A Word Without Vowels that means a great deal – Today for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

For those of you who know me, this post won’t come as a surprise. You’ll probably say, “Yup! This is truly ‘Leslie’ because…

…the theme for today’s Perfect Picture Book review is about hugs.

I don’t remember the exact moment I realized the right kind of hug could fill an emotional need in me. Yes, there is a right kind and a substandard variety. More on that shortly.

Whether my day flew by perfectly or came with snags, my parents had at hug to give me, and they let me sink into it as long as I liked. Their hugs made me feel like everything in the world was right and that they would always be there for me. They called me their little hugabug.

I never cared if my dad’s clothes were covered in machine oil or sawdust. It didn’t bother me if my mom came inside from berry picking, sweaty from spending long hours in her garden. I didn’t mind if the cat padded inside after discovering every muddy puddle between the woods and our front door. “Get in these arms!”

I discovered the substandard variety the first time my parents invited friends over for coffee and cake. I received a quick embrace, a pat on my back, and an emptiness I didn’t care for. “Wait. What? Is that all I get?” It was then that I discovered a shocking truth… Some hugs aren’t magical! Don’t get me started on the A-frame variety.

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the Welsh word for a hug. Frankly, the word means quite a lot more. It actually defines the hugs I love to give and find rare to receive. And no, there are no vowels in this baby.

Cwtch (pronounced ‘kutch’, the word rhymes with ‘butch’) And, as it turns out, you can find loads of items for sale online, sporting this fabulous word!

Keep Calm and Cwtch Mug Welsh Hug or Cuddle Wales Gift Ceramic Coffee Tea Cup and  Fun Welsh Saying T-Shirt - Fancy A Cwtch - Unisex and   VinMea Wooden Hanging Sign - Cwtch (N) Hug Or Snuggle; But More Than That. Home Decor Accessory Gift Plaque Wooden Sign

So, for today’s Perfect Picture Book Review, I’m sharing the book, The Giant Hug.

Title –  The Giant Hug

Author – Sandra Horning

Illustrator – Valeri Gorbachev

Published by – Dragonfly Books – 2008

Suitable for ages – 4-8

Topics – sharing, hugs, kindness, love.

Opening –
“What do you want to send Granny for her birthday?” Owen’s mother asked.

“A giant hug,” Owen replied. He opened his arms as wide as he possibly could to show how giant the hug would be.

“Do you want to draw a picture of your hugging Granny?” his mother asked.

“No,” Owen said. “I want to send a real hug.”

Amazon Review HEREHow do you give your granny a hug when she lives far away? Send it through the mail, of course! This sweet story makes a perfect gift for Mother’s Day for the granny in your life, whether she lives close or far!

Owen’s hug travels across the country in a series of hilarious, sometimes awkward, always heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. Valeri Gorbachev’s adorable artwork pairs beautifully with Sandra Horning’s charming text, and makes for a fun, funny, and educational read-aloud. An unexpected twist at the end will delight readers and have kids asking for this book again and again.

Why I like this book— Like Owen in this book, I have friends that live too far away to hug. Owen’s solution to his problem of how to get a ‘real’ hug to his grandmother is beyond ingenious. Kids reading this story will anticipate what happens at each page turn and get a funny surprise when Owen’s hug finally reaches its destination.

Learn more about Sandra Horning HERE.

Learn more about Valeri Gorbachev HERE.

I hope to see you here on Monday when I share my cwtch-inspired poem.

I’ll also be sharing my father’s instructions to me for a good hug.

Before I sign off, I hope you’ll watch this video that is dear to my heart.

until Monday.

11 thoughts on “A Word Without Vowels that means a great deal – Today for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

  1. We are a big huggy family too. My parents gave good hugs but my grandma gave the very best!! Oh and my great big 25-year-old teddy bear grandson gives fabulous hugs. This is a delightful book. I love my new word for today, cwtch. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love learning about the Welsh Cwtch! Great post and very tender video to go along with it. Although obstensibly a “Mother’s Day” book, I think with the current state of seperation in many families, this will be an amazing book right now! Thanks Leslie.


  3. Hi Maria, I have to say this is one of those picture books I wish I had written. Owen’s inspired idea on how to get a ‘real’ hug to his grandmother sounds like something I would have thought of when I was a child. And I also love the word ‘cwtch.’ Its meaning goes well beyond that of the garden-variety of hugs.


  4. Pingback: The Way to Give a Hug Today at The Monday Poems | Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

  5. Hey, Sid, I’m glad you enjoyed this post. The video is close to my heart. I think I can honestly say that I can relate to both the little porcupine who needed both friendship and hugs to the friends that searched for a way to make him feel loved. And the book I shared, well… the way Owen worked out how to get the ‘real’ hug to his grandmother by having it be passed from one person to the next until it reached its destination was right along the way I thought when I was a child. 🙂


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