I admit it. Even this old grump teared up at the end of How to Send a Hug. And it was not the words of Hayley Rocco, though those are sweet. It was that darn page at the end where everyone is receiving their hugs! So, “Bad John Rocco! Bad!”
Seriously though, this is a delightful story about how to send a hug to someone who is far away. I am sure we have not seen the last of the Covid related issues, therefore, making us still not able to see some beloved family and friends. Travel is just difficult now (gas prices, ticket issues, and general constraints) and some family and friends must live far away for work or school, we are limited to how many hugs we can give. And this story shows how you can send a hug to those people.
Artie loves hugs but cannot give one to her grandmother. Instead, she puts pen and pencil and marker, and you name it to page and creates a note to her grandmother. The way Artie tells us how the hug then must be given a special cover and how it travels is cute and funny, and informative. Did you know that hugs travel by train, boat and even planes? Not to mention by donkeys, handled by hug carriers and more. And we know our hug makes it, because sometimes you get a hug in return. This idea of a handwritten letter shows how we can connect with loved ones when we cannot connect.
And now those darn John Rocco illustrations. They are funny, cute, colorful, and details. And no more detailed than the last page where you can read some of the hugs that were sent and received: one to a grandfather from a grandchild, one from a college student to his family, one from a family member to their service member overseas. And that is when I lost it. I heard the voices and the love they sent. So, have a box of tissues ready as it is an emotional story for some.