Hug It Out! (Louis Thomas)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hug It Out! by Louis Thomas, a tale of sibling rivalry and love.

Woody and Annie have been fighting all afternoon, and their mother has had enough. So she implements a new punishment: whenever they argue, they must “hug it out” until they calm down. And sure enough, after every disagreement, name called, or hair tugged, their mother’s voice rings, “Hug it out!” After hours of hugging, the pair are happy to avoid each other rather than endure another forced embrace. But once they separate, the siblings find that they miss each other. Perhaps another hug wouldn’t be the worst… 

This book definitely had a very relatable theme. Most siblings, or parents of siblings, will easily recognize the love-hate dynamic that Woody and Annie share, and the resolution of their story felt very organic. The illustrations were very cute, with the pen-and-watercolor art striking a good balance of visual appeal for little ones while adding some humor for adults (the siblings’ increasingly exasperated mother is a relatable character indeed). My only complaint runs along the lines of the forced hugging, which is played for laughs here. While most would consider this a reasonable punishment, others may feel uncomfortable with the idea of forcing children to sustain physical contact against their consent. It would definitely be a judgement call for the reader. Otherwise, it had a good length, but JJ wasn’t overly jazzed about it. But it’s a fine book that older bookworms, especially those with siblings, may enjoy more, so we will call this one Baby Bookworm approved overall.

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