“We wanted to create characters, stories, and songs that kids love and parents can use,” says Denise Trager, an educator and mom of three who, with long-time best friend MaryEllen Panaccione, also an educator and mom of two, co-founded Huggable Melodies in 2010.  The two friends wanted to create books, interactive apps, and premium plush toys that comfort children through the challenges of normal growth and development.

Huggable Melodies’ first offering, Picked-On Poindexter, has become one of the heroes of the anti-bullying movement—and has even been adapted as a popular stage play for children!  Says Panaccione, “Denise and I have been gratified to see how helpful the stories and music we’ve created are to supporting happier kids and families."

Mary Ellen Panaccione has a Master's degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and a Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from the State University of NY (SUNY) at New Paltz. She has taught piano privately for over 35 years.

Since 2000 Denise Trager has been an adjunct instructor of communication at the Florida State College Jacksonville (FSCJ), as well as a private practice tutor in speech therapy and reading. Denise has a Master's degree in Speech Corrections from Hofstra University, and a M.E. D. in Mental Health Counseling. She is also Board Certified Licensed in Florida for Speech Pathology.


Our simple, original, heart-felt songs speak to children with the love and comfort that friends, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles want to impart, especially during difficult times. The music was written by Mary Ellen and the lyrics were created by Denise. Then, we had our melodies and lyrics recorded, mixed and professionally produced by Jollipop - an ultra-creative team comprised of Grammy-winning producers with numerous Gold and Platinum Records to their name. They have worked as creative team for Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan as well as producing music for Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. Our songs were professionally recorded just for Huggable Melodies. Each song, carefully constructed to impart the support and comfort a child needs for each situation.


“The Picked on Poindexter Interactive Book App has become one of my children’s favorites and I find them playing with it at least once a day. It makes me proud and feel good inside that they are learning a good message at a young age. I hope that they never have to endure what some of us had to go through when it came to being bullied but at least I now know that they will have the tools to deal with it properly if it ever does come up.”

The Bragging Mommy

“Since Poindexter is such a great storyteller, he’s been to many of Judah’s ‘circle times’ at home telling his Elves and favorite friends stories about being nice. I think Poindexter or either of his friends would make a great gift for the holidays!”


“Huggable Memories’ Poindexter, the loveable frog, is the first of the plush animals. As you can see from the picture, Poindexter is not your average frog as he has blue feet, red knees and diddles on his face. Because he is different, he has very low self-esteem and always felt self-conscious about his appearance.”

Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog

“When the big package arrived at our house, of course Annie and Leelou couldn’t wait to get their hands on it! We have a couple of inquisitive little Hobbits on our hands. As you can see, they didn’t waste any time making friends with the furry green frog, who is so unbelievably soft, that I cuddled with him on the couch more than once.”

Home on Deranged

“I want to educate my kids about bullying but I also don’t want to make them afraid of social situations. My daughter is 3 and started preschool this year. I have not heard of anything happening yet, but I decided it was time to start the awareness. Huggable Melodies is a great company that has introduced a way to talk about how bullying can affect others with a musical story app!”

Coping With Frugality

“The message behind the story is an important one for kids of all ages.” – Pretty Opinionated

Pretty Opinionated

“I absolutely LOVE the message that is being taught through this app and toy and think that this would make an excellent holiday gift idea for any school-aged child between the ages of preschool and grade school!” – Ahhh-mazing Reviews

Ahh-mazing Reviews

“This digital storybook app teaches young children about dealing with issues like being picked on or standing up for others when they see others being picked on (this is huge to me…so many kids don’t know what to do if they see it happening).” – Diaries of a Domestic Goddess

Diaries of a Domestic Goddess

“I’m so glad that we were able to experience this special Huggable Melodies story together, and learn a very important lesson. Kudos to the gals at Huggable Melodies on a job well done!”

Mommy’s Block Party reviews Poindexter

“I should have ordered two frogs because Poindexter was so charming that my two children both fell in love with him immediately.”

Being MVP loved Poindexter