Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recommended Picture Book: Hilmy the Hippo Learns to be Grateful

Title: Hilmy the Hippo Learns to be grateful

Author: Rae Norridge

Publisher: The Islamic Foundation, 2002

Suitable for ages: 7 - 11

Themes/Topics: Gratitude, Moving House, Finding a Home

Hilmy was a large, happy hippo who lived at a quiet water hole. One day he decided that the water hole was too small for a hippo as grand as himself.

Brief synopsis:
What happens when you start to think you are too big for your cozy home? Hilmy doesn't like his home anymore. So he goes on a trip searching for a new home fit for a grand hippo. But this is not as easy as Hilmy thinks. He meets a lot of nice friends (and scary ones too) on his way and finds out the hard way that his old home was perfect for him all along.

Links to resources:

Word searches are great ways to re-enforce vocabulary. Create word searches with all the animals in the book. Visit some great sites to learn all about Hippos: what they eat, where they live and other fun facts. National Geographic, Science Kids and Zoo Books. I like Zoo Books because it has a virtual zoo and audio of different animal sounds along with lots facts and interactive games. Discussion Topics can include: Why did Hilmy want a new home? What were some of his obstacles? Did he find a new home? Why should we be grateful? Have you ever wanted to move to a different home? Why? What do you like about your homes?

Why I like this book:

Hilmy is sweet. And like all young people (and older people) he is learning the importance of being grateful and appreciating what we have. I love that he goes on this journey and finds out for himself that bigger is not always better. He also remembers to thank Allah (God) in the end when he realizes that the home he searched for was the home he left behind. The illustrations are wonderful and fun. I think children will love them and find them entertaining. There is an Arabic glossary to help with the non-English words in the book. I love books that connects children with faith and spirituality. While this book uses Arabic greetings and phrases, it does not

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