There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
It is not surprising that this delightful book, The Runaway Hug, is the winning title in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Early Childhood category for 2012. Cleverly written by Nick Bland and superbly illustrated by Freya Blackwood it is sure to become a much-loved favourite in many families.
The premise on which the story is based is that hugs are something we borrow from someone and they need to be returned. Lucy is the main character. She is getting ready for bed when she asks her mum for a hug. Unfortunately her mum has only one hug left. Lucy’s mum gives Lucy this last hug on the condition that she gets it back soon.
The book follows Lucy as she goes to each member of her family in turn, giving and receiving hugs. There is her dad, then her twin brothers, baby sister Lily and finally Annie, the dog. Each one of the hugs is unique from the strong hug from Dad to the peanut butter smelling hug from Lily. All is going well until the hug is passed on to Annie the dog who bounds off around the house. Lucy is now in a dilemma, trying to resolve how to get her mum’s last hug back!
Blackwood’s endearing pencil and charcoal based pastel illustrations are beautifully detailed. They charmingly portray the cosy chaos of this warm and loving family. From the crayon drawings on the walls to the toys strewn across the floor the household captured is very real and genuine.
The Runaway Hug is a sweet story that serves to remind us that love and the comfort of a hug is what being part of a family is all about. It is sure to leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling and is highly recommended as a bedtime story to share with your children. Happy reading!