in the CHILDREN’S MIND/ BODY/ SPIRIT category
of the USA “Best Books 2011” Awards
You all know I love these books written by author, Suzy Leibermann. This program she created is particularly aligned with the aims and values she upheld as a teacher of cultural art and foreign language at a prestigious International Baccalaureate World School. This program is meant to help build character. Believing that happiness can be learned, feelings can be understood and that building character based on a positive attitude leads to happy, content, self-confident and successful human beings, is why she created this exciting series of charming books about HUGO THE HAPPY STARFISH.
This particular book is about self-esteem and being happy with what you have. Sometimes when you wish for something else it doesn’t always turn out for the best. A very important lesson was learned as Hugo realized happiness begins within. My boys chuckled their way through this story and felt Hugo’s sadness as well. One day Hugo begins to feel small and ugly and is convinced that nobody likes him. His friend Manta granted him 6 magic wishes so he decides he wants to change himself. He feels better and better with every change and when he is finished with the 5th wish he says he is done so Manta tells him to look at the new Hugo. Hugo breaks down into tears. He thought he would be happier with these changes and then realizes he doesn’t look the way he thought he would and now he doesn’t look like himself either. With one wish left, what do you think Hugo will do?
We discussed the book after reading it and they always seem to find the moral of the story in these Hugo books. This is something we have talked about many times as I feel community service is important as well for our children. I also believe in building up our children with praise in addition to correction when needed. My boys just beam with pride when they receive praise and will shoot me the thumbs up. I know that a lack of self-esteem can really hold people back from their full potential. This book teaches a good lesson. It’s not a conceited image just a satisfied with myself image that is a healthy image. He learned to appreciate what he has. Here is a short video about this particular book from Happy Language kids, llc.
Through all the adventures in this series, Hugo learns many valuable lessons in life skills, living green and building good character as well. These stories take place in a magical underwater world and mysterious islands along with many different sea creatures. Each book also comes with a number of worksheets that are free and downloadable on their website.
The book is available in 6 different languages: ENGLISH, GERMAN, SPANISH, FRENCH, ITALIAN AND PORTUGUES and is available on AMAZON for $5.99.