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I WANT A HUG by John A. Rowe


by John A. Rowe & illustrated by John A. Rowe

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-698-40064-1
Publisher: Minedition/Penguin

Between endpapers filled with couples kissing and embracing among floating hearts, Rowe places a cozy tale of a baby hedgehog in need of a touch of intimacy. Clad in a diaper fastened with a huge safety pin, and so the very image of cuteness, little Elvis wanders parks and sidewalks demanding a hug—but gets only rude rejections, because he’s so prickly. At last he runs into Colin the crocodile, who himself is looking for someone willing to kiss his ugly snout. Elvis has no problem with that, and so Colin, being scaly of hide, delightedly sweeps him up for a cuddle. Depicting his all-animal cast in human dress and settings, Rowe reflects the story’s tone in the art by centering attention on Elvis’s large eyes and small size. The absence of a Mama Hedgehog may ruffle more convention-minded children (and adults), but the message that differences should be embraced—literally, in this case—is always worth an iteration. (Picture book. 5-7)