Saturday, May 30, 2015


Hugo: The Secret to Happiness by Suzi Liebermann


I think it is safe to say we have all been there while growing up.  As a baby all our wants, needs, love comes to us unconditionally from those around us. Hopefully, the babies needs are met, but as teachers, we know that some babies are not as fortunate, and do not have their needs met, and grow up insecure and fearful. Is a happy life all over for these children?  As we grow, and begin to get a sense of ourselves, we may try to find happiness, that holy grail, that thing we knew as a child. We may try many different things to find that happiness, sleeping, hanging with friends, gathering material riches, etc. We only find ourselves back where we started, sad, confused, bored and wishing we could find something that could bring everlasting happiness, that we could enjoy happiness forever.

It is difficult concept for adults to grasp. How do you convey this to young children so they can grow up hopefully avoiding the disappointing pitfalls or at least recognizing them when they happen so they can move on to finding that "thing" that will bring them happiness and a meaningful life before they grow old, too old to pursue that thing.

In Suzy Liebermann's book, Hugo, The Secret to Happiness, she brilliantly brings forth the value of empathy in the personification of a Starfish named Hugo. This #childrensbook is eye catching with color and characters from the sea. Hugo finds that he is not as happy as he wants to be. He consults a Manta who tells him to take a nap, which Hugo does, only to wake up sad and disappointed that the happiness he found in sleep does not remain in the waking world. He consults the Manta again and again, only to find that things like sleeping, riches, friends, to turn boring and the happiness fleeting.  Until.......Okay, beep beep SPOILER ALERT beep beep... do not read the rest if you don't want to know the end of the story.

Until one day, he sees a friend help a seahorse who was in trouble. He learns from this that true happiness is when you share yourself with others, helping and caring. Hugo learns the value of empathy.

Suzy Liebermann has written a series of books that address values and character education, some of the most difficult subjects to teach children.  She skillfully crafts
stories that are engaging, understandable with characters that are truly believable and with whom children can identify.  Suzy Liebermann is also the illustrator of the same books. Her artistry is filled with bright colors and friendly characters. The continued use of Hugo through a series of books gives the young readers someone they recognize and someone that is going through the life experiences that they are experiencing. She is developing another series of books based around the character of Princess Sofia and also addresses values.


 Liebermann is the multi time recipient of the Best Books Finalist Award and awards from Amazon.  Her books can be found in hardcover or paperback on or   More information about Ms. Liebermann can be found at  

This ebook was given to me as a gift in exhance for this honest review.  All opinions are my own. Marie Pitts



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