Review: I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug! by Caroline B. Cooney

Hope And The Goats March 2017

My 22-month old daughter, Hope, adores animals. She loves watching them, petting them, and reading books featuring real life animals or warm, cuddly ones. For this reason, I was excited to read her I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug! by Caroline B. Cooney, illustrated by Tim Warnes.

Bear Hug!

From start to finish, I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug! is a delight. Each two-page spread examines a type of a hug, modeled after an animal. The pictures are whimsical and captivating. In fact, Hope kept pulling the book closer to her for a better look at the pictures.

What I love most about this book, however, is the poetry. So often, I'll start reading a kid's book aloud only to find myself stumbling over the writing, something slightly off about the cadence. Not so with this book. The poetry works well, rhyming and delighting every bit as much as the book's illustrations.

Zonderkidz says I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug! is for children ages 4-8 but based on Hope's response, even younger kids will enjoy this book. Its short sentences and thoughtful rhymes would also make it ideal for new readers.

Although I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug! is published by a Christian publisher, it's also worth nothing that it's not an overtly Christian book. It's simply a great children's book about animals and hugs that would delight any child (and their parents!) 

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Disclosure: I received a free copy of I'm Going to Give You A Bear Hug! in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and the forthcoming A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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