#944 – How I Sent My Hug Around the World Book Tour

Before we get to a worldwide viral hug, congratulations to Erik, winner of 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Know. How appropriate that the winner is a kid. (There will be a test on this Erik.)

91NXzpGokqL How I Sent My Hug Around the World
Written by Donna Ellen Conrad
Illustrated by Monez Gusmang
978-0-9852457-1-9
52 pages   Ages 4—8

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“When TIPPI discovers that the grumpy-growly-scowly bad mood that began in her family has spread across the globe, she vows to reverse it. See how a single hug brings her sunny-yummy-sweet-as-honey good mood to every living thing in the universe.” [back cover]

Review
Mom comes home in a sour mood, probably tired and needing a rest. Ollie’s spaghetti somehow flies off his fork, landing on Mama’s new hat. She is not happy. “Mama grrrrumped at Ollie.” Which is why Ollie shouted at Tippi, the narrator, which is why Tippi “grrrrrouched at Daddy.” In turn, daddy snaps at Sweetie the dog, who then takes it out on a skunk, who then . . . and on the grumpiness continues from one person or animal to another until the entire world suffers a collective bad mood. Tippi does not like all this grumpiness, especially since it all started with her family. How can the determined Tippi turn the global bad mood into a good mood?

HISMHATW - 1How I Sent My Hug Around the World tells the story of the ripple effect, of how one action will begat another and that another until everything in its path has been touched and affected. A bad ripple spreads badness, while a good ripple spreads goodness. Tippi needs to start a good ripple. What can reverse a grumpy mood? A couple of failed attempts give kids the opportunity to start thinking of possibilities, only Tippi gets it right the first time. No suspense. No opportunity for kids to solve the problem. When her mama returns home again looking tired, Tippi gives her a “lovel-you-snuggle-you-huggle-you hug!”

The retro-seventies illustrations are sweet and enhance the story perfectly. They are bright and give kids a great view of the world. That said, once Tippi gives her mother the hug and this new good ripple overwhelms the bad ripple, that is the end of the story. Eleven additional spreads is excessive. I wish there were some online resources freely available explaining picture books and other children’s genres. Good stories need good craft to be their best.

HISMHATW - 3The other thing I am not thrilled with is the made-up words developed simply to meet a rhyme, rather than finding the best words for the story and rhyming those or not rhyming at all—which is often the best choice for many stories. Good rhyming is very difficult. Words like “lovel” and “huggle” to rhyme with “snuggle” helps kids learn one new word and two nonsense words. “Bad-mood-down-lips?” Please just say mama frowned. Writing “efwwey-stewwy-cranky-with-youeey bad mood?” I am not a fan of gobbledygook for the sake of gobbledygook. Young children are best entertained with clear writing.

HISMHATW - 4I do love the themes of How I Sent My Hug Around the World. Tippi shows us one person can make a big difference in the world. The other is teaching children about the interdependence of our actions, even upon those we may never meet; this is such a difficult concept. Conrad’s story could really command this subject with some clarity. The attempt is admirable and shows the she has talent, if not yet refined. I expect we will see more from Conrad, she seems to be a determined and passionate author.

HOW I SENT MY HUG AROUND THE WORLD. Text copyright © 2015 by Donna Ellen Conrad. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Monez Gusmang. Reproduced by permission of the author.

AmazonIndie BooksDonna Ellen Conrad

Find How I Sent My Hug Around the World on Goodreads HERE.

Donna Ellen Conrad:  http://www.dconrad.com/
Follow on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DonnaEllenConrad

Monez Gusmang:  http://monezgusmang.tumblr.com/       http://www.monez.net/
Follow on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/monez.bali.illustrator

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Reprinted with permission from HOW I SENT MY HUG AROUND THE WORLD © 2015 by Donna Ellen Conrad. Illustrations © 2015 by Monez Gusmang.

