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I Need A Hug

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  713 ratings  ·  132 reviews
'I need a hug. Will you cuddle me, Lou?' 'What? With those spikes? Get away from me! Shoo!' All this little porcupine wants is a hug. But with such prickly spikes, will she ever get the cuddle she craves?
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Scholastic Australia
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  713 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I Need a Hug. Don't we all?! OK, so today was library day!!! Recently I was told about the wonder that is Aaron Blabey by my awesome librarians and how popular his books are with the kids the librarians read to. So I figure if it's good enough for the kiddies, then it's good enough for me and my librarians haven't pointed me in the wrong direction yet so I'm currently in possession of the first batch of Blabey books I ordered last week.

So, our sweet but prickly porcupine needs a hug so she asks
Jillian Heise
ETA: On my first read, I liked this book, and so did my students. But on a deeper read, some problematic issues came to the forefront. While it was entertaining for my students, after a more critical look, we had to stop and have a discussion on consent in the middle of the book.
1st: If you want a hug, great. Ask for one. Buy why does the porcupine ask for a "cuddle"? It seems that may cross into uncomfortable territory.
2nd: After being told no by several animals, the porcupine states that the
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I have a problem with a sad porcupine saying he needs a hug, then asking others to cuddle. He calls them unkind when they run away from him. Same with a snake who asks for a kiss. Hugging someone who is sad isn't a bad thing, but it's confusing when he follows it by needing to cuddle. If a stranger, or even an acquaintance for that matter, asked me to cuddle or kiss, I'd run far away too. I do want kids to say no to someone who asks them to do something that makes them uncomfortable.
As others have pointed out, while this book is meant to be humorous, there is a consent issue here because the porcupine asks others to "cuddle" him and when they say no, he says they're being unkind. This would be a good book to discuss boundaries and consent with kids and making sure they understand that adults should not be forcing them to hug anyone, even relatives, if they don't want to.
You and me both, hedgehog....(I want a hug too)
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An adorable book for all ages to showcase love and kindness.
Shallowreader VaVeros
You say porcupine, I say echidna.

I love this book. Ever so funny
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aaron Blabey Fans / Readers Looking for Fun New Picture-Books
A little porcupine asks each of his woodland friends for a hug in this latest picture-book offering from Australian author/artist Aaron Blabey, the creator of the Pig the Pug picture-books and the The Bad Guys series of comic books/beginning chapter-books. Unfortunately, the other animals have no interest in hugging so prickly a character, until our hystricine hero encounters someone who is also having trouble finding a little love...

The premise of I Need a Hug - that a porcupine has trouble
Linda Patchett
A porcupine politely asks a rabbit, next an elk, and then a bear for a hug and snuggle. But they all run loudly from the opportunity. Then a snake who wants a kiss appears on the scene! Such a fun story to read to 2 to 5/6 years olds. The rhyming narrative and fun action words add to the charm and learning. Engaging and clean illustrations with plenty of blank space are drawn in cartoonish fashion with strokes of compassion and realism. Excellent storytime read for the themes of kindness and fri ...more
Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aaron Blabey is one of my favs.
Anissa Papadakos
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best book ever
My daughter and I loved it
Tracy Holland
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Adorable story about a porcupine needing a hug, and some love... no one wants to give him a hug, except... one equally dangerous animal.
I need to implement porcupine storytime with this and Elmore.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite preschoolers requested this book at storytime before lunch. I enjoyed reading a book about what is not just a wish for a hug but a need for physical contact. I didn't see it as being about how you can't say no to a request for a hug. I'm glad this preschool program supports positive teacher and student contact like hugs.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
So very cute and also rhymes! Hooray! This book brought to mind these Kimya Dawson lyrics (song is Tree Hugger):

And the rattlesnake said
"I wish I had hands so
I could hug you like a man"
And then the cactus said
"Don't you understand
My skin is covered with sharp spikes
That'll stab you like a thousand knives.
A hug would be nice
But hug my flower with your eyes."

Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect book for a "hugs and kisses" storytime for babies and toddlers. The pictures are really cute and the text sparse enough that I didn't loose them. A coworker of mine said that the topic has been done to death (of porcupines looking for love), but this was great for what I needed it for.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love Blabey's illustration style. But the story itself has been done before... and done better. I'm disappointed.
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Ooh, this is a good one! Clever and funny, with a dose of sweetness and a porcupine to root for. The ending is terrific.

This is a definitely a new one to try out at storytime!
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: yabc-reviews
Find my full review here:

I NEED A HUG features a porcupine who knows she needs a cuddle. However, none of the animals want to cuddle with her. When she sees the animals running back, she thinks they changed their minds, but rather, they run past as they flee a snake who wants a kiss. Lucky for porcupine, the snake is happy to offer a cuddle.

