IT is a wonderfully warm children’s story all about a hug that secured Orange illustrator Freya Blackwood her third win for Early Childhood Book of the Year recently.
Ms Blackwood was recognised for her illustration work for The Runaway Hug in the annual Children’s Book Council Awards.
“It’s really more a family book, there’s nothing sad about it, it’s really uplifting,” she said
The Runaway Hug is a story of a little girl that asks her mum for a hug goodnight to which her mother says she only has one left and the little girl has to give it back.
“It seems very simple but it’s also wonderful,” she said.
“This one I’m really proud of because my daughter really likes it.”
The Scholastic Press book was a collaboration between Ms Blackwood and author Nick Bland.
Ms Blackwood said Mr Bland usually illustrated his own books and said it was a pleasure to come up with illustrations for his story.
“Illustrating a book that he would normally do is great,” she said.
“It was really fun and really easy to come up with ideas.”
This year’s win was the third time Ms Blackwood has won for this category, previously in 2007 and again in the 2011 awards.
Despite the three wins she said she didn’t feel any more pressure to illustrate an award-winning book and enjoyed each new one.