I'm working on a new feature for Saturdays that will focus on Children's Picture Books.
(I have two classes devoted solely to picture books this semester, and I need a place to put my love for books we don't read for class!!)
So today's Saturday Morning choice is...
Hug Machine by Scott Campbell is the delightfully illustrated tale of a little person who loves to hug.
The Hug Machine will hug everything and everyone. There are no limits to his love of hugs!
I think this book is super darling. In some ways, it's about hugging (and also loving) people who don't get hugged a lot (a whale and a porcupine both ask for hugs). It would be a great book to talk about showing affection for love.
However, I do think that this book also asks for a conversation about getting permission before touching. Most of the people (and inanimate objects, of course) aren't asked for permission before being hugged. And the expressions on a lot of the faces aren't super happy. So I would definitely discuss the fact that you need to ask permission before touching someone, even if it's a hug. And if someone says no to hug, then that's okay too.
Overall, I'm going to give this book 4 cupcakes, because I adore the illustrations and while the story line is pretty short, it's very cute. I would give it 5 cupcakes, but I do worry that it encourages kids to hug without checking first, and while most people probably won't be bothered by that, it's important to recognize that there are those who will be.