'Always remember to hug the people you love the most' says Cork's Adam King at launch of new book

'Always remember to hug the people you love the most' says Cork's Adam King at launch of new book

David King and family at the launch of his book, 'A Hug For You' in The River Lee Hotel, Cork. Photo by: Shaunagh O'Connell

“ALWAYS remember to hug the people you love the most.” 

So said Adam King at a launch event yesterday evening in the River Lee Hotel for the new book which tells the story of his virtual hug.

A Hug For You, which has been shortlisted for an Irish Book Award, was penned by Adam’s father David and illustrated by Welsh artist Rhiannon Archard.

Children's author David King with son, Adam King at the signing of his new book, 'A Hug For You'. Photo by: Shaunagh O'Connell
Children's author David King with son, Adam King at the signing of his new book, 'A Hug For You'. Photo by: Shaunagh O'Connell

Speaking at the launch event yesterday, Patricia Deevy, deputy publisher with Penguin Random House Ireland, revealed that the book, which only launched in bookshops last week, has already reached number two in the charts.

Distinguished comic book artist Will Sliney was also in attendance at last night’s book launch.

“I come from the world of superheroes… A hero is someone that does really good, someone that inspires people, but a superhero is someone that does it on a national and international level and that’s what Adam actually is,” Mr Sliney said.

Adam King signing book 'A Hug For You' written by Dad, David King. Photo by: Shaunagh O'Connell
Adam King signing book 'A Hug For You' written by Dad, David King. Photo by: Shaunagh O'Connell

Inspired by true events, A Hug For You tells the story of “one little boy with a big idea that came straight from the heart”.

Cork boy Adam King (7) stole the hearts of the nation when he introduced us to his virtual hug, a heart-shaped sign he carried during the pandemic to help him stay connected to his teacher while he was learning from home.

He also took it to his regular hospital appointments to show his doctors, nurses, and care staff that he was still giving them a hug, just in a different way.

Speaking to The Echo, David King said he views the book as his gift to Adam.

“I want him to be able to look back on this time in his life and be really, really proud of what has happened and to have a memento of what he has done for people and the impact he’s had on people and I’m just so proud of him and for him. 

“It’s a memento for the family too - all the children are in the book on different pages, as well as Fiona, my wife.

He added that it is an honour for all involved in the project that the book has been shortlisted for an Irish Book Award.

“It’s not my honour it’s everyone’s honour. Everyone that’s been involved in it. 

“And I really mean this, everyone in the public as well, they were the inspiration for the book. 

“The way that they took Adam's virtual hug into their hearts and the way that they took it and turned it into their art form and used it and connected with it and used it to be their symbol for connecting in Ireland,” he said.

“I’m just so proud. The shortlisting for the award is a really nice recognition of how important it was and the impact that it’s had on people.”

Voting for the An Post Irish Book Awards is still open. To vote visit www.irishbookawards.ie/vote/

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