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"A mopey mollusk seeks approval from his mom, but can't get the hugs he desperately wants, in a bittersweet, slimy story. Sluggy is a 'spotty, shiny, whiny slug' who is greedy for hugs but never gets them, even from his own mother. 'Is she never snuggly / because I am so ugly?' he sighs into a reflecting puddle. Sluggy consults with nearby animals for an extended slug makeover in hopes of become a more huggable son, trying on beaks and goatees, feathers and tails, but in the end, it's not a lack of love but a lack of arms that keeps the hugs from happening. Luckily, slugs can kiss, and at least they're not leeches. What at first seems like an unbearably melancholy story is given uplift by the silly costumes and by a sweet, unconditionally loving ending. But any young reader who's ever felt temporary neglect may feel a pang even amid the singsong-y rhymes. The watercolor illustrations seem to lose precision as Sluggy's accumulating costume gets more absurd, as if showing that Sluggy is disappearing into another identity. Still, it's the earned payoff and a delicate balance of tones, both light and melancholy, that make the slug's quest memorable. Sluggy may not have limbs for hugs, but the book feels like a big, generous embrace."―Kirkus Reviews--Journal
"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. VERIDCT: This is a fun and whimsical choice for storytimes about individuality, self-esteem, and love."--School Library Journal--Journal
"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."--Booklist--Website Reseña del editor:
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?
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