Picture Book Review and Giveaway – The Hug

The Hug
written by Eoin McLaughlin
illustrated by Polly Dunbar
(Faber & Faber, April 2019)

At a Glance


Picture Book

Age Range:


Plot Summary:

“In this clever flipbook, both a hedgehog and a tortoise are looking for a hug. They ask all the other animals they come across but for some reason no one will hug them. Until a wise owl explains: Hedgehog is too spiky; Tortoise is too bony. And that’s when they find each other!” (source: Faber & Faber)


  • Beautiful book
  • Love that this is a flip book
  • Cute, rich watercolor illustrations
  • I like how the two stories are mirrors of each other
  • Perfect quiet book for bedtime

Full Review

I was very excited to get a physical copy of THE HUG for review. This is a flip book, so you read the story first from hedgehog’s point of view until the characters meet in a fun vertical spread in the middle of the book. Then you can flip the book and read from turtle’s perspective.

Before I even opened the cover, I was blown away by the quality of the book itself. The spot gloss of the title and the characters really pop and the cover itself has an almost soft feel to it. It feels very durable with nice thick pages that will hold up to repeated readings with young children.

I really like the flip aspect of the book. I used to read this fun series of topsy-turvy books when I was a kid and so THE HUG brought back fond memories. There is just something so fun about finishing the story and then flipping the book over and enjoying it again from another character’s point of view. Both of my kids seemed enjoy this as well.

From a parent’s perspective, it makes the perfect bedtime story. The text is quiet and calming, and it feels like you are reading two books for the time-price of one. We naturally ended with a bedtime hug, which was great.

Polly Dunbar’s watercolor illustrations are rich and beautiful. I loved the little details that connect the two perspectives together. And the facial expressions of each animal as it delivers its panicked and desperate excuse for not giving a hug had my kids and I giggling. Highly recommend.

Final Verdict

THE HUG is a beautiful quiet book, perfect bedtime, that children will want to read again and again.

Purchase THE HUG on Indiebound, Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Comment on this blog post and enter the Rafflecopter (at the link below) to win a copy of THE HUG (US residents only). A winner will be chosen at random Wednesday, April 10th.


10 thoughts on “Picture Book Review and Giveaway – The Hug

  1. Rebecca, your review creates excitement for the future reading of this book. I would enjoy different perspectives and I am sure all children would love the way it is presented. Thanks for sharing this charming book and the ending story that all of you gave each other a hug upon the close of the reading.


  2. I’m definitely in the market for a perfect bedtime story for my toddler. She’s about worn out some of her favorites, and this one looks adorable! I love the idea of seeing the story through different character perspectives, too. Thanks for sharing and thank you, so much, for the chance to win a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    Glad I stopped by for a few reasons. Wanted to meet the line writer ahead of me in #PP2019! Love this book. I have a 3yo grandgirl and an 8 mo grandson, so I have a perfect audience. Plus I sub at my old school and love sharing books. Especially poetry!
    Cheers and a poetic hug.
    Janet F.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janet! Thanks for stopping by. I just finished my line (I think!) It’ll go live tonight shortly after midnight EST. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!


  4. I want this book just because the hedge hog is adorable. Glad to hear it’s also a great book. 🙂 what a cool blog. I want to find more of these reviews now thanks for the great work!


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