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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.