Even though I usually share books for elementary age children, today I’m going to share a favorite around my house right now. My son is 16 months old, and just adores the book Hug by Jez Alborough. And I have to say, I adore it as well!
Photo by Amazon
The premise of this book is simple: Bobo the little monkey sees various animals hugging each other and he wants a hug, too! The only problem is, he can’t find his Mommy to give him one. Each beautiful illustration is captioned with his cry for a “Hug!” You can’t help but feel sorry for the poor little monkey. His delightfully drawn little face is just so pitiful.
In fact, after a particularly sad scene where Bobo has begun to cry, my son leaned down, putting his head on the monkey’s and said, “Awwww” while wrapping his arms around the book. How amazingly powerful books can be for teaching our children about emotions. Many times, I still see my child as a baby, and I would have never thought he was ready for a lesson in giving comfort to someone who is sad.
Books can evoke strong emotions, even in toddlers.
The illustrations are absolutely perfect as well. There are a multitude of animals for your little one to practice naming and mimicking. They are clean, bright and eye catching.
Photo by Amazon
Bobo is finally reunited with his Mommy and of course the book ends with an enormous group hug.
This book is available in several formats, but our local library had it as a large board book which was perfect for my little guy. The larger size made it easy for him to turn the pages for himself.
Although this book is clearly geared for our youngest readers, I love the idea of using this type of book as a writing prompt for our elementary and upper elementary students. Books with beautiful, descriptive pictures and few words are ripe ground for creating a more elaborate story. Especially for those students who have trouble finding inspiration for their own stories.
Have the students in your life to write their own captions for each page, using descriptive words and longer sentences to tell what is happening. Parents and teachers alike will be amazed at how different each child’s story will be, while describing the same pictures. Encourage them to be as creative as possible. It’s not necessary to tell the same story the original author was trying to convey.
Alborough has written many wonderful books for children. A quick search online or at your favorite book store will yield hours of wonderful reading. He also has a few similar books that we are adding to our personal Must Check-Out List including Tall and Yes, in which the character, Bobo, appears again.
Do you have books that evoke strong emotions in your children? I’d be delighted for you to share!