Over the past few years I have become pickier about the books I read to the kids. There are so many options but I was finding that a lot of the books written were fluff. The kids not really get anything out of hearing these stories – they often didn’t remember anything about it right after finishing the book. I felt like I was wasting my time giving them nothing worth thinking about or learning. When I was given the opportunity to read The Runaway Hug, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to recommend it, that it would be another book lacking substance. I was wrong. The Runaway Hug has the makings of becoming a classic. I enjoyed it so much, reading it through myself, that I grabbed the first kid I saw after school and read it to them also.
The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland follows a young girl, Lucy, who gets her mom’s “last hug”, but has to return it before bedtime. Instead of giving it directly back, she chooses to share it with the rest of her family. I love the way the giving, caring nature of Lucy and her family. It is also interesting to hear the descriptions of the different hugs she receives. Each is unique to the person she got it from.
The illustrations, by Freya Blackwood, in The Runaway Hug also lend to the telling of the story. The colors and details expand the story beyond the words, while allowing kids to imagine Lucy moving through her house and interacting with each family member. The continuances of the illustrations across the pages really demonstrate the flow from one part of the story to the other, rather than segmenting it. While this may not be something you would normally thing about, once you see it you really appreciate how it expands the story.
The Runaway Hug is one book that will be on my short list of books to give as a gift.
I received a copy of this book for review from Edelweiss.
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