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Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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How I Sent My Hug Around the World
Written by Donna Ellen Conrad
Illustrated by Monez Gusmang
9780985245719

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14 thoughts on “#944 – How I Sent My Hug Around the World Book Tour

  1. I own a copy of How I Sent My Hug Around the World, so was thrilled to see it reviewed. However, I don’t agree with the reviewer’s grumpy assessment of the language. To me, the prose is bright and lyrical and quirky, and contributes very much to engaging my young grandson with the story. He enjoys it and stays focused all the way through. The language as well as the colorful, interesting illustrations both contribute to retaining his attention. This is the kind of book that parents, grandparents, and teachers search out for their children. It teaches kindness and has such a simple message — what you do affects others so why not do good? I hope Ms. Conrad will continue to write children’s books. This one’s a keeper.

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    • Liz, thank you for your opinion. A review is only one person’s opinion and it may not be correct.

      I firmly stand by my statement disagreeing with the funny made-up words simply to rhyme. The best word is most important and if a good word cannot be found to rhyme, then the story is telling the writer it wants told in prose not poetry. All of this is basic craft and craft is very important.

      I am very happy your grandson enjoys the story and gets a positive from its theme. We all react to art in different ways, and picture books—including the text—is an artform. The theme is terrific and I believe I mentioned this in my “grumpy” review.

      I don’t believe I am being grumpy. Please try reading it again with a BIG SMILE! on your face, as this is how it was written. I can like a book and still find problems with it. This is how writers grow and learn–something important to me. Somewhere in KLR’s archive are a few actual “negative reviews.” Find one and you will see this review is not negative.

      Thank you Liz, for stopping by and stating your opinion on How I Sent My Hug Around the World. Though I try to be as objective as I can, I am not always right. It really is good to hear differing opinions. No matter what I may think or write, one thing is always true: I hope the books entrusted to me soar in sales, reaching many kids and adults.

      Liz, I sincerely welcome you to Kid Lit Reviews and hope you return and keep me on my toes. 🙂

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      • Sue, I think where our opinions differ is with this statement of yours: “I firmly stand by my statement disagreeing with the funny made-up words simply to rhyme.” I don’t think the “funny made-up words” were designed simply to rhyme. To me, they are lyrical, provide a rhythm to the language that is both engaging and beautiful, and keep the prose and the story fun at the same time. We all know what is meant by them so they are not obscuring anything, and what is said is done in a creative, fun-loving manner. There is not just one right way to communicate an idea. This way may not be right for an adult book or even for other children’s books, but I think it works here and enhances the story, the illustrations, and the message. ps/ We don’t know each other, so you wouldn’t know that I usually do have a big smile on my face. 🙂 Laughing is good and I am always looking for (and finding) the humor in life.

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        • I might not have chosen the best words in the above comment. I don’t edit comments like I do reviews. The word “lovel” to rhyme with struggle is the one that didn’t work for me and made me notice these words. I tend to be a purest, believing kids repeat what they read and don’t want a kid writing lovel on a paper. Plus, rhyming is a difficult way to write a children’s book and not many get it right (slanted rhymes, bad meter, etc.). I pay more attention to construction when a story is in rhyme. But this is me. Just my opinion. You make some valid points, which is why I love your comments. Differing opinions are good. My review should not be the most important voice in any book, just one of many voices. Comments help bring out things I miss or get wrong. (I do both, unfortunately.) Regardless of my “negative” comments, I still love the book and its ripple-effect theme in addition to the message of how one person can make a big difference. Great messages for everyone.

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          • Sue, I could talk kids books all day but I think we may have worn this one out. My point in commenting originally was because, as you say, not everyone sees things in the same light. I happened to think the language in this book was one of its positives. I very much admire your commitment to children’s literature and how you’ve taken it beyond just loving kids’ books to sharing and spreading the word in a meaningful and constructive way.

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  2. Sue, I love the theme of this book. I’ve always had an issue with made up words to make a rhyme. It’s one of my pet peeves about Dr. Seuss books, but I seem to stand alone on this one.

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    • No, you don’t stand alone. It bugs me too. I was actually afraid I’d catch it for not thinking this kind of writing was upbeat, or forward-thinking, modern, or whatever might be said by those who like it. And they have the right to like it, if they wish to do so. I’m just relieved to know I’m not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This really does sound like a promising book, Sue! It’s why I read the post 🙂 I haven’t read the book, but do agree with you about the way to—and not to—rhyme :-\ Perhaps, if they can and choose to, the book can eventually be revised. Glad to know of it and I love the subject matter 😀

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