Friday, September 13, 2013

Sending you a hug today.....

Here is a cute poem from one of my favourite poets, Mr. Shel Silverstein:

Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o' war
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs.
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses
And everyone grins
And everyone cuddles
And everyone wins.

Today's book is all about finding that perfect hug.  Every once in a while we all need a hug, the reassurance that someone loves us and cares for us.  Being wrapped in someone's arms is experiencing safety, protection and heart-to-heart satisfaction.  Give someone a BIG hug today to let them know they are very special indeed.

Title:  Hugless Douglas
Author/Illlustrator:  David Mellling
Ages:  2-7

First of all let me start by saying I loved this book.  I fell instantly in love with the illustrations.  Douglas is pudgy, burly and very adorable.  He is a young brown bear who wakes up one morning with a big yawn and feels he really, really needs a hug.  His hug "adventure" leads him to embrace a hard, old bolder, (which is too big and heavy), a tall hug from a tree (which is inadequate) and a comfy hug from a bushy bush (stuffed with hidden sheep).  Still dissatisfied that he has yet to achieve his perfect hug, he sticks his arm down a rabbit hole, pulls the rabbit forth and hugs....nope, that doesn't do it for him either.  The wise rabbit takes Douglas by his paw and and leads him to a familiar deep, dark cave where someone he knows is just waking up.  Who could it be?  Could his perfect hug be awaiting him?  Can you guess who it may be?  A clue is that it is someone Douglas knows very, very well and gives him his best hugs ever!!!

David Melling includes a quirky and fun glossary of different styles of hugs in the back of the book which you and a partner may want to try out.   Have a hug-a-thon and laugh and giggle together.

You can also get  a "Hugless Douglas" app.  It is one of the most popular apps for pre-schoolers and you can get it on iTunes.  It's interactive version will sure to be a hit with your child.  There are two modes:  The "Read to Me" mode eliminates tap-to-touch interactions and plays like a video.  The "Read by Myself" mode allows a child to control interactions and page turning.  (There is not the ability to touch a word to have it read aloud).  One more feature is that, on many pages, when you tap on an object, its name is said aloud.  The artwork, music and narration are fantastic.

In the paperback edition of the book a CD is included.

About the author/illustrator:

I loved drawing when I was growing up, just like most children really. My dad was a sculptor, so I was always asking him to help me with the difficult bits.

I do remember getting quite cross if the legs on my drawing of a horse looked too wobbly. So I’d rub it out and try again. Every time I made a mistake I’d press the pencil harder into the paper. Then I’d rub it out some more. Eventually, it had four straight legs, but about 18 ghost legs wriggling around in the background. Legs that just wouldn’t go away no matter how much I used the rubber. So I’d get all huffy and throw it away. But now I try and get my drawings to look like that all the time: scribbly, lots of movement, as if the horse was really running.
horse sketch
Years later, I worked for a while in a few animation studios. I learned how animators made their drawings move. What surprised me was not seeing it move on the screen. No, their drawings were busy running around and getting up to all sorts right there on the paper. They really did.
When I finally started drawing pictures for books I knew this was for me. To draw characters, to try and get them to move, and let them tell the story.

I have done other jobs over the years: teaching English in Italy, cutting grass in a cemetery, even wrapping up toilet rolls for a week (don’t ask), but making up stories suits me just fine. I'm very lucky.

Now, sometimes, I show my children how to draw a horse with those tricky legs. And if they’re good I’ll let them use a rubber…as soon as I’ve finished with it.
David Melling

David Melling became a freelance illustrator in 1986 drawing for magazines and advertising agencies. In 1993 he illustrated his first children’s book.

He first wrote and illustrated his own picture book The Kiss That Missed, in 2002, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway award.
To date he has illustrated over 60 books, writing and illustrating around 15 of them.

He lives near Oxford with his Croatian wife and their two children.

                                       Book Review Rating:    8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have a perfect day and run and give someone a hug today!

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