Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: Mommy Hugs

Find at
Find at
Title: Mommy Hugs

Author: Anne Gutman
Illustrator: Georg Hallensleben
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Year: 2003
ISBN: 978-0811839167
Format: Board Book
Pages: 14
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.

Bottom Line:
Mommy readers hug their readlits around a book.

Mommy Hugs at

Mommy Hugs at


  1. Sounds a little like one that we love here - Hug by Jez Alborough, an almost wordless book full of animals cuddling and a sad monkey who has lost his mum. Eventually, with the help of all the animals, they get reunited and have a very big hug. Gentle and lovely.

    Also wanted to thank you for the suggestions re Ellroy and dogs. I'll have a look at the blurb for Black Dahlia and see if it piques my interest. As to Hairy Maclary, you've got me there! We actually have several in the series and they are much loved. The rhyme works brilliantly for us in all the books I've got (and we've got a great audiobook of a couple of hairy maclary stories with David Tennant doing them and they're super). If I'm trying to make excuses, then I'd say there's also Slink Malinki and Zachary Quack in these stories so the dogginess is a little diluted... but to be honest you chose a great one. Can't be denied!

  2. @Playing by the book - I've read Hug. Boo wasn't very interested in it that time around, but it was awhile ago so maybe he'd like it better now. I'll have to check it out of the library and see. Thanks for the reminder.

    If you do read Black Dahlia, let me know if it's fantastic or if I should skip it. And I'm glad Hairy Maclary is a hit. And that you can successully rhyme door with saw. ;) I havent' tried any of the rest of the series and so obviously should.

    @Infant Bibliophile - it is!


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