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Author: Jez Alborough

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Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: board book

Summary: A little monkey, who upon walking in the jungle, comes upon pairs of animals hugging. He starts looking for his Mommy to hug him, just like all of the other animal babies. The story is told in pictures, and there are only three words: hug, Mommy, Bobo. The story is what you want it to be: poem, parable, or story

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, anytime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 0 to 4; read yourself: 2 to 5

Interest Level: 0 to 4

Reading Level: 0.7

Age of Child: Started reading this at 5 months; at 2 years old, it’s still a hit!

Young Reader Reaction: We get regular requests for this book at nap time. Loves the pictures, and at 18 months started pointing to the various animal pairs and make them ‘talk.’ Anticipates when “mommy” arrives, and loves the group hug at the end.

Adult Reader Reaction: It is fun reading. Right now, there are no corrections if the story varies. If parents tell different versions, or a child wants to hear the exact same words and sounds every night, it could turn into a tough read…unless you’ve got a steel-trap memory.

Pros: The book can easily be read and re-read. Because there’s no scripted text, you can make up and change the story… and later on your little one can, too.

Cons: Depending on what animal is the favorite at the time, the little reader goes back and forth to the pages. Be careful if you ask her to point out an animal on a page full of them…she’ll seek out a previous page with fewer distractions.

Borrow or Buy: If you don’t think you’re adept at creating stories, test-drive a copy from the library to see if it suits you. Just remember, your little reader doesn’t care about the story as much as you do. Otherwise, buy it. It’s has great staying power through different ages.


Educational Themes: It’s great for imaginative play, learning/teaching animals and animal sounds. Great for reading to toddlers, and likely to be more fun when they start making up stories themselves.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, rhyme, picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2003

Other Reviews:


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