No Hugs Till Saturday
By Julie Downing (Illustrator)
(Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780618910786, 40pp.)
Publication Date: June 2008
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When Felix gets in trouble for playing ball in the house, his mother takes the ball away for the rest of the day. So Felix decides to take something away from his motherhugs. No hugs till Saturday!” he declares. But then Felix finds out Saturday is a whole week away, and both he and Mama soon realize that just one day without a hug can be a very long time.
This is a terrific way to introduce young children to the names and order of the days of the week, and Julie Downing’s wonderfully expressive dragon characters capture all the tenderness, humor, and everyday drama of life with a preschooler.
Julie Downing has written and/or illustrated over 30 picture books. For Clarion, she has illustrated The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park, among others. Her books have received a Parents’ Choice Award and a New York Public Library Best Books Award. She lives in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.juliedowning.com.
"On Sunday morning, a mischievous young dragon makes trouble for his mother and is sent to quiet time. Felix decides to deprive Mama of his special embraces (the "soft snuggle," the "super squeeze," and the "monster mash") and makes "No Hug" signs to place all over the house. As the day progresses, his mother trades "slobbery baby hugs" with his sister, while Felix keeps looking at the calendar and cutting the number of days with no hugs ("actually, I meant...Friday") until he arrives at bedtime, and admits that he can't go any longer. Mama agrees and is the recipient of a "super, special, gigantic monster mash"-and then one more cuddle for each day of the week. The last page shows Felix surreptitiously putting a sign displaying the word "hug" with a red "X" through it on his sister's crib. The soft-edged paintings show a lovable green dragon and humorously depict his antics. Many small details make this a book that perhaps would be most fully enjoyed one-on-one, but it could also be used for a dragon or days-of-the-week storytime. Featuring a believably childlike protagonist, a cozy parent-child relationship, and a satisfying resolution, it is a delightfully warmhearted choice for most collections."--School Library Journal
"Felix and Mama have some very special hugs they share: soft snuggles, super squeezes and monster mashes. But after Mama takes away his baseball (he threw it in the house), Felix declares that he won't be giving any more hugs until Saturday. He defiantly sticks to this rule even after a tumble, but his resolve weakens: After a peek at the calendar, Felix revises his rule to Friday instead. As missed opportunities for hugs accumulate throughout the day, Felix continues to bring his deadline closer and closer until he finally relents at bedtime and makes up for all the missed cuddles. Downing's delightful watercolor dragons are wonderfully expressive and have oodles of personality, and she fills her scenes with details that readers are sure to identify with. A sweet tale of mother-and-son love, with a lesson on days of the week thrown in for good measure. Grown-up readers will just have to hope that their own little ones don't get any ideas."--Kirkus Reviews