Title: I Need a Hug
Author/Illustrator: Aaron Blabey
Published: Scholastic, 2015
Have I mentioned how much I love the Scholastic book order? Like, my kids enjoy it, but I kind of love it on a different level. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, so I was *sometimes* allowed to get a book or two. (Side note: the top three best purchases I ever made from the Scholastic book order were: a novel about Helen Keller; the behind-the-scenes pictorial review of Full House, as written by DJ Tanner herself; and a scratch-and-sniff sticker book – which my mother threw out, but I’m totally over it and don’t think about it on a daily basis or anything.)
Anyway, my kids are allowed to get a few books with each order. (Alright, alright…more than a few. But, to be fair, some of them are for me. Wait, that doesn’t sound better. Never mind.)
So. The most recent order included this book by Aaron Blabey. Both of my girls were able to recognize his art style, and immediately said, “That’s the guy who wrote Thelma the Unicorn!” Yes, indeed. We love Thelma in this house, and we were hoping to feel the same way about this book.
Here’s what we liked:
- The art is, as usual, hilarious. The characters are adorable and I love the porcupine. His wide-eyed, slightly panicky look speaks to me on many levels.
- The rhyming text. I think the fact that the text rhymes and is humorous helps this story along because without it, it would feel like just another “porcupine isn’t getting any love” story (See: No Hugs for Porcupine, How Do You Hug a Porcupine, related: Hedgehog Needs a Hug). The concept isn’t unique, but the execution is good.
- The girls liked the ending, where the snake and porcupine were hugging. The porcupine found love. Aw.
I thought the book was sweet, but definitely for a younger crowd. My two are almost *too* old for it. Especially V (who is fully obsessed with the BSC graphic novels). This book would be nice for a preschool or kindergarten, though.
So did we love the porcupine as much as Thelma? Well, no. But will we read I Need a Hug again? Definitely.
Mama’s review: B+
Vivi’s review: I really liked the art. Especially Ken the moose!
Lily’s review: That porcupine finally found a friend. That was the best part.