Hugo the Happy Starfish The Power of the Word – children’s book review

by Ivy B
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Remember my recent Hugo the Happy Starfish children’s book review?  It was an excellent book, so I was excited when I was selected to review another Hugo book.  This time The Power of the Word by Suzy Liebermann in e-book format. I dove right in to read it alone before reading it to my daughter.

The characters are just as adorable, vibrant, and expressive as they were in the previous book I reviewed.  I enjoy educational books and these written for the purpose of character education help me to teach my daughter about emotions and feelings while immersing ourselves in a beautiful underwater world.

This is the 2nd book in a collection called Island Adventures and it drops you directly into the story making it obvious that I missed a prior story.

The story drives home an important message about choosing our words wisely because they “can’t be taken back.”  It illustrates these words as arrows and the effect they have on someone when used.  Good words make people feel good, and bad words hurt.  Hugo practices with some bad words to see for himself and learns that he can’t take them back and in the end decides to be the nicest starfish he can be.

As much as I love the story and the lesson it’s aiming to teach, I do have a couple gripes about the book that I’d like to cover.

Firstly, there are a few misspellings and grammatical errors that I picked up on.  To a child, it maybe not be a big deal, but as an adult supplying these books to a child as an educational tool, these books should be combed through for those things.  I’m not an English major and I’m certain I make mistakes in my writing, frequently, but a quick glance at “whishpering” and having to re-read a couple sentences to make sense of them isn’t a book I’d want an older child reading.  Since I have a tot to read to, I can correct the errors verbally to make it work for us.

Secondly, it felt as though the story was rushed and that perhaps the author lacked passion for the subject.  The story line was blunt and choppy as if she was throwing around ideas and piecing them together.  I didn’t feel it flowed as well as the previous book I reviewed (The Last Bully).

Aside from my gripes, I still enjoyed the book and it’s message (and think I know plenty of adults that would benefit from reading these books).  Additionally, my daughter enjoys the starfish’s adventures and is very intrigued by the beautifully illustrated characters.

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