HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story | Dedicated Review
The Big Book of Hugs

The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story | Dedicated Review

Review sponsored by The  Rodi Company Public Relations & Marketing
The Children’s Book Review | December 28, 2015

The Big Book of HugsThe Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

Written by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor

Illustrated by Michelle Polizzi

Age Range: 2 to 7

Hard cover: 32 pages

Publisher: Hay House (January 21, 2016)

ISBN: 978-1401951726

What to expect: Family, Togetherness, Friendship, Kindness, Beautiful Illustrations

The Big Book of Hugs has a wonderful, unique opening. It begins “A short, short time ago in a forest really, really close to home.” In this forest, we meet Barkley the Bear, who has just woken up, on his birthday. This birthday also happens to be the day that he will finally join the family business of giving out hugs! As his father explains to Barkley: “You are now old enough to join the family business of giving hugs and spreading love.” From here, the charming narrative details the various kinds of hugs to give, including hugging yourself, giving friends a surprise hug, goodbye hugs, hugs to people you haven’t seen in a very long time, and how to hug two friends at a time. Most touchingly, as Barkley’s father notes, hugs are especially effective “when words are hard to say.” Barkley’s father provides a valuable insight that children will likely relate to, especially in the context of this beautifully told story: “Now and then, people have a hard time coming up with words, like ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘I’m upset,’ so we use a hug instead!” The lessons the book provides are useful and very important, and the warmth it radiates is a rare quality that children will instantly respond to. The deft writing by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor feels like a warm hug!


The illustrations, by Michelle Polizzi, deserve special note. The warm colors that predominate truly embody the kind and open qualities of the story and its message, and the drawings will entice children who cannot yet read. This, coupled with the sophistication of the story and its message, make for a winning combination. This is the sort of book that children will want to hear over and over again, and it is very likely to produce great warmth between child and reader, and certain to encourage emotional openness and understanding.


The Big Book of Hugs is a beautifully written and illustrated story about kindness and love. It is skillfully told and is sure to be embraced by children and adults alike!

Add this book to your collection: The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

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About Nick Ortner
Nick Ortner The Big Book of Hugs photo credit Bill Miles

Nick Ortner

Nick Ortner’s goal is to empower people to create healthy, abundant and stress-free lives via his commitment to spreading a message of hope, healing and joy.

Nick is known worldwide as an inspirational speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living and The Tapping Solution for Pain Relief: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing and Eliminating Chronic Pain. He is the CEO of The Tapping Solution, LLC, with a mission to bring into the mainstream a simple, effective, natural healing method known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or “Tapping,” which combines ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology.

In addition, Nick is the creator and executive producer of the breakthrough documentary “The Tapping Solution.” Through the film, speaking engagements, his books and CDs, and the Tapping World Summit –a free annual online event offering access to the world’s leading Tapping experts — Nick has brought this powerful and simple technique for healing to millions of people around the world.

His latest project is his first children’s book, The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story (January 2016/Hay House), inspired by the birth of his daughter June, the power of a bear hug, and the mission to provide a positive, inspiring message for kids and the grown-ups who love them. He was struck by the similarities between hugging and Tapping and how they both connect us to our bodies and provide a plethora of physical and mental health benefits.

Nick is the founder of The Tapping Solution Foundation which he launched in 2013 to support his community of Newtown, CT after the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. To date, the Foundation has funded projects in Rwanda, Mexico, Indonesia, and in the U.S. with veterans.

Nick lives in Newtown, CT with his wife Brenna and their baby daughter June.

For more information, visit:NickOrtner.com

About Alison Taylor
Alison Taylor BIG BOOK OF HUGS 2016

Alison Taylor

Alison Taylor is an elementary school teacher in Connecticut who hopes to inspire all of her students to work hard and share their gift of kindness to everyone they meet.

Through The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story (January 2016, Hay House Inc.), Taylor shares the importance of spreading positivity, whether through physical acts of hugging or emotional kindness and support to others.

This is her first children’s book which she co-authored with Nick Ortner, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living and The Tapping Solution for Pain Relief: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing and Eliminating Chronic Pain. Ortner and Taylor decided to write The Big Book of Hugs to teach the importance of showing love to others while providing an inspirational message for kids and grown-ups. “A hug speaks no language and can quickly make a difference to those in need,” she says.

She received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut where she is also currently completing her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Literacy. Her passion for reading and writing grew through her graduate work and everyday experiences with her students.

Alison enjoys reading in her spare time, especially children’s books that she reads to her students. She lives in Connecticut with her fiancé, Ryan.

Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. The publicist of “The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story,” written by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor, sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …

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Trevor Laurence Jockims lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. He has reviewed books for The Times Literary Supplement, Book Forum, The Believer, and elsewhere. He completed a PhD in Comparative Literature, and teaches writing at New York University.

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