J.R.Poulter has worked as a senior educator, librarian, lecturer in English Expression, editor and in a circus. A multi-awarded author/poet with over 40 books to her name, she also writes poetry, YA and general readership fiction under J.R.McRae.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Hugs are important. They offer comfort, reassurance and compassion. But listening is also important, especially when listening includes instructions and rules. Sam and his sister have a problem with instructions. Their mother instructs them to stay out of the mulberry tree, but the berries are ripe for picking and they are best eaten fresh off the tree. They’re also best enjoyed when one is dressed in good, clean clothes with strict instructions about staying clean because their aunt and their cousin are coming for a visit. Not a chance! And when the cousin arrives, Sam, covered in mulberry stains, greets her with a berry big hug, messy and smudging all over the cousin’s face and her beautiful white dress. Not a good start to a family visit. The adults are not amused, particularly the aunt. But no one will listen to Sam’s sister who knows Grandma’s secret remedy for mulberry stains. It all started when she gave her Grandma a big mulberry stained hug. And, with no one listening, it’s sometimes better to do the job oneself and prove the point.
The Berry Big Hug is a delightful, entertaining story about listening, communicating and, of course, sharing hugs. J.R. Poulter’s children’s picture book story, sometimes written in rhyming verse, is a real treasure, complete with bright, colorful and very descriptive illustrations by Joyeeta Neogi, which help carry the story along. Strong messages are shared in this little gem: more than just sharing hugs, families must always use good communication skills and listen to each other – that includes parents listening to their children.