{Book Review} Hugo the Happy Starfish – The Secret To Happiness

Hugo the Happy Starfish


Hugo the Happy Starfish – The Secret To Happiness


Suzy Liebermann

“A native of Germany and former resident of the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Islands of the Bahamas and Switzerland, Suzy Liebermann—now living in the USA—has travelled the world in pursuit of language, art, and culture.

Having found it, she now shares it with the world’s teachers, parents, and children through educational literature. Leveraging her decades of global experience teaching in German, Spanish, French, and English with a degree in foreign language translation and a master’s degree in business management and international business, she launched Happy Language Kids Publications in 2010 as an interactive language learning program for children and their young-at-heart elders.

This program 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.”

Author information courtesy of http://www.mystarfish.org/about-the-author!  Please visit the website for more information on her!



Children’s Books



Hugo the Happy Starfish is a lovable little starfish that has a big heart, but for some reason he is feeling sad!  He goes on a search to find out how to not sad and consults his friend, Magic Manta, for help!  Follow Hugo on his quest for happiness in this adorable book!

{Main Characters}

Hugo The Happy Starfish

A friendly and caring starfish that wants to help make everything right in the world

Magic Manta

Hugo’s good friend and the wisest of all sea creatures


Hugo the Happy Starfish was feeling sad so he decides to set out on a search for happiness.  Soon after his search begins he runs into his good friend and the wisest of all sea creatures, Magic Manta.  Manta asks Hugo where he is going and Hugo explains that he is feeling sad and looking to find happiness. Hugo’s wise friend starts offering him advice on places and ways to find happiness.

Spoiler Warning! Click this link to see more of the storyline »

Manta first suggests that Hugo look right where he is.  Hugo looks all around and doesn’t have any luck.  So Manta asks how long Hugo would like to be happy.  Hugo at first decides he wants to be happy for an hour.  Manta suggests that Hugo take a nap.  Hugo gives this a try, but as soon as he wakes up he is feeling sad again.

This time Hugo decides he wants to be happy for a day.  So Manta suggests that Hugo try going fishing.  Hugo goes fishing and enjoys himself and goes to be happy that night, but the next morning the sad feeling is back again.

One day isn’t long enough to have happiness, so Hugo consults Magic Manta for suggestions on how to feel happy for a month.  Manta advises Hugo to spend time with a friend.  Hugo takes Manta’s advice and he does feel happy but after a while he becomes bored and starts to feel sad again.

Hugo goes back to Magic Manta and inquires on how he might feel happy for a year.  Manta proposes that he find a treasure and then buy anything his heart desires.  So off Hugo goes to find a treasure… and he finds one! He buys himself everything he’s ever wanted!  But this happiness soon wore off as well.

Hugo again returns to Magic Manta for advice. He complains to Manta that he feels that he is a hopeless case.  Manta reassures Hugo that that isn’t true and explains that it is normal for things to lose their magic after a person gets used to having them.  Hugo tells Manta that he wants to be happy forever.  Manta tells Hugo that it is easy to feel happy forever – he just needs to share with others!

Hugo thinks about what Manta said and decides he wants to share his heart with others.  His heart liked this idea too and it started doing flips in happiness!  After his heart did several flips, it split into two heartdrops.  One of the heartdrops floats away and the other stays with Hugo. Hugo asks the heartdrop that is floating away what it is doing and it explains that it is leaving to find someone that needs its help.

Hugo goes with the heartdrop and they soon come across a weak seahorse that is curled up on the bed of the ocean.  The heartdrop explains to Hugo that the seahorse needs the heartdrop’s help.   The heartdrop gives the seahorse a hug and suddenly the seahorse is better, smiling, and happy!  Seeing this take place makes Hugo’s heart and body feel all warm and full of happiness!

Hugo learned through this quest that sharing without looking for something in return is the best say to feel happy so he decides to share his heart and happiness forever!



This story is designed to help children understand the attitude of empathy. It is so important to teach our young children to look out for and to help others. It helps with the character education of our children. The Hugo series is a part of the PYP books (Primary Years Programme) collection.  The PYP  was developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for students ages 3 – 12 and helps guide the development of the whole child both academically and socially.



I love the message this book conveys to my children!  It teaches the children that sometimes it is important to put others before ourselves.  Our children learn that by helping others it can make them feel good about themselves.  My children are now a HUGE fan of Hugo the Happy Starfish!  This book is currently one of their favorite books to read at bedtime.  They love the cute characters, the message the story sends, and the bright and vibrant pictures that the book is illustrated with!  While this is only the second book in this collection that I have read, I would definitely recommend that parents seriously consider getting this whole collection to read to their children.  Each book conveys its own message to children in a way that is entertaining but also easy for them to understand!

{Where To Purchase}

Available in 7 different languages through Amazon e-books!

or by visiting the Hugo Books website!

{Cost of Product}

The cost of this e-book on Amazon is currently $4.99!

(Please keep in mind that I have no control over pricing and that this price is current and up to date as of the posting of this review but it is subject to change!)

{Books Around The World}

Please consider checking out and donating to their awesome program called Books Around The World!  Click here for more information!  This is a non-profit organization that promotes literacy by providing children with free books.

{Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation}

Please take a moment to visit the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Website.  “The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to support patients, families, and caregivers coping with aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), paroxysmal nocturnalhemoglobinuria (PNH), and related bone marrow failure diseases”.  One of the types of MDS is a type of leukemia.  It is important to learn more about these diseases and ways to help, especially helping children with leukemia.  I would also suggest that anyone healthy enough seriously consider getting tested to be a bone marrow donor!  You never know when you might be a match and save someone’s life!


*DISCLOSURE* I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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.


3 Responses to “{Book Review} Hugo the Happy Starfish – The Secret To Happiness”

  1. This sounds like a great book. My husband and I are always looking for new titles to read to our children. I will have to add this to our search.

  2. Thanks for such a great site! I loved reading this review! I wish my daughter was a little younger cuz I would get this for her!

    • Thank you! All of these books deliver such a good message to children! I was really impressed with them! Thanks so much for being a follower!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge