The Hug Machine


Title: Hug Machine
Written/Illustrated by: Scott Campbell
Published: Simon and Schuster, 2014


There are few things in this world cuter than toddler hugs. Baby capybaras? Maybe. But toddler hugs are pretty much up there on the ol’ cute scale. This book is about a sweet little boy who gives hugs to literally everyone and everything. Whale? Yup. Porcupine? Sure, why not? Everyone in his neighbourhood? You bet. This little guy cannot be stopped (except to refuel on pizza).

OK, wait, you might say. This sounds like a super-simple concept for a book.

And you’d be right. But it works! Why? Because of the following:

  1. As always, the art in a picture book makes all the difference. In this case, it’s sweet and watercolour-y and lovely. Everything is just adorable and looks, well, huggable.
  2. There are silly/quirky little bits that make the book funny. When the boy hugs the porcupine, for instance. Or when he does a massive tour of his whole neighbourhood, hugging everyone and culminating in a giant HUG on the next page? Awesome. (And, just a note: if you’re reading this, say “HUG” in a loud, operatic voice. It’s funnier that way.)
  3. The ending works. When the hug machine tires of hugging everyone, he gets a hug from…who else? Mom.

This book is a good one to read before bed. It’s a nice way to end the day, leaving your little one with a feeling of being loved before they drift off to sleep. Lily really likes this book, and even though it’s a bit young for her, Vivi still enjoys a good reading of Hug Machine.

Mama’s rating: 5 big hugs/5
Vivi’s rating: 10/10
Lily’s rating: “I like the pizza part!”

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