Reviews for Nobody hugs a cactus

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A grumpy cactus learns that sharing affection feels good.Hank sits in a round pot in the window of an adobe structure surrounded by desert. According to the straightforward text, "It was hot, dry, peaceful, and quiet. Just the way Hank liked it." Soon enough, however, the peace is punctured by a number of creatures passing by. Rosie the Tumbleweed calls a cheerful greeting, as do a timid turtle, a jackrabbit, and a coyote, among others. Hank hollers at each of them, but after a cowboy points out that "nobody hugs a cactus," Hank can't quite shake the feeling that he's missing something. When Rosie rolls by again and does him a favor, he decides to reciprocate, which leads to a hug after all. Watercolor illustrations allow the paper's texture to show through and feature sandy golds, subtle greens, and an expanse of sky that moves from clear blues to pinks, reds, and purples to indicate the passage of time. Goodrich imbues Hank with plenty of personality. He's spike-headed with two stubby arms, and he looks alternately cranky, forlorn, shocked, and friendly. Elongated shapes and unusual perspectives add interest and complement the low-key, conversational text.Caregivers of grumpy young listeners may not be entirely convinced by Hank's relatively rapid turnaround, but the closing thought ("After all, it's better to be stuck in a hug than stuck all alone") is one that can be embraced by all. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

One look at the prickly, anger-flushed fellow scowling from the book's cover is enough to understand why Hank (a cactus) and hugs don't get along. He enjoys a solitary life in the windowsill of a desert hut, where he can survey the surrounding Southwestern vistas, beautifully painted by Goodrich in watercolors that capture the golden sands and sky fluctuating between peach-strawberry sunsets and crisp blue afternoons. One day, Hank's peace and quiet is repeatedly interrupted (to his mounting frustration) by a variety of passers-by cheerful Rosie the tumbleweed, a turtle, a jackrabbit, a coyote. But it's not until a cowboy strolls past the now-fuming Hank and declares, Seems to me, somebody needs a hug. Too bad nobody hugs a cactus that Hank begins to question his grumpy attitude. When Rosie does Hank a favor the next time she bounces by, his grinchy heart blossoms with gratefulness, and . . . is that a hug on the horizon? Goodrich (We Forgot Brock!, 2015) delivers a funny story underscored by themes of friendship and kindness. An excellent storytime pick.--Julia Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Cactus Hank spends life sitting in the window of a desert home and snubbing the odd turtle, tumbleweed, or other passerby. After Hank snaps at a cowboy, the man says, "Seems to me, somebody needs a hug." That gets Hank thinking... This wry tale of blossoming self-awareness boasts watercolors of amazing variety given that all scenes feature an immobile plant. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

New Yorker cover artist and animated film character designer Goodrich (We Forgot Brock!) infuses humor and sweetness into the simplest of settings and the most unassuming of characters. Hank, a cactus who sits in a pottery bowl in the window of a boxy structure, loves the peace and quiet of his remote desert home, so his smile morphs into a comically exaggerated frown when friendly passers-by attempt to engage him. He ignores a cheerful tumbleweed, frightens a tortoise, and lashes out at a jackrabbit who offers a snide greeting ("Hiya, Prickles!"). But after he shoos away a lanky cowboy, who caustically retorts, "Seems to me, somebody needs a hug. Too bad nobody hugs a cactus," Hank has a change of heart and tries to solicit hugs-initially unsuccessfully. Dominated by subtle earth tones true to its desert setting, spare yet emotive watercolor art reveals how the cactus, with a small act of kindness, disproves the book's title. In wryly understated words and pictures, Goodrich delivers a tale that is equally charming and droll-and a smart pick for cranky kids. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.