Virtual Hug for the World was written and illustrated during the Covid-19 pandemic. The story is set in a Chicago home where two young boys are quarantined. During a time where real travel is limited, the boys decide to take an imaginary journey around the world sharing love and kindness. Visiting seven continents in seven days, they have an adventure of a lifetime, learn about culture, and share virtual hugs with new friends.
Amanda Perlyn Jackson lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, Alex, and two children, Bennett and Sawyer, who are the inspiration for this book. A passionate world traveler and marketing executive within the hospitality industry, Amanda has always enjoyed the opportunity to connect with communities around the world. Through playful rhymes and illustrations , Amanda brings to life an imaginative way for children and parents to focus on joy and connecting with others, even if we can’t see them in person or share a real hug.
Amanda's first book of illustrations, The Biggest and Brightest Light, was created over 22 years ago, featuring her own personal story as a child and the "magic of helping others".
Bennett Ryder Jackson, 2 1/2 years old, lives in Chicago, IL with his parents and baby brother. He enjoys coloring, singing, dancing, playing with trucks, and hanging out with his stuffed dog "Bingo". He particularly loves to ride trains and fly on planes and looks forward to traveling again in the future. Especially to visit his grandparents. Bennett is always up for a new adventure, discovery, and opportunity to meet new friends.
Sawyer Kai Jackson, 11 months old, enjoys following around his big brother, crawling, babbling, teething, clean diapers, and a nice warm bottle of milk. He is a good sport and always along for the ride!
Bringing books to children in Tanzania during their honeymoon trip to Africa (2015).
Learning Tai Chi and Kung Fu with a panda on his recent "pretend trip" to Beijing (2020).
Mingling with monkeys and toucans on his recent "pretend trip" to Rio (2020).