This kid was SO disappointed!

Written by: Nick Ortner

The other day, my sister-in-law (and co-author of “The Big Book of Hugs”, a children’s book we wrote about the power of hugs and kindness) Alison and I went to our local elementary schools to read the book and and talk about it at several assemblies.

Right before the first assembly, we talked to one 1st grader who was quite disappointed when he saw us…
With expectant and quite disappointed eyes, this cute-as-a-button first grader said to us,

“I thought Dr. Seuss was going to be here…”


Yeah, that’s how our day started at the local elementary schools, as we prepared to read our new kids book, “The Big Book of Hugs”. The assembly was starting and we didn’t have time to explain that no, Dr. Seuss was not going to be there today, and I really didn’t want to be the one to tell this cute kid that Dr. Seuss, was in fact, deceased…

The two elementary schools we were visiting that day were in my hometown of Newtown, CT, site of the Sandy Hook school shootings. When the book was released, I reached out to the local elementary schools and donated a copy of the book to EVERY child in the schools.

Whether or not they were directly affected by the shootings, I know the resonant energy of that pain still lingers and especially affects young kids, so I figured they could use a few extra hugs (who on this planet doesn’t need a few extra hugs?)

Alison (my sister in law and co-author) and I had a wonderful experience. It was quite a change for me, going from speaking to thousands of adults at a time, to 100 eager six-year-olds! Honestly, I was MORE nervous about it than I am when I speak to adults! Haha! Did a little tapping and took care of that…

Here are a few pics of us during the assembly:

For your amusement, here are some of the other questions we got during the day:

Kid: “How long did it take you to write the book?”
Me: “We actually wrote it in about ten months, from start to finish”

Next hand raised…
Kid: “How many minutes did it take you to write the book?”
Me: “Hmm….great question. I don’t know how many minutes, but let’s just say lots and lots”

Next hand raised…
Kid: “How many words are in the book?”
Me: “About 750.”
Kid: “Wow”
Me: “And to give you an idea, I also write adult books, and those books have SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND words”
Kid: Takes hand and smacks it against his forehead. His mind is officially blown by the idea of writing that many words.

Besides sharing the message of the book itself and reading it to the kids, Alison, who is also a first grade teacher, did an amazing job of bringing a powerful lesson into each assembly.

She explained to me that one of the things kids hate doing the most is revising their work. And obviously, they’re not alone; we don’t change much as adults! Who wants to do the boring job of editing, crossing things out, trying out new ideas, and so forth?!

Alison knows that it’s a struggle for her and teachers around the world to convince their kids to edit and revise. That’s why she brilliantly brought multiple versions of the book to the assembly, showing all the different iterations of it, the edits, the cross–out, the different drafts and pictures, and so forth.

They were fascinated by the different steps that had to happen for the book to end up in their hands, and the teachers were quite grateful that now they can say, “You need to edit this just like the famous authors do!”

Even without Dr. Seuss at our side, it was a massively successful day and hopefully that cute kid enjoyed it as well. 🙂

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24 Comments on this post

  1. wasi zinda says:

    A wonderfu Article…..!!!l

  2. Linda says:

    Thank you Nick, that was a refreshing story, I bought 2 of these great books for my grand nieces, now I have a back story to go with them. HA HA Only wish I had this content back in the 70’s for my kids.
    bbl gotta tap lol
    much love,

  3. Ischyria Gerlie Matsuura says:

    Nick … I discover Tapping from an ad while researching health information about five years ago. I immediately purchased the Tapping Solution Book and implemented it in my own life addressing emotional issues. It worked ! I joined in and purchased three years of the annual Tapping Summit.

    I taught several friends who started tapping with success. All I can say is you guys are blessed with a gift that the world needs … if everyone will just give it a try and be open to it’s miracles.

    I love what you and Jessica do, I love you guys deeply and thank you from the bottom of my heart for the miracle of calm. God bless always and continued success not only in your business, but with your families as well. God IS indeed good. As we say in Hawaii “Mahalo” !

  4. Isa Pump says:

    Thank you for sharing this experience with the young children! They will be better teenagers later… I only wish we could obtain the book here in South Africa too!! I send you blessings and hugs from my side – we all need them

  5. Adelina Mm Linnemoller says:

    I like the way you answered the children’s questions because it made them think. Also showing them how much work went into writing the book made them realize that it takes work to achieve a desired result. This will leave an imprint in their minds as they work on their projects.

  6. Laura Willett - Brisbane, Australia says:

    Thank you for sharing, Nick. Such a great story, which has touched so many. Congrats to you and Alison!! The world is richer place.

