David Melling

National Hugging Day 2018


Today is National Hugging Day- and here is one of my favourite hugging characters- Hugless Douglas! Warm and humorous, we have reviewed a number of books about Davis Melling's lovable bear, each like a hug in itself! Each offers much to discuss and much to enjoy!

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Another book offering hugs is ...'HUG!' by Jez Alborough. In this delightful book, little Bobo searches for someone to give him a hug . Almost wordless, the illustrations are a complete delight!


'Hug Me' by Simona Ciraolo is a lovely story about a little cactus, Felipe, who is desperate for affection and comfort. At the end, he finds a friend- a kindred spirit- and the hug he's longing for.


So -many book hugs to one and all on National Hugging Day!

Hugless Douglas    David Melling 

Hodder Children's Books     ISBN: 978-0340950630

Hug! Jez Alborough

Walker Books      ISBN: 978-0744582734

Hug Me     Simona Ciraolo

Flying Eye Books    ISBN: 978-1909263499

Oxford Literary Festival Weekend One!

The sun's been out, the sky's been blue - and I've been enjoying the first weekend of the Oxford Literary Festival. Most of the events I've been to this weekend have been held at The Story Museum, making it even more special!

'Ever After' is a new exhibition and the 'Story Craft' is on a mission.

The Story Museum faces a challenge. It must gather the greatest stories of all time and the greatest ways of telling them. Only then can it become a wonder. Only then can it begin to fulfil its true potential.

So it has dispatched Ever After, its fantastical Story Craft, on a mission to collect the 1001 greatest stories and the treasures they contain. Tales from other times and other places. Told in person, on paper and on screen.

But where should it go and what should it bring back? We need you to tell us your favourite bits from your favourite stories so our craft can collect them for the museum. We need your help to shape and build a collection that will enrich young lives for generations to come.

Some familiar faces appeal to visitors, asking for their contributions. It's a great space!

But back to the Festival... I am planning some more detailed posts about some of the sessions I attended so here's an overview!

I posted about Steve Antony's new 'Mr Panda' book yesterday!

Next was Rob Biddulph talking about penguins, bears and pirates!

My next session was at the library, listening to Gill Lewis and Elizabeth Laird with Anna Bassi, editor of The Week Junior. It was a fascinating session with everyone speaking passionately about the subjects they cover. 

'Welcome to the Real World' was a session billed as a 'Young Adult Special Event'. Sadly, I am no longer a young adult, but I still enjoyed listening to Juno Dawson, Clare Furniss and Patrice Lawrence discussing a whole range of topics!

Sunday was off to a roaring start with Paul Stickland, author of 'Dinosaur Roar' which was one of my son's favourites when he was little. This was a great session, full of fun and laughter!

Nick Sharratt taught us all how to draw the Cat and the King in his session at lunchtime. He gave us a fascinating insight into how he became an illustrator!

My final session of today was meeting Hugless Douglas and his creator, David Melling!

So many great events- I'm really looking forward to what next weekend will bring!

And Happy Mothers' Day, mum! I know you will be reading this! xxx

It's Hugging Day!

Happy National Hugging Day- have a virtual hug from me and all JAB members! And what better way to celebrate than by sharing another adventure from the wonderful Hugless Douglas.

In this book, Douglas wakes up (wearing some rather fabulous bee pyjamas!) to find a trail of sticky footprints across his bed. They lead him from his bed to his cupboard where he realises his honey is missing. Following the sticky trail, he finds the sheep who are collecting all the ingredients they need- including his honey- to bake a cake.

Food fights, baking treats and honey and hugs follow, making this book as delightful as Douglas's previous stories. At the end, there are instructions for how to decorate cupcake sheep and for honey cakes- perfect!

In this story, Douglas misses out on the cakes as the sheep get there first so he has to try some food WITHOUT honey. At first he's not keen, but soon realises that berries, nuts and carrots are tasty too! What a great way of trying to encourage children to try new things! If Douglas likes them..!

The illustrations are as wonderful as ever. Look out for the grass covered sheep- I love his expressions! The baking reminds me of cooking sessions with my son when he was little- so much mess, but so much fun! Hopefully, this book, its recipes and its wonderful characters will inspire some family cooking- and lots of hugs!

Happy Hugging Day!

Hugless Douglas and the Great Cake Bake by David Melling

Hodder Children's       ISBN: 978-1444919899