"A hug is a near universal form of physical intimacy, in which two people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely. If more than two persons are involved, this is referred to as a group hug." -- Wikipedia definition
"Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me"
-- Lennon & McCartney
"The Word found The Beatles singing for the first time about love as a notional concept. It was a turning point in their writing, marking a transition between early songs such as She Loves You, and the psychedelic era's belief that All You Need is Love."
-- from beatlesbible.com
"I'm feeling sad. I think I need--
"Wait! We know what will cheer you up. Let's play hide-and-seek!
"No, thank you. I just need--"
Wait. Wait. Now, I'll tell you. Duck and Duck's friends are not from my neck of the woods. Duck and Duck's friends are just not getting it. That is, getting what Goose really needs.
It's different here in the San Francisco Bay area where the Summer of Love took place forty-six years ago. This here is the land of hugs.
Here, when you meet someone for the first time, you give them a big hug. Here, when you say good morning to your housemates or friends or coworkers, or when someone comes home, or when someone's just dealt with anything at all challenging, you give them a big hug. You walk in to pick up a slice of pizza or a tempeh burger to go? You give the owner and the waitresses a hug. When you go into a job interview? You start by going around the room and hugging everybody. It's easy. It feels great. Children here are raised to instinctively hug everyone and everything they meet. Here, we need the kind of books that warn children not to hug skunks.
But in other parts of the world, like Back East, Down South, or A Thousand Miles From Any Decent Surfing, little kids and even lots of grownups often need help in learning about hugging. I can tell sometimes that I'm far from home because I'll be at some convention and I'll walk up to an author I haven't previously met and give him or her a big hug and get a vibe like I'm from another planet. This can be a problem.
And so you have here the tale of Goose needing a hug and having his friends offering everything else in the world to him. When they finally let him get a word in, he tells them what he is really needing, and -- lucky for him -- they happily oblige. What he needs, of course, same as anybody else, is a hug.
Here, we all know about hugs. Now the rest of the United States gets to catch up on the magic of hugging thanks to this great board book.
Now come on over here.
Let me give you a hug.