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Illustrator: Georg Hallensleben
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Format: Board Book
Age Range: Baby, Toddler
Kid Love Factor: 3/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 3/5
Mommy Hugs shows various animal babies and how their mothers hug them on each spread of pages.
Mommy cat hugs her kitten with a nuzzle.
There are cats, elephants, monkeys, polar bears, swans, and parrots. It ends with the human narrator explaining how his/her mother hugs him/her.
Not only does this book give you the opportunity to snuggle with your child in a variety of ways, it’s also teaching that animals (at least some of them) also care for their families, and even functions as a vocabulary expander between the animal baby names (swans have cygnets, in case you’ve forgotten from elementary school) and the near-synonyms for hug.
Mommy Hugs is one of those books we read repeatedly for three days in a row before Boo forgets about it for months. I’m not sure if this is a function of his waxing and waning enjoyment of it, or simply because it’s a small book that tends to get lost behind his multitude of others. Not that small is bad; A) it’s nice a portable, and B) it goes missing often enough I don’t get too sick of it.
For the more male parents out there, there’s also Daddy Cuddles by the same creators. As we haven’t read that one I can’t speak about it directly, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it's pretty similar.
Autism Spectrum Bonus: This book gives lots of opportunity to indulge children who crave tactile sensory input. Luckily for us, for the most part Boo is a hugger/snuggler/crawls-all-over-mommy-and/or-daddy-er. For kids who are more averse to contact, it might be a way to try to explore various ‘hugs’ that might be less disliked than your average neurotypical’s standard offering. Perhaps a polar bear-like tickle would be better, or maybe a cat-like nuzzle or a monkey-like pat. Or something not mentioned in the book but that the book leads you to discover. We also found this book to be a great way to build anticipation in Boo’s early communication days. He soon learned that he’d get a tickle on the polar bear page and his grins and vocalizations as he waited for it were priceless.
Mommy readers hug their readlits around a book.
Mommy Hugs at Amazon.ca
Mommy Hugs at Amazon.com