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New Children’s Book Shares the “Power of Pretend” During a Pandemic

Stuck at home under quarantine, kids and parents are struggling to connect with the world around them.

For one Chicago mom, the time at home inspired her to create the journey of a lifetime for her kids…a pretend journey that is. Virtual Hug for the World is a new children’s book that shares the story.

As an executive in the hotel industry, Amanda Perlyn Jackson empathizes with impact of the Covid-19 virus. During a time when travel is limited, Amanda decided to spend her evenings and days off creating a children’s book that would help support relief efforts.

“My heart is with everyone who has been deeply affected by the virus,” Amanda said. “Seeing the world through children’s eyes has helped bring levity to a tough time. The goal was to create a positive and playful story that inspires kids and parents to share kindness and connect with the world.” 

Virtual Hug for the World was written and illustrated in April 2020. The story is set in a Chicago home where two young brothers are quarantined. In an effort to share love and joy, the boys decide to take an imaginary journey around the world. Visiting seven continents in seven days, they have an adventure of a lifetime, learn about culture, and share virtual hugs with new friends.

An excerpt from Virtual Hug for the World:

For every boy and every girl there is something you can do.
Be kind to others and send love from me and you.
When you go to bed at night and are tucked in snug,
Say a prayer for the world and give it a virtual hug!

The digital book can be accessed for free on the website. In addition to the book, Jackson has curated a playlist of “travel tunes” to help add to the experience. Readers are encouraged to make a donation which proceeds will be transferred to support local Chicago charities.

About Virtual Hug for the World 

Inspired by the true story of a pretend journey, two young brothers “travel the world” from their home using imaginative ways to connect with others, learn about culture, and share virtual hugs with new friends.

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