Shifting definitions of 'family' can be confusing to children. Divorce, re-location, or sudden economic upheaval can have a negative effect on young ones, and leave them emotionally scarred. Nobody denies how important it is to let a child know they are safe and loved, regardless of the uncertainty in their lives. Hooligan Bear, by Ian Toynton, is a new children's book series that uses playful and adventurous teddy bear characters to help guide young readers through these most difficult times in their lives as well as offer some valuable life lessons.
"Initially I set out to create a series of children's books about the adventures of a group of bears that lived in a disused teddy bear factory." Says Toynton. "The more I wrote the more it became apparent that the values of compassion and caring for one another had become the cornerstone of the books."
In Home, the first book of the series, Hooligan Bear and his nephew Little Louie return to their bear factory one day only to find it has closed down - for good! Little Louie starts to cry. "What are we going to do?" He asks his uncle Hooligan Bear. Without skipping a beat, Hooligan Bear reassures Little Louie, explaining to him that nothing will change. They will make a home for themselves in the abandoned factory and be together always.
The importance of a positive role model in a child's life is undeniable. For Louie, having Hooligan Bear there to reassure him during a scary time makes all the difference.
In the second book of the series, New Friends, Little Louie and Hooligan Bear are introduced to a fascinating trio of bears: the adventurous Scooter, the gentle giant Waldo, and Hooligan's right-hand man Lenny. Together, the bears form a quick friendship and vow to protect one another, ultimately joining forces to create a new home with one another.
"I believe we have a duty to others," explains Toynton, "to help those who, through no fault of their own, have not had the opportunities to help themselves."
Not only does Hooligan Bear educate children, but it also:
Helps parents discuss difficult issues with their children
Tells amusing stories that will make children laugh
Introduces children to characters they will identify with and admire
"Within these stories I hope to convey the importance of compassion and friendship," adds Toynton, who is currently working on the third book of the series. "These are the issues I believe are so important for children to understand." Ian Toynton
started his career in the entertainment industry at BBC radio before working as a film editor in film and television. He directed and produced numerous television series including six mini-series before moving to California in the mid nineties. During his time in the UK he wrote several children's stories and produced a pilot for a stop frame animated television series. He has directed and produced many award-winning shows including the successful "24" and "Bones". He has been nominated for a British Academy Award and an Academy of Arts and Science Emmy. He is in the process of finishing the third book of the Hooligan Bears series.
Review: Clever & sensitively written.Hooligan Bear
Author: Ian ToyntonHooliganBear.com Buy it now at