Spreading the Love with My Huggy Bear

My nephew is growing way too fast. It feels like yesterday he was just a little baby, and now he's out here speaking in full sentences and remembering names. I love him so much and want to help my sister and her boyfriend help little nephew learn as much as possible.

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We had the chance to review North Texas author Gene Legler's new book, My Huggy Bear with our nephew this winter, and it was one of our favorite reads together so far!

In My Huggy Bear, Legler reaches back to his own childhood with memories of support, love, interaction and encouragement from his parents that left a lasting impression on him as he grew to adulthood with his own family and now as a grandfather. I've found myself thinking back to my own childhood constantly whenever I'm with my nephew, and I love watching how my mom/his grandma interacts with him.

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“When you are a child, there’s nothing better than the reassurance of having someone there for you at all times,” Legler says. “My father worked two jobs to support all six of us, and my mother was always there for us. I think one of the most important parts of a child’s development is their interaction with their parents, which helps set the tone for their interactions with their own children one day.”

My favorite part about My Huggy Bear is the representation in the illustrations. Each page depicts a child or two who look completely different from those on the pages before. “Adults create barriers. Children do not,” stresses Legler. “I think it is important to show children from different ethnicities sharing similar experiences.”

Legler has started a nonprofit called Helping Hands and Caring Hearts of America. The foundation provides financial assistance to minority students living below the poverty line to pay for their college education. All proceeds from My Huggy Bear go directly to supporting Helping Hands and Caring Hearts of America.

Thank you, Gene & Brown Books!

Disclosure: Book provided by Brown Books Publishing for review. All opinions are mine!