I love sharing our favorite children’s stories with you all, and the newest book on our shelf is about as sweet as you can get. Big hugs abound in The Big Book of Hugs, the new book by New York Times bestselling author Nick Ortner. It’s the story of Barkely the Bear on his first journey into the family business: giving hugs. Barkley learns from Papa Bear that all hugs are free, easy to give and can be given at any time BUT it’s important to figure out what kind of hug a friend needs.
Barkley and his dad, Papa Bear, make their way through the forest doling out all kinds of hugs, from ‘group hugs’ to ‘squeezers’ to ‘hug with your mind hugs’ (for those who really aren’t into a hug, like the prickly porcupine), even TREE hugs! The illustrations are bright, colorful and full of personality, making the pages fun to linger over while we talk about the power of a hug. My favorite part of reading with my boys is snuggling up together, and reading this book with my boys makes me hug them in even closer.
This is a book you can have on your shelf for many years. The colors and movement in the illustrations are fun for babies to look at, and the story appeals to both of my animal-loving boys (ages 4 and 6). Reading The Big Book of Hugs makes my boys giggle and ask questions, like “Why is the Bear named Barkely? That’s funny!”. My six year old can even read it on his own, so it’s a nice level for early readers.
Check it out for yourself or for a lovely gift. It’s a sweet story with a universal message: the power of a hug is pretty amazing. I think the whole world can use a little more love right about now, too!
Author: Candace Thomas