Review: The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland

runaway hug

The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland, illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Lucy is all ready for bed and asks her mother for a hug.  When her mother jokes that is the last hug she has left, Lucy offers to borrow it and return it.  Lucy heads off to lend the hug to different members of her family, making sure to get it back each time.  Each hug is different, some tighter others smell like peanut butter.  When Lucy gives her dog a hug though, the dog runs off and Lucy is sure that she has lost her mother’s last hug forever. 

Bland and Blackwood make a great team for creating picture books.  Black’s tone is playful from the very beginning and one knows that this family is something special just from the way they speak to one another.  Throughout there is a sense of humor and an enduring affection for one another that permeates the book.  Bland also does a great job of keeping the book securely in Lucy’s point of view, so that readers know from the very beginning that Lucy is taking this last hug seriously.  There is no laughing at Lucy for this, rather it serves as the heart of the book and this imaginative play is celebrated.

Blackwood’s illustrations have fabulous soft lines that blur and flow.  Blackwood leaves some of her lines from sketching on the page, creating a sense of motion but also a feeling of the connected nature of the world right on the page.  She also adds to the warmth of Bland’s writing, her home that she places this family in filled with warmth, some clutter, and reality.

A beautiful pick for bedtime, just make sure you aren’t down to your last hug!  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins and Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I hope you find interesting:


11 Rare Children’s Books from the Library of Congress | Mental Floss #kidlit

The 13 Best Children’s, Illustrated, and Picture Books of 2013 | Brain Pickings #kidlit

Latinas for Latino Literature: Latino Children’s Literature Celebrating the Holidays #kidlit

P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins books are full of dark delight | Movies | The Seattle Times #kidlit #classics

SLJ’s Top 10 Latino-themed Books of 2013 | School Library Journal #kidlit

Sesame Street’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Parody Is All About The Cookies

What books are great to read aloud? | Children’s books #kidlit

You’ve Seen the Movies, Now Read These 80+ Children’s Classics #kidlit


Norway To Digitize All Norwegian Books, Allowing Domestic IP Addresses To Read All Of Them | Techdirt


(100+) Tumblr on We Heart It


The Meaning of Libraries | Michael Benson … #libraries

Video game champions in the public library | Joystiq #libraries #gaming

What Are the Most Important Libraries in the World? | Mental Floss #libraries



Of the 124 Authors Who Made the ‘Times’ Top 10 Bestseller Lists in 2012, Only 3 Were People of Color | The Hairpin

Top Ten Ways to Encourage Children to Read Over Winter Break by Katherine Sokolowski | Nerdy Book Club #reading


10 Surprising Twitter Statistics To Help You Reach More Followers | Fast Company –

Pinterest Is Gaining Ground on Facebook and Twitter for News

Teens Dig Digital Privacy, If Snapchat Is Any Indication : All Tech Considered : NPR #privacy


At Book Riot today, I made an infographic for those of you seeking "gentle" or "green light" YA reads for all ages: …

Maurene Goo on How a Doctor and Lawyer Ended up Writing Young Adult Novels | Hyphen magazine #yalit

Not just for kids: Young adult books are big sellers – CBS News #yalit

Why Everyone Should Read More Science Fiction | Amie Kaufman #yalit