Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Loading Penguin Hugs: Heartwarming Comics from Chibird by Jacqueline Chen

I'm sure you've seen Jacqueline Chen's art on the internet before. She's famous for her adorable chibi style bunnies, birds, kitties, and ghosts that are usually labeled with a positive, heart-warming message. One of the most popular ones I've seen floating around is the "sending virtual hug" one, although sadly a lot of people have altered it to remove her signature from the drawing. (Bad people! Shame! Artists need virtual hugs, too!)

When I saw LOADING PENGUIN HUGS on Netgalley, I recognized the cuddly, soft, squishy art style immediately and nearly tripped over myself in my haste to hit "request." I am so proud of this author for snagging a book deal because her art has often given me a small lift when I was having a bad day, and I often send her little drawings to friends who seem a little down, because how can you not smile at a happy little bunny who wants you to have a good day and thinks you're amazing?

You can't.

The art in this book is great, and reminiscent of the Pusheen and Sarah's Scribbles comics in that while I'm sure some of these are featured on her websites, there are a couple new ones thrown in. All of the illustrations are full color and while I have the e-copy and can't speak to paper quality or anything fancy-shmancy like that, I really, really enjoyed (virtually) flipping through all these pages. Positivity is one of those messages that can sometimes get warped in the telling. People sometimes conflate self-care with license to be selfish, but self-care is about taking care of yourself and being your best self, which in turn shapes your relationships with the people around you for the better. Chibird totally gets that, and really underscores that positivity is a two-way process and that being a caring individual means loving yourself and the important people in your life just as fiercely.

I loved this book and wish I had a hard copy of it to cherish (the real one apparently comes with STICKERS - oh my god, I love stickers), but reading the e-copy of it was just as good. Trust me. I don't always endorse the books I receive as ARCs unequivocally, but when I do, they completely deserve it.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!

5 out of 5 stars

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