Review Blog

Aug 23 2013

Hug a bull by Aaron Znez

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 9780802728241
(Age: 3+) Picture book. Fathers. Words. Animals. Subtitled An ode to animal dads, this book devotes a page to each animal dad, ensuring with the picture and the rhyme that young children will learn the names of the male of the species. This is a fun way to learn these names, as well as encouraging children to predict the word which rhymes in each four line stanza, and looking at the picture to see just why it is different from the female of the species. A page at the end of this informative book, gives nearly 30 pictures of the male of the species for readers to learn more than is presented in the book.
With the interplay of the male animal and his offspring the book also underlines the value of a father in the relationship within the family, and showcases the fathers and their sons together. In the middle of the book, a human father and son appear, so young readers can be in no doubt about our place in the animal world.
The rhymes are fun, often using the name of the male animal as part of a play on words as in, Brace yourself - my Dad might ram you; and towards the end of the book, children will be delighted with how many male animals have the word bull as their distinctive name.
All in all, a simple tale, well told and illustrated, will make learning these names a treat in both classroom and home.
Fran Knight

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