Hug this book! by Barney Saltzberg

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Ill. by Fred Benaglia. Phaidon, 2016. ISBN 9780714872841
(Age: 3-7) Recommended. Barney Saltzberg's Hug this Book is a delightful rhyming story, which celebrates the joy of reading. The enjoyment of receiving a new book, the smell, the adventure, the tickling pages and the warmth of a story wrapping you inside all provide pleasurable sensory experiences. You can make up a story to tell to this book, imaginary lands and marvellous creatures fly out of a wordless picture book. The places to read are limitless - up in the air, upside down, reflected in a mirror or sung as a song to the birds. Books help to calm and quieten, share a story with a grownup and there are stories to read while dancing and eating. The joy of reading this entertaining story is that it can be shared again and again.
Fred Benaglia's retro illustrative style is reminiscent of picture books from the 1960's, with big bold characters, wrap-around scenes and warm emotive settings. Children in bright clothes with multi-coloured faces and hair, blue, olive green, tan, black and red share this story in the bath, on a hippo's back and in a hot air balloon.
Hug this book is a feel good story just right for sharing with a kindergarten, preschool or junior primary class. Use this picture book as a springboard for art, a story starter and as an encouragement to read.
Rhyllis Bignell