- Paperback: 36 pages
- Publisher: Self Published (June 12, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0978642503
- ISBN-13: 978-0978642501
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Paper Hug Paperback – June 12, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
A Paper Hug follows a child as his father is called to deploy overseas. It covers emotions and issues that are likely to be experienced by both children and the parent left behind. This is important in preparing children during such a life changing event. In a military family, it is crucial to talk to children about deployments, and what to expect. This is not always an easy task! This book covers quite a bit!
The story starts with the father being notified he was being called to duty. Mom and son gather items for dad to take with him in order to remember them. This is a valid fear for children- daddy might forget me- so I truly liked this as a starter for the story. It also encourages children to get to know their dad or mom, so they can put together a care package full of things they might enjoy while deployed.
The child in the story experiences a time where he just cries about the situation, which is a normal response. In this time, he figures out he can make something very special for his dad- a paper hug. It details just how the paper hug was created with simple supplies that many young children can handle. (construction paper, yarn, tape, simple measurements..)It even includes a poem that your own child can use to enclose with their very own paper hug.
The family says their good bye to dad as he left, and then a letter arrives a few weeks later. I find that this section is very helpful for children when forming expecations. Many younger children think that letters will come quickly, or that when a letter comes it will be for them. From the book, "Three weeks went by before we got a letter from dad. It was a long one. He told us about what he was doing, what the food was like and mostly stuff for Mom- BUT there was a "p.s" just for me-'Thanks for the surprise box AND especially the hug!'" This is easy for a young child to understand, and shows them that it may take a while, and you may not get a letter for yourself, but dad IS thinking about you.
The book even goes into the late or early hour phone calls that dad might make, and how mom will do most of the talking, and many times the calls come when the children are in bed due to the time difference. Yet again, another expecation is discussed so children will not be overly dissapointed.
The story has the best ending of course, with dad returning home, and getting a real hug to replace the paper hug that kept him going for so long.
I have been asked to review many military related books- this one by far has been the most well done. The author and illustrator are a mother-daughter team who have sent family to Iraq, and lived through the experience with young children. The story is well written for a young child to read on their own or with a parent, and the drawings are done in such a fashion that a child can "get into." Not overly complicated, with bold and fun colors.
Overall I completely recommend this book to be a part of the library of any military family with young children. Having resources to prepare the parent are wonderful- but having a book just for kids written in the perspective of a child, in my opinion, is just as important.
The story details a reserve soldier who is activated and sent to war. His son talks about crying and feeling sad about his father's upcoming deployment, and decides to put a box together for his dad to take with him. He tries to think of the perfect things to put in the box, and finally comes up with the magnificent, yet simple "Paper Hug." The child traces his hands and writes a sweet note on them, asks his mom to measure his arm span, and uses that measurement to cut string to attach the two hand cut-outs. The hug is meant as a pick-me-up for his dad when he is feeling lonely.
After reading this story, my son decided to make a paper hug for his dad. We sent it and my normally far from sentimental husband did something that surprised me. He started taking the hug with him every time he left his base. He even sent us a picture of the hug hanging up in his truck. My son constantly brings up how proud he is of making that paper hug and how much daddy loves getting hugs from him even though he is far away.
As an aside, I must say I'm quite surprised by the comment about this book's supposed poor word choice. I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I respectfully disagree. I have no concerns with the use of the word "war" in this book. I know that if I don't give my child a little background on where his father is and what he is doing, someone else will, and they may be much more blunt about it than I am.
The story is about deployment and separation and how children miss their daddies. More importantly it is about how much daddies miss their families and children. It is a must buy for any military family who is dealing with deployment. The illustrations work well with the story line and together makes for a power little story for young children. I think this book could also start a trend of children making hand crafted "paper hugs" much like the "yellow-ribbons" got the public's attention.
Bravo to the author and illustrator. This book earns the MWSA's coveted FIVE TEDDY BEARS children's book rating!
Posted on The Military Writer's Society of America Book Reviews