Tag Archives: We Love You Hugless Douglas

National Hug Day with Hugless Douglas

Hugless Douglas in London looking for hugs

Monday 21st January is the most depressing day of the year, according to some made-up calculations. It’s also National Hug Day, which seems like a much better idea. In honour of this, a giant Hugless Douglas will be out and about in London all day. He’ll need all that fur with snow predicted. Brrrrr!

David and Douglas’ London Schedule:
8.30am Hugless Douglas at Watermark bookshop, Kings Cross Station.
10.00am Hugless Douglas at Buckingham Palace.
11.00am David Melling and Hugless Douglas at Waterstones Piccadilly signing books and giving hugs.
2.00pm David Melling and Hugless Douglas at Netley Primary School giving 117 free books to the children!
4.00pm David Melling and Hugless Douglas at Watermark books, Kings Cross Station signing books and giving hugs.

If you’re out in London and take a photo of your hug with Hugless Douglas, tweet it to @hodderchildrens and you could win a Hugless Douglas plush and signed book.

Signed books and slippers

If you’re not in London, how about a set of signed books and fluffy Hugless Douglas slippers? This wonderful prize comes courtesy of Hachette Children’s Books and I wish I could enter because they look so lush! Fortunately there’s a second chance to win with Book Sniffer too.

For one entry into the draw, let me know about your favourite kind of hug. For a second entry, do some social media sharing or tell a friend about National Hug Day and Hugless Douglas. Winner chosen via the Rafflecoptor widget below so make sure your entry counts! The competition closes at 12am 22nd January.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Look at those slippers, aren’t they gorgeous?

If you’re on Twitter, follow @davidmelling1 and @hodderchildrens because they’re awesome, and for notification of other competitions throughout the week.

We Love You Hugless Douglas by David Melling

We Love You, Hugless Douglas: David Melling (Hodder Children's Books, 2013)

We Love You, Hugless Douglas: David Melling
(Hodder Children’s Books, 2013)

There’s a commonly held belief that for Star Trek films (the ones with the original cast at least), the even numbered in the series are superior to the odd. I mention this because I’ve found the opposite with the Hugless Douglas books… Hugless Douglas and Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep are examples of the best in picture books; Don’t Worry, Hugless Douglas and We Love You, Hugless Douglas are merely very good!

Don’t Worry, Hugless Douglas was shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book Awards 2012 and all four are excellent books in a series that I not only recommend wholeheartedly but also dedicated a blog week and a Pinterest board to so I am perhaps a teeny bit over critical…

In this tale, Douglas bumps into Flossie the sheep who has lost her best friend. Together, Flossie and Douglas set off to look for Little Sheep. For reasons not quite explained, Flossie is stuck (literally) to Douglas. This is reminiscent of the sheep sticking to Douglas’ back in The Big Sleep and where Douglas finds Flossie stuck in the tree. We even get a Thank-You Hug 🙂

Cow from Don’t Worry makes a return, with her best friend and new characters in the form of (unnamed and unmentioned, perhaps they are in book 5?) hedgehogs. Rabbit returns with a troop of bouncing bunnies (maybe one of them is the original rabbit from Hugless Douglas that, being male, hasn’t been seen since?)

Flossie and Little Sheep are reunited after a rummage through a leafy bush filled with bric-a-brac and just one sheep this time, but Douglas starts to feel sad because he doesn’t have a friend like all the other characters they’d met. Fortunately wise old owl doesn’t call Douglas a twit this time, but instead shows Douglas how loved he really is.

As usual, the illustrations are pieces of perfection with many details to look out for. For any child with the series of books, there are so many parts that refer to other books throughout the series that each book is a joy to re-read over and over. Highlights for us were the adorable hedgehogs and crazy bouncing bunnies, but my personal favourite illustration is the double spread where Douglas sits alone and melancholy because of the emotion that seeps through.

The final double spread is full of “I [heart] something” images and are MG & DG’s favourite part. We choose our favourites from the selection, on the last reading MG chose “I [heart] my mum” and DG chose “I [heart] my dad” 🙂

We Love You, Hugless Douglas is published on 3rd January 2013 in the UK and is well worth getting for the illustrations alone.

Image (c) David Melling


Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of We Love You, Hugless Douglas by Hachette Childrens Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

Hugless Douglas Week: Downloads

Fortunately for Hugless Douglas fans, there are lots of freebies available online from colouring in sheets to teaching guides.

David Melling’s own website and blog (plus facebook and twitter) are a wealth of sneak peaks of upcoming work, videos and sketches:
Buy a signed print from Hugless Douglas
Keep an eye on upcoming events
Sneaky peek of upcoming Hugless Douglas project
Sneaky peek of We Love You Hugless Douglas
Behind the Scenes painting Hugless Douglas
Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep storyboard
World Book Day 2012 with link to video of event including sketching Douglas live
There are also free downloads and resources for various books, including this Hugless Douglas Mother’s Day card to make:

From my very favourite and most wonderful local independent bookstore: Mostly Books, Abingdon
David Melling LIVE! – a page full of info plus two must-watch videos
Five Questions with David Melling – interview with Douglas’ “dad”
I Need a Hug! – event to celebrate the launch of first Hugless Douglas book (featuring the back of three year old MG’s head, and her picture of Douglas)

Activity Booklet

Hachette Children’s Books have very kindly given me permission to upload the activity booklet that is available in printed form at Hugless Douglas events. This is a 12-page PDF with dot-to-dot, maze, spot-the-difference, mobile to make and my favourite of all: how to draw Douglas. Download link here.

