Today we're excited to spotlight One Hug (Katrina Moore).
Read on for more about Katrina, plus a guest post!
Meet Katrina Moore!
Katrina Moore writes and teaches in New Jersey. Earning her M.A. in elementary education, she's been a teacher for a decade in Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. Her mission is to create books that children will hug for ages. Her debut picture book, ONE HUG, illustrated by the talented Julia Woolf, is a lyrical celebration of the different ways that hugs bring people together (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, Dec. 2019). Her second picture book, GRANDPA GRUMPS, illustrated by the amazing Xindi Yan, is a humorous and heartfelt story featuring a little girl, Daisy, and how she connects with her Chinese grandfather across cultures and generations (Little Bee Books, April 2020). More to-be-announced books are on the way!
When she is not writing or teaching kids in elementary school, she is cooking without a recipe, painting outside the lines, or snuggling up with her two kids, husband, pups, and of course, a cozy book. Connect with her on twitter @kmoorebooks or at www.katrinamoorebooks.com.
Meet Julia Woolf!
Julia Woolf is the author and illustrator of Giraffe on a Bicycle and Lazy Cat and the illustrator of Not Yet, Zebra. She has worked in animation for twenty years, including a twelve-year period working in the US for Dreamworks. After returning to the UK, she received a distinction on the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University. Find her online at www.juliawoolfillustration.com.
Meet One Hug!
Debut author Katrina Moore and illustrator Julia Woolf have created a cozy rhyming picture book that follows a Chinese American family as they celebrate the arrival of their immigrant relatives and showcases the many sweet ways of expressing love.
Soft and strong, warm and snug,
what’s your favorite way to hug?
Mom will SQUEEZE you like a bear;
Dad will WHOOSH you through the air!
Those we love from far away
have come to share a meal today.
But someone shy is off alone.
Can you help her feel at home?
Told in sweet, joyful rhymes and bright, colorful illustrations, One Hug celebrates the many ways we embrace our loved ones. As a Chinese American family wakes up to begin preparing for the arrival of their immigrant family, the littlest girl begins to feel left out and nervous. But an encouraging brother and the welcoming arms of her grandma help end the day with a belly full of food, jars full of fireflies, and cozy, snuggly slumber.
~ Guest Post ~
“All-American” Family Traditions
By Katrina Moore
I was born in the USA. An “All-American” girl. But growing up, I never felt that way. Because the kind of girl that I saw as “All-American” didn’t look like me. Her house didn’t look like mine. And her family wasn’t like mine. None of the characters I knew were Chinese. Not on TV. Not in books. The few stories featuring Asian-American characters were issue-driven books surrounding race and identity. I never felt like being Chinese-American was my singular identity, but the media made it seem so.
What this meant to me, though I didn’t realize it at the time, was that I didn’t belong in books or on TV. Not as the star. Not as I am. In fact, part of why I wrote ONE HUG is to give a voice and stage to the little Chinese-American girl in me who never saw herself accurately represented in the media.
This book shows the more accurate version of myself and others. Like the characters in One Hug, my cultural identity influences my life, but it’s not my whole story.
But despite how Asian-Americans were portrayed in books, TV, and other media, my life at home was happy---full of love and joy. My family was proudly American. But my parents made sure we held onto Chinese traditions and culture, too. Because we were also Chinese. And this blend of Chinese and American cultures became our own. Our Chinese-American experience.
One of my favorite spreads in ONE HUG is the cross-cultural family dinner. The book’s illustrator, Julia Woolf, beautifully portrayed this scene. On the picnic table, there is traditional American food, such as hot dogs and cheeseburgers, as well as traditional Chinese food, such as dumplings and spring rolls. The spirit, love, and joy captured here reflects how my family gatherings were growing up.
I cried happy tears when I saw Julia’s art for this spread for the first time. Because for the first time, I saw a family whose food and traditions are like mine. A house that’s like mine. A child that looks like me starring in a book that is full of love and joy.
Here’s a photograph of my family’s Thanksgiving dinner spread from a couple of years ago. (Photo credit: Kimberly Freeberg) We’ve got the traditional turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato casserole right alongside traditional Chinese vegetable and noodle dishes.
Another family tradition that we kept growing up was that on the night before Lunar New Year, my grandmother would prepare a big feast. There were always plenty of long noodles, so we’d have long lives. There were oranges, so the year ahead would be fruitful. And there were always plenty of lucky red envelopes. It was tradition that we would all wish each other “Happy New Year” and “Good Fortune”. As we did, the grown-ups would hand out red envelopes with money inside. This was considered “lucky” money. Now that I’m a grown-up, and have children of my own, it’s been fun to keep this tradition going.
Another tradition was decorating the Christmas tree together. Every Christmas, my four siblings, parents, and I would take turns placing ornaments on the tree. As we hung each ornament, we’d share the memory of how we got that ornament, or why it represented a special moment for us. Now, my husband, two young children and I have our own house and Christmas tree. But we’ve continued the ornament hanging tradition. It’s fun to reminisce and celebrate all those moments in our lives.
My hope is that ONE HUG is a mirror for some children, who like me, need to see themselves, their families, their culture, and their traditions in a book. And I hope it’s a window for others.
Ultimately, it’s a book that all children will cozy up with—anyone who needs some love, and also those who love to hug!
Author: Katrina Moore
Publishing Date: December 10th, 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books