Sunday, February 27, 2011

Picture Book: Hugless Douglas by David Melling

Hugless DouglasSummary of Hugless Douglas:
Douglas, a young brown bear, wakes up one spring morning.   His first thought is, “I need a hug.”    Douglas proposes that the best hugs are big.  He finds the biggest object around, and he hugs it.  It is a rock, though, so it does not feel right.  Instead, it is heavy and hard.   Next, he decides that the best hugs are tall.   The tallest thing he sees is a tree.  No matter where he hugs it—top, middle, and bottom—he only gets splinters rather than returned affection.  Douglas does not give up!    He resolves that the best hugs are comfy, but the “comfy” bush he embraces quivers, trembles, and flees.   He finds some sheep hiding in it.  They won’t hug him either!  After a couple more failed attempts, a forest friend leads him to a deep dark cave.  Inside, he finally find the perfect hug…from him mommy!   Douglas realizes the best hugs are from someone he loves.   He snuggles into the “biggest, warmest arms he knew.” 

One of the best parts of this book is the illustrations by David Melling.   Much of the character, action, and humor are found in the pictures and in the darling character he has created.   The text is enjoyable and sweet.   Hugless Douglas is one of those books you want in your home or class library because children are going to ask to listen to it over and over.   Check out other beloved books by Tiger Tales.

Teaching Suggestions:
·         Add Hugless Douglas to a unit on spring, bears, or hibernation
·         Print the events on cards; students (in groups or individually) can practice putting them in sequential order
·         Draw a pictorial time line of the main events in sequence
·         Challenge the students to think about what the other characters in the story feel;  list adjectives on the board that the students brainstorm
·         Discuss other adjectives in the story like tall, big, comfy; then brainstorm synonyms and antonyms for each one
·         Consider what Douglas may do next in the narrative and what he might eat now that he is awake from his long winter’s nap

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