Big hug books by Shona Innes

cover image

Ill. by Irisz Agocs. Five Mile Press, 2016.
Worries are like clouds. ISBN 9781760400729
You are like you. ISBN 9781760400712
(Age: 4+) Mental health. Depression. Identity. Two more in the series, Big hug books gives us a book about worrying and one about identity. As with the others in the series, they aim to give teachers and parents a starting point of discussion with a class or children at home. Simply told, they are all obvious in their themes, and clear about their aim. A page of information about how to use the books appears at the end of each story.
Worries are like clouds tells the reader that many days are happy, filled with laughter and are carefree, while others are dark and gloomy and sometimes they would prefer to stay in bed with the bedclothes over their head. The gentle text tells the reader that this is normal, that everyone has good and bad days, happy and sad days, bright sunny days and days with clouds. It goes on to tell the reader that there are ways to overcome these gloomy days and then a number of pages are devoted to outlining strategies to deal with a cloudy day. These would make a great discussion point in the classroom.
You are like you takes the same approach as the others in the series, with half of the pages devoted to positive images of what make you, you. Then a number of pages give the negatives sides of life, people may annoy you, you may feel out of sorts, and so on, and the author then gives strategies to overcome the negatives. Again this provides a starter for discussion amongst children, in the classroom or at home with a simple direct text and accompanying illustrations.
Fran Knight