The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug
Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar have once again created a stunningly sweet and simple story for the current times. We meet our friends Hedgehog and Tortoise, this time practising patience and learning that some of the best things in life are undoubtedly worth the wait. This book builds on the wisdom from While We Can’t Hug and makes these powerful lessons very approachable for younger readers.
The simplicity of McLaughlin’s message is seamlessly reflected in stunning illustrations from Dunbar. The colours are calming yet engaging with dreamy vignettes that reflect the wistfulness of Hedgehog’s longing for Tortoise. Dunbar ingeniously hides Tortoise from Hedgehog for a large portion of the story. The dramatic irony created by author and illustrator is sure to have children thoroughly engaged and frankly insisting that they can see Tortoise! McLaughlin uses words in the most economical way, mirroring the simple language of a young child. While this story is for the younger reader, the message will hold a cathartic resonance for adults too. The anticipation built up through the words and pictures leads the reader to the universal and relevant truth that we must hold tight and fast for the good times.
This story is another delight for the eyes and the soul from McLaughlin and Dunbar. Its application in the classroom reaches beyond current events and give a positive and fun twist to teaching personal development for younger children. The joyful and comforting conclusion coupled with the serene illustrations will ensure little ones will drift blissfully off to sleep. A gem for all libraries – little and large.