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Hug Me

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  909 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Ever feel like you need a hug, a really big hug from someone? That's how Felipe the young cactus feels, but his family just isn't the touchy-feely kind. Cactuses can be quite prickly sometimes you know . . . and so can Felipe. But he'll be darned if this one pointy issue will hold him back, so one day Felipe sets off on his own to find a friend and just maybe, that long aw ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Flying Eye Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  909 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: child
Quite possibly the most adorable book on the face of the earth. May or may not have read it to my pet cactus.
Claudia G-D
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sweet little picture book with illustrations that add to the understanding of the story. The key message is that sometimes all we need is a hug from someone. PSHE links- friendships, teaching children to look out for someone who might need a friend or comfort, who can we go to when we need help/ comfort? EYFS/KS1.
Safa' Dalal
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
"They didn't notice that all he wanted was a hug"
Uber cute. Lonely cactus. Family is very distant. Reaches out into the real world to find a friend. Unfortunately, finding loving individuals, even simply receiving hugs is easier said than done. He finally finds what he has seeked in a rock, whom has a similar family situation. Kindred spirits, Hugs!

Ciraola is an animator, which shows in her adorable illustrations. It is her proficient rendering of these emotions, of course, that warm the readers' hearts, at whatever age.

Adults can learn a lo
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I know this is a picture book, but I was a little bit disappointed by the ending. I was hoping the cacti would change.
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I watched the CBeebies Bedtime Stories version as Tom Hardy was reading it, can you blame me?! I might have enjoyed this purely because of that however the story is very endearing especially as it seems it was picked especially for the pandemic. A reminder that you might not always fit in with your own family and that's OK and that you might be able to help someone who's feeling left out too. Plus I'm quite fond of hugs myself so I can relate.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
We all need more hugs. Even little cacti. Give your cacti hugs! But keep some bandages handy...
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute, sweet story. Love that ending.
Emmy Groendyke
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tiny adorable cactus? Tiny adorable cactus who just wants to hug? Super cute illustrations and a happy ending? What's not to love?! I could not get enough of this book! I wanted to give it a great big hug!
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Darling. Love the voice and the protagonist's name and the message, of course. My favorite page is when he's trying to enjoy his own company--playing sudoku & video games and eating Chinese take-out in his giant armchair, his bunny slippers on the floor. ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, childrens
Adorable and sweet. The illustrations were the cutest!

It may be a little abrupt in its ending but I loved the sentiment behind it.

The outcasts stories are my catnip after all.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books Exploring Themes of Loneliness & Friendship
Recommended to Abigail by: Chandra
Felipe's very proper cactus family didn't believe in invading other people's personal space, so the prickly young plant's desire for a hug went unfulfilled. His initial attempt at friendship with a delicate yellow balloon proved disastrous, and our cactus hero ended up leaving home and living very much alone. Until the day, that is, that he met someone else who also longed for a hug...

