With a cover like that, I couldn’t help but pick up Scott Campbell’s adorable book Hug Machine. It is the perfect picture book just in time for Valentine’s Day. Written and illustrated by Campbell, Hug Machine is about a little boy who has identified himself as the Hug Machine. He will hug everything and anything. In fact, the inside of the cover is actually a checklist of everything he wants to hug, including a baby, a snake, a traffic cone, and a whale. By the end of the book, all of these items are marked off on the same checklist on the inside of the back cover.
As you can see, people have mixed reactions to the Hug Machine. Sometimes they love the hug and other times, it is surprising at best. In the majority of the book, you are following the Hug Machine around as he zigs and zags to ensure he hugs everything. The magic of this book comes in the hilarity of its illustrations. The seriousness of the Hug Machine with the surprise or bewilderment of the hug-ee is a mixture that can’t be outdone. The following illustration is an answer to the question of what fuels the Hug Machine. Obviously, it’s pizza.
By the end of the book, the Hug Machine has hugged himself out. He’s exhausted and doesn’t think he can hug anything else. But when he gets home, his mother wraps him in her arms, and he stays “open for business.” I would recommend Hug Machine for younger ages, but can honestly say that as an adult, I fell in love with the Hug Machine too.
Post by Campbell Slatton