“There once was a starfish named Hugo. He was a little starfish, but he had big eyes and an even bigger heart. However, there was a problem: he felt sad,” begins The Secret to Happiness (Hugo the Happy Starfish) by Suzy Liebermann.
Hugo is a little starfish who longs for happiness. After consulting with his friend Magic Manta, Hugo finds happiness for an hour, a day, a month, and a year, but his sadness always returned. After searching for something to make him happy, Hugo learns that the way to be happy forever is to share with others. As soon as he shares his heart with others, he becomes Hugo the Happy Starfish.
The Secret to Happiness of the Hugo the Happy Starfish series is a character education book that teaches about empathy. Hugo always finds himself feeling sad again when he tries to create happiness with material things. However, once he learns to share his heart with others, he finds true happiness. Empathy is so important for the character education of young children, so, as a mother to a young child, I appreciate the message in the story.
Currently available via Amazon as a Kindle book, The Secret to Happiness is a sweet book for younger readers that teaches the importance of empathizing with others. I personally recommend this story for preschoolers and early readers. However, my toddler also enjoyed swiping through the pages of the ebook as I read the story aloud to her.
The illustration style of The Secret to Happiness is cartoonish, so young readers who like cartoons will surely enjoy this book. I personally love all the bright colors used in all the pictures. My toddler daughter also enjoyed pointing out the different shapes on the pages such as the star of Hugo the starfish and the hearts of his heart.
Final Verdict: Currently priced at $5.99 on Amazon, The Secret to Happiness (Hugo the Happy Starfish) by Suzy Liebermann offers an important character education lesson about the importance of empathy. If you are looking for a simple book with colorful illustrations that focuses on empathy, then I recommend that you give The Secret to Happiness a look.
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I received a copy of The Secret to Happiness as 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.