Faber Publishes Follow-up to Lockdown Sensation, While We Can’t Hug

Everyone’s favourite (socially distanced) characters return this June in a striking, gently humorous and hopeful follow-up to the sensational and bestselling picture book While We Can’t Hug.

After a long hibernation, Hedgehog awakes desperate to be reunited with best friend Tortoise . . . but Tortoise isn’t to be found anywhere! A charming and touching new tale, The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug is a much-needed celebration of friendship and reuniting with loved ones.

Reassuring, timely and a great teaching tool, While We Can’t Hug provided invaluable support in bringing families together during extremely challenging and unprecedented times. The lockdown sensation has since sold over 100,000 copies and continues to reach new readers up and down the country with award nominations for both the An Post Irish Book Awards and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.

Leah Thaxton, Publisher said: ‘There’s so much comfort in this book. The heart-warming title is a hug in itself. Yes the wait will be worth it; yes we will come out of this; yes there will be hugs galore. I think we all need to hear this message. Thank you, Eoin and Polly, for your grace and wisdom!’

Eoin McLaughlin said: ‘It’s been very special to see Hedgehog and Tortoise help so many children cope with social distancing this year. We never intended to keep them apart, so it’s with extreme joy that Polly and I have brought them back together. A reminder of the people we’ve missed, as well as the happiness waiting for us when we can finally hug them again.’

Polly Dunbar said: ‘I’m so delighted that Hedgehog and Tortoise meet again and they can hug at last – yippee! These characters have become friends to me so to illustrate a third book was an absolute joy, especially a story that is so full of hope and happiness, just what we need . . . and of course is very funny too.’

Leah Thaxton acquired world rights from James Catchpole at The Catchpole Agency. The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug will publish on 29th June 2021 in paperback and 1st July 2021 in a small format hardback.

Preorder now: Waterstones Amazon


‘A touching tale’ – The Sunday Times

‘The tender simplicity of While We Can’t Hug pairs Eoin McLaughlin’s text with Polly Dunbar’s rosy-cheeked images’ – The Guardian

‘An important historical record of the time’ – The Times

‘Delicate watercolour illustrations, full of expression, are teamed with a timely and charming story, making this a real winner’ – Irish Independent

‘A book that ought to carry a ‘tear-jerker’ warning but one that is perfect for your little (and bigger ones) at home’ – The Literacy Tree

‘Gently reassuring’ – New Statesman

‘Timely, topical and utterly charming’ – Irish Examiner

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