Review Blog

Mar 25 2011

Hugless Douglas by David Melling

cover image

Hodder Children's Books, 2010. ISBN 9780340950630.
Picture book. Recommended. When Douglas, a young bear, woke up from his long winter's sleep, he needed a hug and went in search of one. He tried the biggest thing that he could find and then the tallest, but they didn't feel right. He kept on searching until a kind rabbit lead him to the best hug ever - from his Mum of course!
Douglas went on his quest for love in a most amusing way and children will delight in the funny adventures that he has trying to find the right thing to hug. The humour in this book stood out and I had a grin on my face as I read it. Rhythmic prose also ensured that this was a delightful picture book to read out loud.
Melling beautifully drew Douglas as a gorgeous cartoon-like bear, which has lots of appeal for the young child. The illustrations provided enormous amounts of humour as Douglas tried to hug a stone, a tree and a flock of sheep.  I particularly enjoyed the two page spread at the back of the book, with their cute drawings of the rabbit trying out lots of different hugs: a sandwich hug between two sheep, a group hug, a come-and-get-it-hug and many more. I can imagine families sharing a lot of love and laughter as they try these out!
This picture book is certainly a worthwhile addition to a library or home collection because of its humour and moving story line. As an additional bonus it could also be used for displays for Mother's Day and comparisons of sizes.
Pat Pledger
Editor's note: Hugless Douglas is on the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal longlist 2011 and the Sheffield Children's Book Award 2011 shortlist

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