  7. Ms. Rhonda says:

    I work in an after-school program with kids and know first hand how healing and comforting hugs can be both to the children and the adults. Nothing starts my day better than a bunch of kids running up to me to give me some hugs, and then, hugging them back. You can feel their bodies relax and their faces light up with love. Would love a copy of this book to share with the kids. Is it possible to get one? I don’t have the money to pay for it right now, after-school doesn’t pay that much. But I know these kids who live in one of the outer boroughs of New York would love to learn about hugs from Barkley the Bear. Congratulations on this book and for all the good that you do with the Taping Solution.

  8. Marina Martindale says:

    I’m an author myself, and I can’t keep any of my novels under 100,000 words. LOL!

    I read all the time when I was a child. It was a habit I carried into adulthood and that’s why I’m a novel writer today. It’s so important to get children to love reading at an early age. I’ve read studies that indicate that children who read get better grades in school and are oftentimes more successful in life than children who don’t read. Kudos to both of you for helping to get kids excited about reading.

  9. Kay says:

    What a great idea to show the editing process.
    Jean (below) says it all, you are an inspiration.

  10. Carol says:

    I MUST MAKE THIS COMMENT!! Please NEVER take for granted the benefits of a hug. I have always been a hugger . . until ten years ago when I developed a neurological disorder that breaks my heart. When I am excited or filled with emotion, my muscles quit working and I cannot use my arms. Please think about that the next time you spontaneously reach out to hug someone . . And ENJOY THE FEELING YOU GET FROM SHARING A HUG WITH ANOTHER WARM HUMAN BEING!!!Receiving them is vital to our emotional well being and I love every one I get. But I truly treasure the memory of being able to give a hug to another person !!! Here is a ‘verbal’ hug to you, Nick, for all you do.

  11. Sophie says:

    Great ideas! Thanks!

  12. Shirley-Ann says:

    Great idea sharing your story with all those kids ,Can’t wait to read it for myself and share it with my grandchildren.

  13. Joyce Carr says:

    ….. and the children shall teach us…..

  14. Geri says:

    Hello, Nick!
    I just read your page about reading The Big Book of Hugs to kids in schools.
    Loved the comment about from the boy about Dr. Seuss.

    At the end of the page you said something like, ‘So even without Dr. Seuss, …
    Hm-m-m… I strongly suspect that Dr. Seuss was standing at your side!
    In just a different form of energy!!!

  15. Melanie from Brussels says:

    Wow, I think that smile will stay on my face for several hours :-). Thank you to both of you for your generosity to those kids, and for spreading more love around the world. We all need it these days! I also love the idea of showing them the editing process. Big hugs to you 🙂

  16. Kathy Vesely says:

    A wonderful post. I find that age group to be the most accepting, loving and wonderful of all. Hugs–so important in this day and age. Keep up the good work!

  17. Cristina says:

    Well done! Your dedication to alleviate the pain of the children of Newtown is so admirable, I wish I could hug you guys! Consider yourselves hugged. Thank you for all you do, I am a big fan.

  18. Lynda says:

    What a splendid idea to seize a teachable moment and reveal the revision which goes into a creation. As a writer and teacher of writing, to have your example as a reference is brilliant. E-hugs to you and Alison for doing that.

    No doubt you are thinking about translating the book; however, how could you translate it for cultures which do not touch? Are there ways to reach out without breaking cultural taboos?

  19. Kathleen Worgo says:

    Thanks for sharing this story! It warmed my hear!

  20. Rosanna Conti says:

    Just saw a video on the after effects of Sandy Hook shooting 2 years after event, thanks for sharing the extra hugs there. You helped the children and adults. You are doing great work.

  21. Eileen Butler says:

    Nick, Hugs to you and Alison for blessing our world immensely! I’m reading it to our grandchildren, and sharing it with my elder T’ai Chi Chih students.

  22. rachelle says:

    Nick, You are so blessed to have been able to share your words and wisdom with those kids…ans you have no idea how its going to benefit them in their life time! But every new wonderful experience leaves its print in their minds, and in their heartys. Keep up the fabulous work you do!

  23. Tanya says:

    I soooooooo needed to hear this! The part about kids hating to edit… I said to myself, “Good thing I don’t have that problem!” But I totally do! Hahahaha! That was the other part I needed to hear: “Hahahahahahaha!”
    LOVE it.

  24. Jean says:

    Nick, I have been reading and buying your work and Alison’s for a year or so. Aside from the clear value and life enhancing work you both offer, your style in your emails, articles, books and events is so truthful, sincere and inspiring. Thank you for being such a light in the world.

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