Don’t Hug Doug: (He Doesn’t Like It) Carrie Finison

Don’t Hug Doug: (He Doesn’t Like It)

Carrie Finison, Author

Daniel Wiseman, Illustrator

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Jan. 26, 2021

Suitable for Ages: 3-7

Themes: Hugging, Individuality, Boundaries

Opening: “You can hug a pug. (Awww!)  You can hug a bug. (Maybe…) Or a slug (Ewww!) But don’t hug Doug. He doesn’t like it.”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Some people love hugs. But lots of people don’t. And lots of people are somewhere in the middle.

So Doug wants you to read this book and then answer this very important question: Do you like hugs? Because everybody gets to decide for themselves whether they want a hug or not.

Why I like Don’t Hug Doug:

Carrie Finison has written a joyful and playful story about a boy who doesn’t like hugs. Doug thinks hugs are “too squeezy, squashy, squooshy and smooshy.”  Doug’s story can be used to help  empower children to make decisions about whether they want to be hugged and by whom.

It also is an important book to teach children about setting boundaries early on. I remember teaching my daughter the “tummy” test. If something like a hug didn’t make her tummy feel right, then it was important for her to follow her inner instinct and not engage.

The story is packed with humor that sets a light-hearted tone. “You can hug a valentine. (Sweet!) Or a porcupine (Not recommended,) But don’t hug Doug. He doesn’t like it.” It is upbeat and shows everything that Doug likes to do — play with his rock collection, draw with chalk, play his harmonica in a band, play baseball and interact with friends.

The book is beautifully crafted with rhyming text.  Children will enjoy the repetition! The narration is straightforward, with Doug commenting to hugging situations in cartoon-like bubbles: “I’m just not a hugger. “Seriously, no hugs.” “Thanks, but no thanks.” “Nope.” I especially love the double-page spread where Doug uses a bullhorn to shout “Who here likes hugs?” On the opposite page are a variety of diverse faces who share their preferences in cartoon bubbles.

Daniel Wiseman’s lively and expressive illustrations are delightful and contribute significantly to Doug’s entertaining but very important story.  Everything about this book is perfection.  It is an ideal gift book.

Resources: This book can be used at home or at school to discuss boundaries with young children.  Teachers can use this book to discuss consent and finding alternative ways to connect with each other.  And, I’m sure students will have a lot to say.

Carrie Finison usually likes hugs but sometimes prefers a wave or a high five. She writes poetry, stories, and books for kids, including the picture book Dozens of Doughnuts. She lives outside Boston with her husband, their son, and their daughter, and two cats who  allow her to work in their attic office. You can visit Carrie at her website.  follow her on Twitter @CarrieFinison.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

19 thoughts on “Don’t Hug Doug: (He Doesn’t Like It) Carrie Finison

  1. Mom and I are a big yes to hugs. But we get you, Doug. Hugs are not for everybody. Very timely topic. Great for inclusion and great for coming back after quarantine. Great choice, P.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for featuring DOUG today! Your blog is helpful to so many in finding these important books.

    Like

    • Thanks you Carrie. Yes, your book fits my theme perfectly! I really loved your clever book as it really is a balance of perfection! Great text, humor and wonderful illustrations. Congratulations!

      Like

  3. The book sounds adorable and helpful. As a kid my grandmother would wrap me up in a huge hug and I thought I’d never see the world again. I understand Doug, but I grew up to like hugs.

    Like

  4. I love this message and am seeing lots of praise for this book across the interwebs. So glad you have reviewed it for PPBF, Pat.

    Like

  5. Great idea. Hugs are good medicine for most, but not for some, and Doug is a great person to explain. Some kids are on the spectrum, and hugging seems to actually hurt them. Being understanding that hugs aren’t for everyone is so important.

    Like

    • At first I thought Doug may be on the spectrum, but I think that the author wisely left that open. Because in the end, he does love a good night hug from his parents. I remember I didn’t welcome hugs from a lot of people as a kid — endured them. But there were family members and friends I loved hugging. That’s why I think it’s so important for kids to be encouraged to set their own boundaries.

      Liked by 1 person

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