Hugga Loula

Familius. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781641702713.
PreS-Gr 1–With a simple yet profound message from a bighearted young girl named Hugga Loula, readers will find a sweet model of empathetic comfort between loved ones in a deliberately repetitive format. Hugga Loula rushes around her house to aid her father, mother, and younger brother as they each struggle through their angst over a lost item. In each case, she offers a calming hug and rhyming mantra—“If you’re grumpy or sad, frustrated or mad, just give a shout, and hug it out”—to ease their troubles, urging them to remember how something as warm as a hug can be the best solution. The digital illustrations are full of angles and washed textures, homey settings, and a bold palette for its animated characters. The larger-than-life facial expressions of the characters reveal easy-to-read expressions for preschoolers, who will love chiming in with Hugga Loula’s jingle when she supports her family, and every member shows affectionate gratitude in return.
VERDICT Modeling compassion for family and loved ones with hugs and patient listening, this is a perfect lesson for social emotional learning, with the generous message that sometimes managing frustration means reaching out to others for help.

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