Don't Hug Doug (He Doesn't Like It): A story about consent; Carrie Finison, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug? Maybe it’s from a relative, a person that you’re meeting for the very first time, a game-winning hug or a consoling hug? Lots of people want to give Doug a hug but he has a very important message that needs to be heard.
Doug likes lots of things. He likes to sort his rock collection, he likes to try on his sock collection and he likes to draw with his chalk collection. There’s one thing that Doug doesn’t like though…hugs. They are too squashy, too squeezy, too squooshy, too smooshy. He doesn’t need hello hugs, good-bye hugs, game-winning hugs or dropped ice-cream cone hugs. He’d much prefer a high five, a side five, a skinny five or an elbow five. Doug’s body is his and he gets to choose what happens to it because everybody gets to decide for themselves whether they want a hug or not…
Discussing consent and boundaries with young children can be difficult, especially when it comes to hugs, such a natural act for many children. With engaging illustrations and fun and playful text, Don’t Hug Doug delivers a clear message…hugs are not for everyone. It will make the non-huggers feel validated and recognised and help the huggers to understand that not everyone gets that warm and fuzzy feeling when being hugged.
Sweet, gentle, funny and incredibly important, Don’t Hug Doug is a brilliant look at how we all have different levels of comfort when it comes to physical contact. It’s okay to not like to be hugged. It’s okay to set your own boundaries. It’s okay to state your likes and dislikes and what makes you feel uncomfortable. And it’s absolutely okay to say ‘NO’, just like Doug.
Although hugs are usually well-intentioned they should never be given unless the recipient is willing to accept and is comfortable with receiving one. If you’re not sure if it is okay to hug, ask. It is essential that all children understand that they have bodily autonomy and Doug is very effective in driving home the message that hugs and bodily contact are not for everyone. He is a great kid; he is friendly, polite and would be a great mate to have. He delivers his message in such a warm way that you want to give him a hug for his efforts - but don’t, he doesn’t like it. He will quite happily give you a high five though.
An awesome introduction to consent for kids that teaches them about their own personal space and respecting that of others. It will empower and encourage children to set their own boundaries and take control of their personal space from an early age.
Recommend for 3+.