A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Young children will see the many ways hugs and affection can help people: cheering them up, helping them feel important, calming them down, and so on.
The Hug Machine is an equal-opportunity hugger. He believes everyone could use a hug, for diverse reasons, and he's eager to help them. When he's worn out and tired from his day's work, the love he's sent out into the world circles back with a deep, warm hug, just for him.
Positive Role Models
The Hug Machine might seem a bit grabby, roaming the neighborhood with long, outstretched arms, but when he's in hug mode he's the picture of peace: eyes closed, relaxed, and focused on the object of his attention. He turns away no one and nothing: Even porcupines, ice cream trucks, and bears benefit from his devoted affection.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hug Machine, by Scott Campbell, is a perfect book for snuggly story time. This is the instruction manual for hugging you didn't know you needed: Even experienced huggers will pick up some tips from the young hero of the tale. He wraps his long arms around his target, closes his eyes, and relaxes into a deep hug, absolutely focused on whomever -- or whatever -- he's hugging. Warm humor and clever illustrations will make this a go-to bedtime book.
Is It Any Good?
HUG MACHINE begins with the bold claim that the bug-eyed, floppy-armed, red-booted young boy is the best at hugging -- and it's easy to believe. In his first solo book for children, Scott Campbell beautifully blends humor and heart. He creates a winning young hero, earnestly striving to make the world a better place, one hug at a time. Campbell's watercolor illustrations, with a softened palette, enhance the comforting tone.
The little boy is utterly charming: Persistent and sure of his purpose, he sees hugging as his duty, a talent he must share. Kids will delight in the startled reactions to the boy's hugs and will love following him on his hugging spree through town (and parents will love the hugs that undoubtedly will follow this read-aloud).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.