It feels like our world is scattered with the same phrases at the moment, ‘unprecedented times,’ ‘new normal,’ and ‘social distancing.’ While these have become an ingrained part in our everyday lives, for children these words are meaningless. How do you explain to children that they can only see their grandparents from a distance and for those that are back in school the reason why they can’t hold their best friend’s hand on the playground. Luckily for parents and educators the wonderful Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar have created the most beautiful and important picture book, ‘While We Can’t Hug,’ which brilliantly conveys the difficulties of the current climate and how it can impact on how we feel.
Hedgehog and tortoise are the best of friends and are desperately sad they can’t hug until wise owl comes along and reminds them there are many ways that you can show someone you love them. Instead of focusing on the negatives of the situation of the things they ‘can’t do,’ it illustrates quite simply all the wonderful things they ‘can’ do for those we love. From drawing pictures, to singing songs and writing letters our friends find a way to connect and show each other how much they care. The exquisite illustrations capture the sadness of Hedgehog and Tortoise’s feelings perfectly and with each spread we’re shown the transformative effect of doing special things for those we love. This book is an absolute joy from start to finish, it clearly demonstrates the power of words and pictures in providing comfort and reassurance in the strangest of a times. The first time I read this book it was with tears in my eyes, it really is a truly uplifting and joyful read.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more reviews and guest posts.
Thanks to Faber for inviting me to join in with the blog tour and for sending me a gifted copy of this gorgeous book. ‘While We Can’t Hug,’ is released on the 25th June and is available to pre-order online or from your local bookshop.