Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hugo the Happy Starfish The Secret to Happiness by Suzy Liebermann

The first thing that makes this book stand out ahead of the giant stack we have to review, and many others, are the vibrant, super colorful pages and beautifully detailed characters. This caught Deegan's eyes especially and we have read and re read this book so many times now that I know it word for word.
Deegan was very excited to find a Youtube video about Hugo, and yes, we watched this over and over and over and over, lol! He wanted to share this video with you!

This is just one book in a series of Hugo the Starfish children's books, and it is the perfect pick for your child's first Hugo book. It is easy to follow, and will keep a busy 2 year olds attention! Deegan's favorite picture was when Hugo was when Hugo is wearing a backpack lol, he thinks cartoons with backpacks are hilarious.  But he also enjoyed repeating words, especially the word, happy.
 In this story, Hugo tries and tries and tries to find happiness. He asks his friend, Magic Manta, to help him find happiness. So, Magic Manta helps grant Hugo's wishes, but the happiness never lasts for to long. Hugo keeps becoming sad again and finds, Magic Manta, so he can ask for more happiness.
 Hugo tries many things like, spending time with a friend, which did bring him some happiness, but it didn't last forever. He also found a treasure and bought everything he ever wanted, and had a big house, filled with all of his new things. But, he couldn't stay happy. ( I thought this particular part was an excellent addition to this story and the lesson taught! I often think about how money can not ever buy you everything you want and need, and we try our best to teach this to our children. Many people believe that their problems will all be answered if they just had enough money, a big house, and many things, but in the end, they are going to find that money really can not buy happiness.)
This is a lesson that even grown ups need to learn and this was certainly a good time to discuss this again with all of the little ones.
Hugo comes back to his buddy, Magic manta, and is even more sad, even though he is driving his fancy new car. He tells, Magic Manta, that he is a hopeless case. But, Manta immediately tells Hugo that he doesn't think so, and tells him it is simple to be happy and to share with others!
 So Hugo starts to understand the meaning behind happiness and how to feel truly happy and decides to share his heart with others. Genevive loved this part of the story because Hugo's heart ended up being so happy that it did somersaults! lol! Genevive explained that that's what her heart does when she is the happiest little girl in the world!
 Hugo the starfish is a regular length children's book, but this book has brought so many discussions up with our children, new ones each time! It is so much fun to be able to sit with the kiddos and have them chime in about what happiness is to them, and what makes them happy. That is what makes me the happiest:)
 We would recommend this book to all families and for many reasons! Of course all that I pointed out above, and because this is 1 in a series of Hugo books, that all discuss different feelings, life skills and valuable lessons of character, attitude empathy, choices, consequences, and it is a very clever way to start teaching a 2nd language!

 Suzy Liebermann, launched happy Language Kids Publications in 2010, as an interactive language program for children and even grown ups. This program is particularly aligned with the aims and values she upheld as a teacher of cultural art and and foreign language at a prestigious International Baccalaureate World School.
Suzy and Hugo have a super fun website where you can find free games and worksheets and news about Hugo, Suzy and all of the rest of the stories in the Hugo series. You can also find some neat information about the author and the visiting author program. (Oh and Deegan's favorite Hugo Youtube video can also be found on the home page;)
We have had a lot of fun with this book and website, and I certainly appreciate the benefit of Suzy's books and ideas she shares to help our little ones become confident, happy, sweet little human beings! This is always something I admire in authors and teachers, and people who go out of their way to help our jobs as moms and dads, just a little bit easier!
 Have you read any of the books from Hugo the Starfish?
 We would love to read any comments about your thoughts on these stories!

 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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