About David Melling
David Melling has illustrated more the sixty children's books, writing and illustrating more than fifteen of them. His work has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in England. Before becoming a bestselling author-illustrator, David worked as a photographer and as an animation artist. David lives in England with his wife and their two children.
A lovable brown bear needs a hug, but he doesn't know his own strength. One spring morning, young Douglas wakes from his hibernation and knows just what he needs. He wriggles out of his yellow pajamas, brushes his hair, puts on a scarf and sets out to get a hug. He remembers his best hugs were: big, so he tries a massive rock; tall, so he tries a tree; soft, so he tries a bush. He even scoops up a handful of sheep and goes after an owl. None of these provides a proper hug, and Douglas risks becoming a forest outcast. Finally, a helpful rabbit takes him by the paw, all around the forest and to a dark cave, where Douglas finds the perfect animal for a hug: his Mommy! Simultaneously goofy and heartwarming, a winning combination. Many of Melling's illustrations have rib-tickling touches, and a hilarious appendix shows the rabbit and a small flock of sheep demonstrating more than a dozen different hugs (the shy and unrequited hugs are particularly snort-inducing).
August 15, 2010, Kirkus Reviews
PreS-Gr 1–Melling gives new meaning to the phrase, “a big bear hug” with this tale of a cub who sets off one morning in search of that special feeling he needs. A gigantic boulder is too heavy to hug and a tree trunk is too splintery. Douglas knows that a hug feels comfy, and he is not having an easy time locating one. Colorful illustrations enhance the humor. Lines of larger font sizes frequently wave throughout the text, contributing to the movement from page to page as Douglas continues his quest. The final spread demonstrates 14 varieties of hugs to bring additional hilarity and closure. Children will understand Douglas's need for that warm, secure feeling. They might even want to demonstrate as they ask for this book to be read aloud again and again. Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
November 2010, School Library Journal
Who doesn't love a really good hug? One morning Douglas the bear wakes up and decides he needs one. His first attempt is with a giant rock, then a very tall tree and a pile of trembling leaves. He finds that they don't hug him back.