Hachette Children’s Colouring Sheets

The five PDF files shown above (colouring pages, Father’s Day card and sketches activity) can be downloaded from here. The Father’s Day Card and Love sheets are unique to this site.


In addition, the Tree Hug colouring sheet (shown above with full Mum Hug sheet) are included in the zip file of booklets that can be downloaded here (if the direct link doesn’t work, try this page and click ‘Colouring in templates’ link). This file includes the Sketches Activity and Boulder & Mum Hugs colouring from the website above.

Boulder, Tree and Mum Hug can also be downloaded from Scholastic.

Teaching Guides
There are a host of resources for teaching using Hugless Douglas, I wrote about related activities yesterday and here are some more teaching guides and activity ideas:
Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award activity sheet (PDF)
Tiger Tales teaching and reading guide (PDF)
Teaching Library teaching ideas (webpage)
ESL Printables reading worksheet (you need to be a member and make an upload to download this sheet but a full preview is available if you register for free)

Hugless Douglas Week: Activity Ideas

“Hugless Douglas Activities” is one of the biggest search terms to this blog, therefore I’ve been thinking about what to do for this post for a while. After several hours of often fruitless google searches, I eventually remembered Pinterest and added a whole host of eclectic ideas onto an HD springboard board 😉 A selection are included below with suggested themes.

I have included a linky at the bottom of this post for you to add any related activity posts, and please do comment to suggest themes you think should be added too.

Theme: Bears

Circles Bear from First PaletteCircles Bear

A wonderfully simple craft that even very small children could manage (with help cutting out the circles) and added learning in the form of big/small and shapes.

Hugless Douglas arms from DomesticaliHugless Douglas Arms

No tutorial here, but I had to link to these fantastic bear arms made specifically for Hugless Douglas. Very crafty parents may be able to rustle up something similar!

Teddy Bear Toast from miniecoTeddy Bear Toast

A delicious looking snack to try for your little bears, look like it can be made by small children too so practical skills, cuteness and a fairly healthy snack or breakfast alternative.

Potato Paw Prints from Sunny Side Up!Potato Paw Prints

I love the idea of actually using jam to make paw prints, but I don’t think I’d be able to go through with it. All small children love to make a big mess pawprints 🙂

Bears from Handprint & Footprint ArtHandprint and Footprint Bears

Another nice and simple craft for young children and up. If you’ve not tried animal handprints, Red Ted Art has an entire alphabet of them!


For older children:
Bears feature in many of David’s books. Look at the bears in the following books:
The Star-Faced Crocodile
The Kiss That Missed trilogy
Two by Two and a half
How they are different from each other and from Hugless Douglas? How are they similar? Are all the bears friendly?

Other book series bears to look out for:
Big Bear & Little Bear (Martin Waddell & Barbara Firth)
Bear (Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman)
The Bear (Jez Alborough)
The Bear with Sticky Paws (Clara Vulliamy)
George & Bartholemew (Virginia Miller)
Muffin (Clara Vulliamy)
Old Bear & Little Bear (Jane Hissey)
Paddington (Michael Bond & various)
Winnie the Pooh (A A Milne & E H Shepard)

Theme: Other Animals in the Hugless Douglas Books
For sheep, see Theme: Sheep, Wool, Knitting and Hats below

Owl Mask from Made in MeOwl Mask

How much fun is this owl mask? Plus it’s made from leaves so can be preceeded by a nature walk in most seasons, except winter. How would it look with green leaves I wonder?

Amazing Edible Owl from Creative PlayhouseAmazing Edible Owl

A fantastic treat for active youngsters. Krisproll, banana and chocolate buttons – who-ooo could resist? 🙂 I think I must have had food on the brain when I was collecting links, but I love this owl sandwich too!

Bunny Finger Puppet from HolloughbyRabbit Finger Puppet

This finger puppet looks fantastic, and I’m sure the sewing parts could be replaced by glueing for very small children. For something with a template to cut round, there’s these lovely bunny tree decorations.

Theme: Hibernation (Hugless Douglas)

Why has Douglas woken up and forgotten his mum? Well, several months of sleep is enough to confuse anyone! What is hibernation, and what other animals hibernate in winter?

Hibernation Craft from Almost UnschoolersHibernation Diorama

A complex papier-mâché and clay project to be attempted by children with a serious interest in hibernation (or making things!) and a fantastic result to be proud of when complete.

