'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 10 May 2013

Review: The Trouble with Bear Hugs - A Story about Asthma

I’ll be honest. In my experience, picture books addressing certain medical conditions or social problems, while well intentioned are often preachy or patronising. I was so pleased and excited to find that The Trouble with Bear Hugs: A Story about Asthma is definitely neither of these things.

The story is simple, but almost perfectly crafted. The lovely Lulu is not introduced to us as an asthma sufferer, but instead as a lover of liquorice, chickens, and wearing things on her head, an approach that means Lulu is not defined only by her condition.

As Lulu plays in her garden one day, she starts to get a feeling, which becomes like a ‘giant bear was giving her a big furry too-tight bear hug”. Lulu describes her chest hurting and lack of breath, introducing the reader to some common symptoms of an asthma attack. The attack is dealt with by Lulu’s Pop, who gives her a puffer and then talks to Lulu about the best things to do when she feels an attack coming on.

The illustration style of this book is wonderful, presenting the story in a bright and colourful manner. By utilising the ‘bear hug’ analogy, the illustrator is able to visually present an asthma attack, simultaneously showing kids who suffer from asthma what signs to look out for and those who don’t a way to imagine what it might feel like.

The Trouble with Bear Hugs: A Story about Asthma is endorsed by the Asthma Australia foundation and is soon to be an eBook. For more information or order a copy of the book visit www.asthmapeeps.com

Title: The Trouble with Bear Hugs: A Story about Asthma
Author: Kym Latter & Cassie Stroud
Publisher: Asthma Peeps, $16.75 RRP
Publication Date: 2012
Format: Paper Back
ISBN: 9780987374707
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture Book