Patricelli’s huggable, cartoon baby is back in an exploration of hugs and kisses.
“A kissy when I cry, a hug to say bye-bye, / I don’t want this hug to end. Now I hug my friend!” So goes the rhyming verse narrated by the iconic, diaper-clad tot, who explains physical affection among babies, families, friends and pets. Each spread features one, two or multiple scenes of Patricelli’s acrylic cartoon characters with thick, black outlines against bold backgrounds in red, dark pink or purple jewel tones. She does a lovely job of capturing toddler-and-parent interactions; especially ebullient: the depiction of a family pileup hug on the floor. As in Patricelli’s other books in the series, the final spread provides several smaller captioned cartoons on the theme. While this list of the variety of kisses and hugs people share and their idiomatic names is fun, it is troubling that Patricelli chose to include “Eskimo Kiss,” a pejorative and outdated term, showing a dark-skinned young child dressed in a stereotypically oversized jacket rubbing noses with the Caucasian baby protagonist.
An unfortunate choice in an otherwise charming package. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)