Hibernation Ideas from Mommy and Me Book ClubBear Cave Craft

As well as this bear cave perfect for young children to make, the link also includes a hibernation song and finger play which would be lovely to do with small children. Lots of other ideas too!

Animals in Winter from Montessori Print ShopAnimals in Winter

Not free, but I think Montessori Print Shop’s materials are well worth the price. This downloadable pdf makes a sorting game of how different animals respond to winter: do they hibernate, migrate or adapt?

Theme: Trees, Leaves, Rocks and Seasons (Hugless Douglas)

The search for a perfect hug is also a lovely sensory experience. On a nature walk, try to collect some stones, leaves, bark (or twigs) and maybe some raw wool to feel while reading the story. Does your child think that these things are nice to hug or not?

Autumn Leaf Shapes Printable from Simple CraftsLeaf Shapes

This site has a leaf shape template to download and cut out leaf shapes for all sorts of crafts – the examples on this page are gorgeous. You could also cut out paper leaves to make a tree or animal shapes for example.

Leaf Print Tree from First PaletteLeaf Print Tree

The Hugless Douglas books are full of trees and leaves, so this leaf print tree is a good expressive craft for small children to experiment with senses, colours and mess 🙂

Colourful Spring Branch from Inner Child FunColourful Spring Branch

Douglas wakes in the spring, so this fun craft project is another nice addition. When thinking about trees and leaves, the seasons come to mind as most trees change so visually throughout the seasons.

Rock Sensory Bin from Crafts-N-ThingsRock Sensory Bin

Great fun for small children – playing with stones and searching for small objects hidden in them. With added sensory feel of the rocks/pebbles – rough and smooth could be covered here too.

This huge free download from CurrClick has some seasonal learning ideas. I particularly like the tree patterns sheet on page 8, and the ‘how do I adapt to the seasons’ game on pages 41-42.

Theme: Sheep, Wool, Knitting & Hats (Don’t Worry Hugless Douglas)

Sheep feature throughout the Hugless Douglas books, and as an added learning link through Douglas’ hat is wooly. Conversations about how sheep are sheared for summer, how raw wool is processed and knitting and crochet can follow on from here.

Do you have any hats at home? What kind of hats are they: sun hats, winter hats, decorative hats? Why do we use hats? Can you design a hat? There are lots of hat crafts for small children, from a simple paper hat to pirate hats and beyond…

Cotton wool lamb from Rainy Day MumCotton Wool Sheep

Making sheep from cotton wool is loads of fun. This is a Mary had a Little Lamb craft which in turn leads to thinking about rhymes and fairy tales that can be read after Hugless Douglas, for example Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Cloud Dough from Pre-School PlayCloud Dough

This cloud dough looks like wooly sheep and would be a nice sensory follow on from thinking about sheep. Compare the texture with wool too, to see how things that look similar can feel very different.

Felted Balls from Let the Children PlayFelted Balls

Another sensory experience, and could be combined with the sensory bin idea for trees, leaves and rocks plus roving shows the stage between raw wool and yarn wool.

Wool Sheep from Mrs Karen's Pre-School IdeasWool Sheep

I think this craft idea is really good for cementing the link between wool on sheep and the wool used for knitting etc. The link has lots of farmyard ideas which don’t quite follow for Hugless Douglas but would be fun for another day.

Monster Hat from Knotty KnottyCrochet Hat

A fairly tenuous link here, but I thought this hat was so cute! I can’t knit or crochet but parents who can could probably make this together with children – the eyes might be good for children to make for instance. There’s some lovely hats on this site, including an owl hat.

Theme: Underground Homes (Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep)

Rabbit lives underground. What other animals can you think of that live underground? Ants, worms, moles? What are the similarities and differences between animals who make their homes under the ground?

Theme: Nocturnal and Diurnal (Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep)

Hugless Douglas goes to Rabbit’s for a sleepover. They are sleeping at night. Some animals sleep in the day. What does nocturnal mean? What does diurnal mean? What nocturnal and diurnal animals can you think of?

Nocturnal and Diurnal from A Little Learning for TwoNocturnal or Diurnal

A simple, visual way of describing the difference between nocturnal and diurnal animals plus ideas for a sorting game to make using pictures found online and printed.

Nocturnal or Diurnal from Montessori Print ShopNocturnal or Diurnal Sorting Game

Not free, but another Montessori Print Shop sorting game perfect for Hugless Douglas follow-on and saves looking up animals and finding quality images yourself.

Silly Songs
I couldn’t resist creating these silly songs (to the tune of well known nursery rhymes). I hope Mr Melling and Hachette Children’s Books will forgive me! 😉

You can download the song sheet here.

Depending on the age and interest of the child, reading the Goblins books to them before or after Hugless Douglas could lead on to cross-over activities. Some questions to think about:
What would a Hug Goblin look like?
Where would it live?
What would it do?
What would happen if Hugless Douglas met a Hug Goblin? Can you write a story about this?

And now it’s your turn… Please comment or add a link below. Tomorrow I will be rounding up a selection of colouring sheets and other resources you can download.

Note: All images are © their respective websites.