There once was a young slug who was "very, very needy, / and always greedy for a hug." But, alas, his mother isn't a hugger, leading Slug to worry, "Is she never snuggly / because I am so ugly?" Hoping to become more huggable, Slug asks other creatures for suggestions: Kitten proposes Slug needs to be fluffier. Bird advocates getting feathers and a beak. Piglet, Goat, Moth, and Fox also offer advice. Slug implements each of their suggestions, which becomes challenging as a beak, snout, and goatee jostle for room on his slimy face. But when he returns home, his mom doesn't recognize him until he shucks his accumulated accouterments, prompting her to reassure him: "But I love you as you are! / You're the sweetest slug by far." Slugs, after all, lack arms for hugging, and the book concludes with the two sharing a sweet, affectionate smooch. Cartoonish, watercolor art and bouncy, lively rhymes make for a droll, entertaining tale. With a positive, supportive message, and a raucous delivery, this one will make storytime shine. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 2— Poor slug is "wet and weedy, very, very needy, and always greedy for a hug." Sadly, his mother never hugs him. One at a time, various animals tell slug how he should make himself "more huggable, less slithery and sluggable"—namely, by making himself more like them. Tony Ross's deliciously silly ink and watercolor illustrations are a delightful complement to Jeanne Willis's bouncy rhyming text. When Slug returns to his mother, she doesn't even recognize her son beneath the ersatz fur, feathers, snout, beak, and legs. In the satisfying conclusion, Slug's mother confesses she adores her son as he is: "If I could, I'd hug you darling!" Alas, slugs have no arms "and so…They kissed!" This is a kinder, gentler version of Bernard Waber's classic, You Look Ridiculous, Said the Rhinoceros to the Hippopotamus (Houghton Mifflin, 1973). Both stories stress the absurdity of changing to imitate others, but Willis's tale places more affirming emphasis on the protagonist's innate lovability. VERDICT This is a fun and whimsical choice for storytimes about individuality, self-esteem, and love.—Rachel Anne Mencke, St. Matthew's Parish School, Pacific Palisades, CA [Page 132]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Worrying that his mother never hugs him because he is ugly, Slug follows his friends' advice to be furry, with a beak, horns, and more, until his mother can no longer recognize him, but then he learns that she loves him, no matter what.Review by Publisher Summary 2
When it begins to bug Slug that his mom doesn't hug him, he leaves home to find out why. Kitten suggests he should be furrier, so he puts on a woolly hat while Bird suggests he needs a beak. Soon, Slug has a new look. Will his mom hug him now?Review by Publisher Summary 3
Slug worries that the reason his mother never hugs him is that he is ugly, so he follows his friends' advice to be furry, with a beak, horns, and more, until his mother can no longer recognize him, but then he learns that she loves him, no matter what.