Author: Ben Mantle

18 to 23 Months Poetry/Songs

This sweet and colorful book is perfect for teaching little ones about different kinds of hugs. The adorable illustrations and fun rhymes will make your toddler want to read this book over and over. Magnetic hugging “arms” make this book fun for tiny hands to play with as well as read.

Before, During and After Reading

Letter Knowledge 

Look at the cover of the book with your toddler and point out the title, calling out  each letter in the word. You might say:

H-U-G, that spells hug! Look at these bears hugging! They really look happy. They’re smiling! Can you show me a big smile? 

Phonological Awareness

The book is full of alliteration (i.e., Squashy, Squeezy, & Twisty Tangly) and rhyming words (i.e., wriggly, jiggly and giggly). As you read the words with expression, you are exposing your child to some words that have the same beginning sounds and some words that rhyme. This experience is helping to lay the foundation for the pre-reading skills your toddler will develop as she gets older.       

Oral Language

Talk to your toddler about the different animals in the book. Describe what they look like, where they live or what they do.

For example:

Look at the long necks on the giraffes. They can reach up high into the trees to eat their food.

The kangaroos hop and bounce around. Can you show me how you hop up and down?

The bats hang upside-down to sleep. You don’t hang upside down to sleep! That would be funny. Show me how you go to sleep. 

Oral Language

Give your toddler a big hug and encourage him to hug his stuffed animals too. Talk about how it feels to hug her or her stuffed animals.

You might say:

I love to give you big hugs because you are so soft and squishy, warm and wiggly! Do you love giving your teddy bear a big hug too? His fur is comfy and cozy!


Explore more books that focus on the themes of family and love:

"Mommy Hugs"

Guess How Much I Love You

My Mommy and I

Baby Dance   

Browse even more recommended children’s books for toddlers 18 to 23 months, or find an easy at-home activity designed to help build pre-reading skills in your toddler.