A sweet picture-book about wanting to make connections, and feeling a little awkward about it at first, Hug Me w
A cactus named Felipe who just wants a hug. How could I resist?
RH Walters
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A cactus can be more than emotionally available.
A delightful little book. The drawings on the inside of both covers are adorably rough, but very important to the understanding of Felipe and his story with Camilla. The lessons to be learned here are often more subtle than I think a young child is going to understand without perhaps reading it several times. They'll get the bigger themes, but maybe not the lesser until later. Still, it's a wonderful and unique way to present important lessons.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
What a gift Simona Ciralo had to be able to speak so profoundly of our life experience so simply and with so few words. The struggles we all feel at times - not fitting in with our family or peer groups and not getting our needs met from those around us. Then we find that exciting person that is SO NOT right for us. Which ends badly. And just when we give up and develop that prickly outer shell, we find that one person who is our missing half. Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but I like ...more
The Styling Librarian
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo – Awww. Never expected to love a cactus so much. Sweet little cactus with all the adult cacti around her not wanting to have anything complicated nor are they good at displaying affection. Loved how this little cactus keeps trying to find someone to connect with and get a hug…. until she gives up. Simple and beautiful. Made me laugh when my son saw the cover and announced, “I don’t want to hug a cactus, are you kidding me?” but he ended up saying “Awwww.” to the story as ...more
Aliza Werner
All Felipe the Cactus wants is a hug. No one in his family pays enough attention to him to know he wants one, much less to give one. He sets off one day to be on his own, but meets a friend who could use a hug, too. Lovely story to remind us of the power of a kind and thoughtful action toward others. Treat others how you want to be treated.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
I loved this book so much. I teared up when I read it because I identified with a fictional cactus from a children's book. The art is amazing and I will be buying a copy of this book for my goddaughter, for sure.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I wasn't a big fan of the art but it showed well Felipe's feelings. On the story side, this picture book was really really cute, Felipe was touching and I really enjoyed how the story was told and the ending.
Madeline Hardee
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My classroom has cacti everywhere so I’m reading this to my class the first week of school. It’s a delightful picture book with adorable illustrations. The story is about a little cactus who just wants a hug. We will use it as a conversation starter about “sticking with kindness!”
Sweet as pie! I want a copy for my coffee table. Loved the artwork and the deceptive simplicity of the story. Lovely!
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
A very philosophical story about essentialism
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE, love, love, love this little book. The illustrations are a delight, so subtle and beautiful. Ciraolo masterfully conveys personality to each of the characters with remarkable expressions. The color palette is suave and pretty. I read it countless times. This is a book about a small cactus named Felipe. He is the cutest prickly thing: sweet natured, loving and caring. But his family is very strict and stern. Thy are all about personal space, cold and distant. He longed for someone to hold ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
These last years while working in schools, I came across many situations when very bright, very ambitious and hard-working students had great academic results but poor social skills and limited knowledge about life in general. In their gallop to make sure that their children were capable of solving high school math questions while still in primary school, the parents forgot to show the young ones how society works, how people live and, most importantly, how much affection and kindness are needed ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Who knew a little cactus will want a warm hug, like some of us do? Hug Me is a book about a small cactus named Felipe, who lives in a family that is not very affectionate like he is. In the middle of the book, Felipe befriends a balloon, but it doesn't go well, and he moves out of his home because he doesn't feel like he belongs there anymore. Felipe lived all by himself until he heard a cry of loneliness, like he had felt before when he wanted a hug. In the end, the book ends with a happy endin ...more
Mackenzie Fawcett
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-kiddo-books
This book is not bad, but unfortunately it is not great either. It tells a story about a cactus that wants to be hugged (adorable premise), and I love that the language is not too elementary. However, there are places where the reader is meant to infer information, and I like that it promotes imagination, but I can see a kiddo being perturbed by that. Not bad, adorable illustrations, but not a fave.
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pb
A story of neglect and seeking out your place in the world, disguised as a cute castus tale.

The book followings the emotional journey of a young cactus, born into a cold, high class family. The metaphors are so on the nose, that I am puzzled by the balloon part in the middle. Does anyone have a guess for what the cactus did to hurt the balloon?

An interesting story, but I wish the conclusion had a couple more pages.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Adorable, deceptively simple but complex in its ideas as the little cactus, raised in a stiff-lipped, tense, judgemental family, reaches out for love, fails at first to find it, decides to be alone, but then the laments of another lonely soul reignite his affection and compassion and the two become best friends.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn't love a book about a cactus who only wants a hug, but his family isn't touchy-feely and nobody else wants to hug a cactus?

The illustrations weren't the best, the story was cute, but there was just something about the book that I loved.
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Simona Ciraolo studied animation at the National Film School in Turin, Italy, and earned a master's in illustration at the Cambridge School of Art in England, where she was awarded the Sebastian Walker Award in 2014. Simona Ciraolo now lives in London.

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