Title: (Hugo The Happy Starfish) The Secret to Happiness
Author: Suzy Lieberman
Publisher: Happy Language Kids, LLC
Genre: Character Development (Children’s)
About the Book:
Award-Winning Finalist in the ‘Children’s Mind/Body/Spirit’ category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News Happiness Begins With Sharing Hugo is a little starfish. He finds his life dull. Tired of feeling sad, one day he sets off to find happiness. After much searching, he discovers something that makes his heart do a somersault! Sharing with others is the only thing that makes him truly happy. Adults strive to teach children to share with their communities. Encouraging children to give teaches them empathy, as well as a sense of social responsibility. Children can feel empowered by giving and sharing with others. This book is a great way to teach EMPATHY and the CALENDAR. Meet HUGO – a little starfish with a BIG HEART. His passion is to make others happy but he still has a lot to learn. Luckily he does not only have a big heart but also a CURIOUS MIND. In Hugo, children, parents, and educators will discover a lovable and engaging role model with whom they can identify. Suzy Liebermann has written this charming series of children’s books to help educate children about their feelings, their attitudes, their choices, and the consequences that follow. We are sure you’ll agree that life skills and character traits are two of the most important lessons to teach the young. The key theme behind the HUGO THE HAPPY STARFISH series is that building character based on a positive attitude leads to a happy, self-confident and successful human being. We believe this distinctive way of sharing a “message” through the medium of an exciting narrative is what has given the books their charm. The stories were developed in conjunction with Suzy’s teaching experience at an International Baccalaureate® School and support the different learner profiles and attitudes of the IB PYP curriculum.
I don’t know the secret to happiness, and if I did what would I do with that knowledge? Well Hugo the Happy Starfish is learning from his good friend the Manta Ray the Secret to Happiness. Hugo is sad and doesn’t know what to do to feel happy. So he goes on a quest and runs into his friend the Manta Ray who helps him along the way. First he wanted to be happy for an hour so he took a nap, but of course he woke up unhappy. So he wanted to know how to be happy for a day, a month a year and then finally he wanted to be happy forever. It isn’t until he asks his friend about being happy forever does the Manta Ray share with him what he believes is the Secret to Happiness. I really liked that the book showed my children that material things won’t make them happy. Depending on others for happiness also doesn’t keep you happy forever.
The main message of this book is that sharing is a way to be happy. The book was beautifully illustrated showing the story and my children’s favorite part was when Hugo’s heart was so happy it was doing flips. This book also features some terms in Spanish. My children have learned to say hour, day, month and year from this book. Sharing is a very important lesson for children. It helps them learn to get along with others and develop friendships. Having siblings I know all too well about sharing with them and others. I teach my children to share and I like this book to use as a back up for why sharing is important. It’s a great read to pick up for all families with children, whether you have just one or multiple.
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