The Runaway Hug won the Children's Book Council of Australia Early Childhood Book of the Year this year. And deservedly so, for it turns the cuteness factor up to 11.
I was a bit surprised to see that I hadn't blogged directly about Freya Blackwood before. We live in the same town in Central NSW, and I've been reading and loving her books for years, and have seen her speak at several events. I did include her in my guest post last year on Whispering Gums.
Freya has a distinctive, warm drawing style that is perfect for picture books. She has been remarkably successful illustrating for a broad range of international and Australian writers. Her book with Roddy Doyle, Her Mother's Face, is up there as one of my all time favourite books.
The premise of The Runaway Hug is cute too. Toddler Lucy wants a goodnight hug from Mum. Mum is busy doing the washing (in her undies) but of course has time to give Lucy a hug. Although it's her last hug and she needs it back.
Lucy has to give a hug to the whole family, whether they want it or not.
I think the illustrations of ordinary family life are just great. Beautifully captured vignettes of a family settling down for the night.