"That was a sweet book!" This was Josh's (age 4) reaction after I read Cuddle Bear to him for the first time. And that pretty much sums it up... if a toddler boy recognizes a book is sweet, you know it's true! It's a simple story but one with an important message - and illustrations so snuggly that you want to hug the book itself when you're finished reading it.
The premise of Cuddle Bear, by Clair Freedman and Gavin Scott (published by Kane Miller) is this little bear who wants to give hugs to anyone feeling down. He reaches out to lonely animals, angry animals, happy animals - everyone deserves a hug! "The world needs hugs," Cuddle Bear explains, "to make each day feel bright. So stretch both arms and wrap them round your friends to hug them tight!"
One aspect of this book that I love is that it isn't only lonely or sad animals that get hugs. The lion looks angry and has never smiled because the other animals have been too afraid of his wildness - but not Cuddle Bear! And then... "Now Lion's happy as can be. One hug was all it took!" But even happy animals deserve hugs! Take Little Rabbit, for example - he's in a happy mood, and he wants a hug, too! The message here, of course, is that hugs are good in all weather for any occasion.
And, if you want to hug Cuddle Bear but don't want to bend your book, you can buy a plush version of him! He's equal parts squishy and lovable. :)
Hi there! I'm Christine - Usborne Books & More independent consultant, kids' book fan, English teacher, mom of two boys.