Sloppy Wants a Hug

illus. by Sean Julian. 32p. North South. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735842731.
PreS-Gr 1—No matter how politely he asks, Dewdrop, a sprite, will not give Sloppy, a tree dragon, a hug. This makes Sloppy very sad, especially when he sees Dewdrop giving hugs to the other animals. Gifts and coercion will not convince her to change her mind. Discouraged, Sloppy sits under a tree to pout. While he is there, a baby bird falls out of its nest. Sloppy willingly helps the little bird, warming Dewdrop's heart. She decides then to give Sloppy a big hug and soon remembers why it was not such a good idea in the first place. Set in a whimsical forest full of adorable little woodland creatures, this title is quirky and sweet. Brief and straightforward, the text is appropriate as a read-aloud or read-alone. The font is large and easy to read, and the illustrations are cheerful and inviting. The expressions on the characters' faces are spot on and will tug on readers' heartstrings. Throughout, young children might think that Dewdrop is just being mean, but they may have a change of heart at the amusing culmination of the tale.
VERDICT An uncomplicated selection that will make everyone smile. Perfect for lapsits or small group reads.

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