Tuesday, December 13, 2016

There Should Be A World-Wide Hugging Day According to Efrat Shoham!

OK, I admit it, I get most of my hugs from my cats since retirement...But, that's pretty cool in my book! Even when I'm not in the mood--like when I'm reading a good book--that seems to be the most important time for my cat to need a hug, hugs...or more hugs...

Seriously, how can you not accept a hug?!

Well, there may be some children--of all ages--who have not had the opportunity to experience the joy of hugs. Efrat Shoham imagined just what that would be like and decided to help children/people who aren't quite sure how to give or receive a hug...

Did you know that anybody can learn how to hug...and like it?!
One of the first suggestions made by the author is to check out videos that show animals hugging...So I did just that...
Bears, deer, monkeys, meerkats, rabbits, cats, tigers, lions, seals, frogs, penguins, elephants, and many more animals hug. Even if it's just a hug of trunks...


Have you ever just went up to somebody, put out your arms, and...hugged that person? Well, if animals do it, there must be a reason, right?

If you are too shy to just throw out open arms, Efrat Shoham has created 15 hugging suggestions for beginners... You know, I can actually feel the love exploding out of this author. She makes us smile. She makes us happy... She makes us realize that we can love and be loved...

So how does she do it this time? Well, she and her illustrator has put together various animal figures and given us 15 occasions when you just might feel free to hug somebody... noting that they are the most necessary and basic embraces... You can even take a page each day to learn each hug and practice all that day!

There are two little cubs acting as narrators and they guide us on our way!

The Sandwich Hug! Think of a sandwich, maybe peanut butter and jam...Yes the bread completely encloses those other two items! You may decide you want to be inside of that big hug, like the peanut butter and jam... Or you may want to be just one slice of bread...maybe like a half hug??? Me, I want to feel both of those slices (arms) around me, holding me sooooo tight! And that's exactly what the picture shows...two rabbits with the baby bunny snuggled in between the two parents...

Of course, I've had many more years of being able to practice hugging, so I hold on pretty tightly to those I love...But don't worry, begin to hug at your own pace! If you have a pet, maybe you can practice with your little friend who gives unconditional love...


Next is the Pick Me Up Hug...and many pets are known for this...placing their paws up to the other and waiting to be picked up and held close! I've never had a cat that has not done this at one time or another...some every time I'm around... Human Babies oftentimes start to do this, wanting to be picked up, especially by a beloved parent or grandparent... and hugging normally continues throughout childhood and into older years...

The Group Hug is showing on the front cover...Have you ever participated in a hug with multiple people? This one may take a while and is sometimes based on trust, don't you think?

The eye-to-eye hug, I think, was my favorite one...you know standing together sharing a big hug...but, in this case, this hug was between two porcupines! Whew, you really have to love somebody to risk a quill or two!

The cubs move through the book making a short statement about the next hug and then each hug is provided in cartoonish characters that are colorful and imaginative. Again, the book is short enough to be skimmed, but with each notation about a different type of hug, the child can begin to form ideas about the whole concept of...hugging...another person...

You know, I have to add that hugging used to be much more a part of our culture and has declined to a great extent...Way back in my non-verbal class at the university, I remember we did exercises about eye contact...and touching... Most people crave these connections, but there are some who abuse those natural feelings. This book can also be of use when, with an older child, parents talk to them about stranger danger... Efrat Shoham is so effective in teaching children about loving...God's love... Let's also use this loving book to share and teach children when and how hugs are one of the greatest feelings of God's love provided to us...

Highly recommended...


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Efrat Shoham is an Israeli writer, content editor and independent publisher (The Pink Camel).

Shoham grew up in a small agricultural village in Israel. Her father was a farmer and her mother – a teacher and librarian. She lives with her family in Tel Aviv, on a small street lined with eucalyptus, mulberry and loquat trees, where 3 rabbits from the nearby kindergarten run wild. 

She thinks and believes that curiosity, imagination, humor, green fields, fresh mango or avocado and pink camels are some of the keys to a good and happy life.