To break the series of depressing narratives having to do with crime and murder, I thought I better tap into the mysteries of love. I am hoping this exquisite little book will provide a form of redemption, hope, and sanctuary amidst the horrors of everyday life.
Created by: Chris Riddell
Published by: MacMillan Children’s Books (2017) ISBN: 1509814302 (ISBN13: 9781509814305)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
So this book is exactly the way it is described. For those who are fans of Chris Riddell (or even those who are just familiarizing themselves with his exquisitely expressive illustrations), this is a visual feast that portrays comforting hugs shared across different creatures – from human beings to mythological characters to fantastical make-believe ones.
I loved how it showed how hugs can also be shared between a human being and its favourite object, or that one thing that provides its life’s purpose – see, for example, Thor and his hammer below:
While some of the literary visual allusions may be lost to some of the younger readers, a few may be able to recognize some of them, such as Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee below:
Then there are the allusions to fairy tales and fables as seen below with The Frog Prince and The Tortoise And The Hare:
I especially enjoyed the occasional literary quotes, that I felt were just right, given the illustrations:
One-liners from Oscar Wilde, Rainer Maria Rilke, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Shakespeare, but of course.
There was just something awwww-inducing across all of these images. They were poignant, thoughtful, heartfelt.
It’s like Riddell has just reached out from the pages through these characters, giving the reader exactly what they needed at any given point in time.
I honestly believe that there is something in each of these pages for everyone, a little morsel of delight that provides warmth and comfort, in a world that evidently needs more of it. Find this book, be hugged, and give it as a gift to someone you love, or someone whom you think will benefit from an all-encompassing, total, and unconditional embrace. I think that’s pretty much everyone.
#LitWorld2018GB Update: United Kingdom