Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia MarantzA young brown bear named Douglas wakes up in his pajamas and decides he needs a hug. "My best hugs are BIG," he thinks. But the big rock he tries to hug is too heavy. They are also "TALL," but the tall tree just gives him splinters. The cozy-looking bush he tries just runs away; the sheep inside won't cooperate. Finally a rabbit he encounters takes him by the paw and leads him to the perfect hug. For the best hugs of all are from someone you love. A vignette of a trio of hugging sheep on the page before the title page lets us in on the humor to come. They, along with a few companions, act like a comic chorus in scenes as Douglas seeks his goal. The bear is a chubby, appealing figure asking very little of a morning greeting. The final double page spread has cartoon-y sketches of fourteen special kinds of hugs demonstrated by the rabbit and assorted sheep. Among the funniest are the "Don't Let Go" hug, the "Group Hug," the "Tummy Hug," and the "Come-and-Get It" hug. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 1—Melling gives new meaning to the phrase, "a big bear hug" with this tale of a cub who sets off one morning in search of that special feeling he needs. A gigantic boulder is too heavy to hug and a tree trunk is too splintery. Douglas knows that a hug feels comfy, and he is not having an easy time locating one. Colorful illustrations enhance the humor. Lines of larger font sizes frequently wave throughout the text, contributing to the movement from page to page as Douglas continues his quest. The final spread demonstrates 14 varieties of hugs to bring additional hilarity and closure. Children will understand Douglas's need for that warm, secure feeling. They might even want to demonstrate as they ask for this book to be read aloud again and again.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus ReviewsA lovable brown bear needs a hug, but he doesn't know his own strength. One spring morning, young Douglas wakes from his hibernation and knows just what he needs. He wriggles out of his yellow pajamas, brushes his hair, puts on a scarf and sets out to get a hug. He remembers his best hugs were: big, so he tries a massive rock; tall, so he tries a tree; soft, so he tries a bush. He even scoops up a handful of sheep and goes after an owl. None of these provides a proper hug, and Douglas risks becoming a forest outcast. Finally, a helpful rabbit takes him by the paw, all around the forest and to a dark cave, where Douglas finds the perfect animal for a hug: his Mommy! Simultaneously goofy and heartwarming, a winning combination. Many of Melling's illustrations have rib-tickling touches, and a hilarious appendix shows the rabbit and a small flock of sheep demonstrating more than a dozen different hugs (the shy and unrequited hugs are particularly snort-inducing). (Picture book. 3-6)
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Hugless Douglas based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
First of all let me start by saying I loved this book. I fell instantly in love with the illustrations. Douglas is pudgy, burly and very adorable. He is a young brown bear who wakes up one morning with a big yawn and feels he really, really needs a hug. His hug "adventure" leads him to embrace a hard, old bolder, (which is too big and heavy), a tall hug from a tree (which is inadequate) and a comfy hug from a bushy bush (stuffed with hidden sheep). Still dissatisfied that he has yet to achieve his perfect hug, he sticks his arm down a rabbit hole, pulls the rabbit forth and hugs....nope, that doesn't do it for him either. The wise rabbit takes Douglas by his paw and and leads him to a familiar deep, dark cave where someone he knows is just waking up. Who could it be? Could his perfect hug be awaiting him? Can you guess who it may be? A clue is that it is someone Douglas knows very, very well and gives him his best hugs ever!!! David Melling includes a quirky and fun glossary of different styles of hugs in the back of the book which you and a partner may want to try out. Have a hug-a-thon and laugh and giggle together. You can also get a "Hugless Douglas" app. It is one of the most popular apps for pre-schoolers and you can get it on iTunes. It's interactive version will sure to be a hit with your child. There are two modes: The "Read to Me" mode eliminates tap-to-touch interactions and plays like a video. The "Read by Myself" mode allows a child to control interactions and page turning. (There is not the ability to touch a word to have it read aloud). One more feature is that, on many pages, when you tap on an object, its name is said aloud. The artwork, music and narration are fantastic. In the paperback edition of the book a CD is included.