What I loved: The illustrations on this book are simple but lovely with loads of bright colors. The word-to-picture
Sarah G-Law
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: curious-reads
In this funny new book, a porcupine wants a hug. He asks a bear, a moose and a rabbit who all refuse to hug such a spikey creature. He then happens upon a slithery snake who wants a kiss but also keeps getting rejected. Together they are able to help each other and find a new friend.

What did we learn?

Hmmm, this is actually a toughie. I’m currently trying to teach my son that it’s okay to say ‘no’ when he doesn’t want to hug or kiss someone. At the same time, I’m teaching him that hugs are ways t
Ben Truong
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Need A Hug is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey. It is a book of a little porcupine that needs a hug – a cuddle, just finding someone is rather difficult.

The text is very simplistic and straightforward – it just seems like one short poem stretched out to over several pages. The poem itself is nice – not particularly lyrical and the rhyming couplets were forced, but it's still a good poem – a story told in verse. The illustrations are done well – a tad on the min
The Reading Countess
Short, humorous, rhyming picture book where the illustrations steal the show? Yes, please.
Finding ‘your people’ takes time. Just ask porcupine. He struck out three times until a surprising, yet perfect match, slithered up on him. There’s someone for everyone, folks. Opposites attract. Friendship can be found in the most unlikely places. Perseverance pays off. A positive attitude wins the day. This one’s a gold mine for teaching the author’s “so-what.”
I could hear the giggles from the kiddies (
Ms. Arca
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Silly book that I can see kids laughing at..

I can’t say I loved the concepts beneath this one if I was to play the ‘analyze the simple picture book game’ (I do play this game and try to choose books I love all the way around for my young audiences). I think if I read this multiple times I’d start to wonder about the repetitiveness of the hedgehog insisting he needed a hug — his friends consistently told him no... so he should get the memo? Or on the flip side, if this is hedgehog really express
Minimal rhyming text and simple but meaningful illustrations, created with acrylics and pen and pencils, follow a porcupine as he reaches out for affection. No matter how earnest his entreaties are, the other animals avoid him because of his quills. This makes him feel even sadder and in need of love. When he sees them racing back toward him, at first he thinks they've had a change of heart. But no, they're avoiding a snake who is also in search of affection. As it turns out, the two of them--th ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
I Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey. PICTURE BOOK. Scholastic Press, February 2019. $15. 9781338297102



Porcupine asks creature after creature for a hug, but no one seems to want to oblige. When he meets a snake who just wants a kiss, the pair may have found a solution for both of their problems.

I don’t know if you’ve met I Want A Hug by John A. Rowe, a book with a similar theme, but I think both books are great read aloud choices. Blabey’s artistic
Melanie Dulaney
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
My 4th and 5th graders love Aaron Blakey’s Bad Guys graphic novel series and I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation at Scholastic’s dessert event at the 2017 Texas Library Association, so when my Book Fair arrived with a large number of his picture books, I sat down with a stack. With its prickly but adorable hedgehog and bold lettering, “I Want a Hug” is a great book for the toddler through kindergarten crowd. Adults reading aloud to their small fry listeners will have ample opportunity to use g ...more
Andrea Damic
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I need a hug" is a cute, warm book with an unlikely ending but nonetheless educational. I give it four stars as I have saved five stars for Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley.

I have to admit that the first time I read this book to my three year old, she actually started crying when (of all the animals), Moe (the Bear) refused to hug the little porcupine. She was inconceivable. My husband and I thought that we will not be able to read this cute little story to her ever again. However, as I do bel
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A porcupine feels like he needs a hug, but many refuse when he asks for one. However, he is able to get one from an unlikely source. This is overall a cute picture book, but I can see how it might bring up issues about consent. The porcupine implies that hugging and cuddling are synonymous and the definitely are not. He also says they are unkind for saying "no." This would be a good opportunity for a discussion. I don't think this means it is a bad picture book, but it is something to take into ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-and-ya
Who doesn't need a hug every now and again? This is the beautiful tale of a little porcupine (or echidna) who desperately wants to cuddle, but is having a hard time finding someone to give that comfort.

Blabey has written in rhyme, and the text is simple and clear. It's probably targeted for children aged 3+, but my 1-year-old just loves it.

The illustrations are just beautiful. It's hard not to empathise with the spiky animal whose face is so expressive and wonder intentions are so pure.
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Aaron is an Australian author of children's books and artist who until the mid-2000s was also an actor. His award winning picture books include Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon and the best-selling Pig the Pug.

In the field of acting, he is probably best known for his lead roles in two television dramedies, 1994's The Damnation of Harvey McHugh, for which he won an
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