Award-Winning Author & Creator of Bentley the Hippo
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada kindness, respect, love, gratitude, appreciation, and family were the values I was taught growing up. Bullying was a part of my life that I never spoke of, never shared, and hoped many times, would just go away and be forgotten. Those memories remain within me. As the years passed, I observed children feeling a sense of entitlement, feeling superior to others and bullying soon replaced the very values I was taught.
Knowing firsthand the scars and effects bullying has, I was determined to find a way to teach children important values. Although some find bullying funny, the long-term effects can be quite damaging if not addressed early on. I had a plan (though I did not know at that time how I would execute it) I found an old "sketch" and it was my "aha" moment. With continued tweaking, my bubbly hippo was born and I named him Bentley.
"She Turned A Life-Changing Trauma Into A Children's Book Series That Inspires Children Everywhere."
At the start of my journey, I was hit with another life-changing trauma. A routine eye procedure robbed me of my sight overnight and I felt a victim all over again. Wanting to give up on my dreams of writing children's books, I thought of all the children that are being bullied, ridiculed, teased, and harassed that are keeping silent and made the choice to move forward despite my new struggles.
As Bentley was brought to life to bring comfort to children, more than ever, he brought that same comfort to me. How can a face like his not make you smile?
Sporting his red running shoes, Bentley has become a positive role model for children. He represents resilience, friendship, joy, and kindness. We all grew up hugging a teddy bear, but now it's time for the World to Hug a Hippo.
"I am very proud and honored that Bentley books will be available to children that are vision and hearing impaired. If you know of anyone that you feel might benefit from this wonderful organization, share the link and help spread kindness to everyone" - Argyro
Interview with Vicky Peplow
It was a great honor being interviewed by Vicky Peplow.
An author that I met at the start of my journey and one of the first to read Bentley. Her words were uplifting and inspiring.
Focusing on Children's books, it was a pleasure reading one of Vicky's novels back in 2019. Not only does she write wonderful reviews, but she also writes amazing stories.