The power of Zoom in keeping us big kids united during lockdown has been invaluable.
However, for the little ones during their early learning years, it doesn’t connect them in quite the same way as playtime used to.
Yet now, a new picture book is helping young people understand that the power of connection can happen even when they’re kept apart from friends.
Say hello to The Big Hug.
The story tells the tale of two friends who live on opposite sides of a quiet street.
Every day, they used to love playing ‘stuck together like glue’, so it comes as a huge shock when one day they have to stop and go inside.
Suddenly, outside becomes a scary place and there is a vast space between them now.
The world feels extra frightening when their parents are full of whispers and frowns and the friends don’t know how to keep their friendship alive while apart.
But soon, they learn there are other ways to play besides being side-by-side and discover that they can join forces through their windows and ‘hug’ in alternate ways.
They discover that a smile is like a hug, a wave is like a hug, even a funny face, phone call, or song.
And best of all, they discover that when you’re apart a friendship doesn’t leave. With time and effort, it can grow and grow, until it is bigger and better than all fears.
The Big Hug, inspired by real-world events, is the brainchild of Megan Walker.
The talented storyteller also creates illustrated poems and delivers workshops in schools to help children learn about narratives and character development.
Her new title is a reminder to us all that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
To grab a copy of the book, click here: The Big Hug.