Slug in Love

S. & S./Paula ­Wiseman. Dec. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665900461.
K-Gr 2–Doug the slug is in desperate need of a hug. But who will give him one? The ant says he’s too “grimy, slippy” and the spider thinks he is “icky mucky.” The worm feels that he is too “squelchy, slimy” and the bug thinks he is “yucky, sticky!” Even the snail, who is a lot like Doug, will not give him what he is looking for. What is a poor slug to do? The answer comes in the form of an unexpected friend, at an unexpected time. This funny picture book is a great reminder that friends come in all shapes and sizes. Using a bold palette that changes as Doug’s feelings evolve, the illustrations really takes center stage. The animals are created using simple shapes, but the careful details in the eyes and lips add humor and character. The use of comic panels and dialogue bubbles is easy for young readers to navigate. The text relies on spare language and “feeling” words that will expand vocabulary. Rhyming couplets are used throughout, but not consistently; that might be most noticeable when reading aloud.
VERDICT A succinct tale with a strong message about friendship, this book makes a nice addition to most K–2 collections.

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