This cheerful board book is a sugary paean to love.
A smiling panda with black felt arms and ears on the cover looks ready for a hug. Sadly, that is the only tactile element. Within, rhyming text dances across each page using a typeface designed to look handwritten. Brightly colored parent-and-child animal pairs illustrate each verse, with stitching outlining key features. The lines alternate between “Hug me when…” and “Kiss me when…,” with the critical verb sweetly decorated. Situations described are common experiences for toddlers. A baby bird in a pram is clearly taking a walk, while on the opposite page two ducks “quack and talk.” Unfortunately, rhyming “zoo” with “boo-boo” requires an extra syllable, which throws off the rhyme scheme for that stanza. The final double-page spread shows only one of each animal, each with a heart-shaped “kiss” stitched on its cheek. The text spans both pages, which could confuse readers who have learned to anticipate the story's pattern. That's probably OK, since the rhyme is intact: “Hugs and Kisses everywhere we go— / because I love, love, love you so!” Saying it three times may be a bit much, but most tots enjoy hearing they are loved.
Cuddle up to share these hugs and kisses. (Board book. 1-3)