turns, he sees hugs! So many parents and their babies hugging each other: elephants, snakes, giraffes. But then he begins to worry because he wants a hug, too. The kindly elephant picks him up and helps him look for his special hug. He sees more hugging animals, but none of those hugs are his. Bobo gets very upset and begins wailing. The other animals gather around, wondering what to do. Then, out of the jungle Mommy comes running for her little Bobo. Now there are joyous hugs all around.

Alborough uses the same 3 words throughout the book, Hug, Mommy, and Bobo, which makes this book great for babies and toddlers (it’s also available as a board book). The words are in speech bubbles, making it easy for youngsters to follow along. The illustrations carry most of the weight in this story, showing Bobo’s increasingly worried face as he searches for his mother. Alborough makes good use of the pages, some are full 2 page spreads, while others are broken up into panels that provide close ups and move the story forward. The compositions are varied and visually appealing and the colors are bright and inviting.

Did you know that January 21st is National Hugging Day? Use this book for a hug themed storytime. Follow up with Charlotte Diamond’s song, Four Hugs a Day. Diamond also sings the song in French and Spanish (Spanish lyrics here). The chorus is very simple and kids will be singing along in no time.

This is a wonderful gift for a baby, especially if they have an older sibling. The book is simple enough even a toddler or preschooler to read to their younger sibling. It’s also a great Mother’s Day gift for a new mother.

Jez Alborough includes an insightful Q&A about the creation of this book on his website. The website also includes some printable coloring sheets of Bobo and his friends. If your kids fall in love with Bobo, check out his further adventures in Yes and Tall.


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