HUG MACHINE by Scott Campbell
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
Email this review


A feel-good ride, full of droll artistic asides and an abundance of caring.

A little boy calls himself the Hug Machine. He is a squat little guy, with an oblong head and arms that would surely drag on the floor if he ever put them down. But that just means they are perfect for hugging. The Hug Machine wraps his arms around his family, neighbors, everyone he meets. He also hugs things that are hard (a rock), big (a bear), square (an ice cream truck) and spiky (a porcupine—while wearing adequate protection, of course). No one can resist his unbelievable hugging! Admittedly, the Hug Machine can look a tad forbidding while looking for his next cuddle recipient; his large eyes pop, and his arms stretch wide. But as soon as the hug starts, his face relaxes into a serene calm. With each hug, Campbell depicts him hilariously perched in the same position, as if he were perfectly inserted exactly where he should be. Unadorned, hand-lettered text and deliberately muted watercolors increase the warmth of this adorable little fellow. The story rests on a simple string of hugs and one plucky little hero doing his part to make the world a better place.

In his first outing as an author, Campbell shines. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5935-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2014


ChildrenBROBOT BEDTIME by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
ChildrenXO, OX by Adam Rex
by Adam Rex
ChildrenZOMBIE IN LOVE 2 + 1 by Kelly DiPucchio
by Kelly DiPucchio


ChildrenHUG IT OUT! by Louis Thomas
by Louis Thomas
ChildrenTILLY AND TANK by Jay Fleck
by Jay Fleck
ChildrenSO MANY CUDDLES by Ruth Austin
by Ruth Austin