Simon the Hugger - Story Snug

Simon the Hugger by Stacy B. Davids & Ana Sebastián

Simon the Hugger loves hugs but in this sensitively written picture book he learns about how and when it’s appropriate to hug his friends. This beautifully illustrated picture book about consent can help children learn that it’s ok to protect their personal space.

The Story: Simon, a very lovable sloth, hugs everyone and everything – even himself! But one day his friend Elsa doesn’t want to hug him goodbye, Trixy doesn’t want a hug after she wins a competition and when Simon hugs baby Bingo at a party he is confused when she says no. Simon is devastated so he makes a sign saying Please Hug Me. But then Porcupine comes along…

Porcupine’s arrival causes Simon to consider whether he wants to be hugged and leads him to the realisation that it’s important to ask before offering a hug. He also realises that it’s fine to say no if you don’t want a hug and he puts his new theory to the test when Elsa injures herself.

Ana Sebastián’s animal illustrations are awesome and we love the way that she captures different emotions through their expressions and body language. The illustration showing all the animals is our favourite. We love the crocodile hiding behind the tree!

At the end of the book is a page of suggestions as to how you can talk to a child about the story and gives examples of questions and responses that a child can use if they feel uncomfortable hugging.

Simon the Hugger can also be used to stimulate classroom discussions about asking for consent when you want to give or receive a hug. The story can be used to demonstrate the fact that asking before hugging is totally appropriate and that saying no to physical contact is also ok and shouldn’t cause offence.

Age Range: 3+

Author: Stacy B. Davids / Illustrator: Ana Sebastián

Thank you to Suzy Senior for sending a review copy of Simon the Hugger.

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14 responses to “Simon the Hugger by Stacy B. Davids & Ana Sebastián”

  1. Carol avatar

    A perfect book for learning about personal space – kids would have fun hearing the story and discover that people are different in all kinds of ways. #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a lovely story for showing children that it’s ok to protect their personal space, the characters are very cute and relatable to children.

  2. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs avatar

    I love the sound of this book. It approaches the subject of personal space with such a gentle nature.
    It is an especially lovely way to discuss spacial awareness with autistic children who can find reading emotions of others quite challenging. 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      Yes, this book would be a great support for autistic children too 🙂

  3. Amila avatar

    This sounds a great book to share the idea hugging. Children will learn it from the young age and it will beneficial for them when they grow up. The illustrations look nice too. Thanks for introducing.

    1. Catherine avatar

      The story is more about giving others permission to hug you and being comfortable with saying no to a hug. The characters do enjoy hugs but with the consent of the other party.

  4. Jo avatar

    What a great idea for a book, perfect for broaching this subject with younger children. #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      The subject of consent has been tackled very sensitively 🙂

  5. RaisieBay avatar

    As a non hugger I think this is a really good book. Hugs are great, I get that, but not everyone actually enjoys them and it’s good to ask first, starting children thinking about this at a young age can be good. Some might say that we should be encouraging hugs as they are kind, but I can remember even as far back as infant school (when I was 6, so a very long time ago) I was hugged by someone and it overwhelmed me. I totally approve of this book and the illustrations are adorable. …btw, I’d love a hug from a sloth, lol.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s really important for children and adults to feel comfortable saying no to a hug, as you say many children can feel overwhelmed by the offer of a hug. I think that Covid has also helped people feel more comfortable speaking out about having their personal space invaded. Simon the Hugger is a great book to help children speak out when they need to.

  6. Linda Hofke avatar
    Linda Hofke

    What a great cover illustration! And a good topic for kids (and adults as well).

    1. Catherine avatar

      The illustrations are fabulous and this really is a picture book with a message for readers young and old 🙂

  7. Kim Carberry avatar

    What a lovely story and an important message for little one’s. x

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a great story for helping children understand that maybe sometimes others don’t want to be hugged and how to handle that situation 🙂