Friday, May 05, 2006

Picture Books - Hugville

Hugville by Court Crandall and illustrated by Joe Murray 2005

For some reason I have been finding a few picture books recently that I have really enjoyed, but for some reason I have not been taken with the illustrations. This book for instances I found the text both whimsical and humorous. Unfortunately, the illustrations really made me not want to finish reading it. Now that is kind of harsh you would think for a book that is less than 32 pages. The mayor for the town of Hugville narrates the story. As he takes you on a tour of the town you are introduced in a rhyming fashion to the various types of hugs you will find the town is famous for. Plus, you discover that these are in addition to the multiply ones the town’s children learn at school. The basic idea behind the story is well let’s just say really fun and cute. Also, it would be fun to use with a group of little ones and have them try out some of the various styles like the Monkey or Pogo stick hug.


The story also ends on a great family idea of a jug of hugs. The jug is loaded up with different types of hugs and you pull one to find out which one you will share that day. But, back to the illustrations, they are definitely overly exaggerated and stretched. You would think with a whimsical theme that this would work well. However, I think it is grossly animated and trying too hard to be like a television show. The artist has a background in animation and was the creator of Nickelodeon’s Rocko’s Modern Life and the creator of Cartoon Network’s Camp Lazlo. I must not be able to relate to his style, but maybe the average preschooler will. That would be about the age I would recommend for this book it you can get past the illustrations.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Lost A Sock said...

I so agree with you on this one!

Also, my sister is a "starving artist," trying to make her way into childrens' book illustrating. Not an easy market to get in to...I'm so very curious how some of these other illustrators did with their crazy pictures?

10:56 AM  
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12:49 PM  

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