The Bear and the Hug

Children - Social Issues
38 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Bear and The Hug is a children's tale written and illustrated by Melissa Cannioto. For the whole past winter, Bear had been sleeping peacefully in his cave. After waking up, he ventures outside, hoping to reunite with his friends and get a giant, warm hug. But Bear soon realizes that the outside world is no longer the same. Feeling ignored and rejected by his friend Frog and dear old Mr. Sloth, Bear is immensely sad. However, it is Chameleon who reveals to Bear that darkness had spread a mysterious sickness all over the world. To get rid of it, all Bear had to do was show some patience and courage and return to his cave until it passed. Then he will receive all the hugs from his loved ones.

A poignant and much-needed children's story for these times, The Bear and The Hug is full of heart, charm, and warmth. Author Melissa Cannioto tells a moving tale about friendship, courage, and sacrifice set against the backdrop of a worldwide sickness that mirrors the COVID-19 global pandemic in our world. Cannioto deals with some heavy and increasingly relevant topics such as isolation and separation. But it is handled in a way that children will find accessible and relatable. The illustrations add color to the narrative, making it all the more immersive. Humans have always felt the need to socialize. Everyone had their issues while being stuck inside their homes. But as always, we will prevail. The Bear and The Hug is a heartwarming story for kids and adults alike.


This is a wonderful book! The pictures are beautifully illustrated, the message is so timely to help little ones understand the past two years, and the words are perfectly written that you will find yourself singing along! Perfect for preschools, family, and friends. Strongly recommend to anyone and everyone!


I purchased this book for my 6 yo and 2 yo. They both enjoyed the story. It brings some of the confusing feelings of isolation during the pandemic to a gong level. It opened the evening to some great discussions with our children. They also enjoyed the adorable illustrations, Mr. Frog is their favorite. Highly recommend.


This is the absolute sweetest book ever! It offers a beautiful illustration of the power of connection and the confusion we’ve all lived through over the past couple of years. I have already shared it with my own child, and she loved it! However, I am even more excited to share it with my play therapy clients to talk about topics such as the pandemic, military deployments, cancer, divorce, and so many more tough topics. It’s the perfect addition to any library!


This book is so sweetly written. I helps little ones understand why all the bugs are gone in this challenging time. The illustrations are beautiful and you find something new each time you turn the page. This is a staple bed time story and my little one loves to just flip through the pages and look at the drawings.


I bought this book for my nephews (aged 2 and 4) and they both have wanted to read it before bedtime every night since! The beautiful illustrations of the wildlife captivate my youngest nephew while the story of missing out on hugs has helped my older nephew better understand the world around him. Living apart, we talked about how virtual hugs can make your heart happy just like how bear is happy knowing he can have real hugs again in the future. It’s a beautiful story during difficult times and the illustrations are timeless. Would highly recommend for anyone and everyone with kids growing up in this new type of world!


The ability of this book to explain the complex feelings of isolation and loneliness in times of difficulty to younger audiences is truly incredible. From sick family to pandemics, deployments and more, Bear's journey is one that reflects many of our own. The magnificent illustrations will initially engage and entertain younger audiences while the beautifully written words pass on a hard to teach lesson that many of us still struggle with. This is a rare find that we are thrilled to have in our home. Our younger family love bear and cannot wait to see where he goes next.