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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hugo: The Last Bully Review

Bullying is a big topic these days, or more precisely anti-bullying. Teaching proper behavior at a young age is a great way to prevent the bad behavior later. Always on the lookout for items to help broach the subject, I ran across the book Hugo The Happy Starfish: The Last Bully by Suzy Liebermann thanks to a program at Tomoson. In a nutshell, the book helps you teach respect and, what I think is the obvious, don't bully, with the help of a very happy star fish named Hugo.

Before delving into the details of The Last Bully, I should mention that Hugo is part of a much larger series from Happy Language Kids. The books don't have to be read in order, but the characters become familiar to your child if you pickup multiple books in the series. They are all character education titles.

In this book, Hugo teaches others not to bully by forming an Anti Bully Club (A.B.C) after a friend gets taunted. He tells the bully "RESPECT! Don't bully! What comes around goes around and there's always a bigger fish in the ocean!" The bully then gets taunted himself, joins the club, and they tell the new bully the same thing. Each bully thinks they're the biggest fish in the entire ocean so doesn't have to listen. And the next thing you know they're not. When the biggest fish is the bully, all the others swarm together to form a "fire-spitting dragon fish" to appear larger than the last bully, and then everyone is on board at the club.
Hugo Cast of Characters
Overall, I liked the flow of the book, and the pictures are very colorful to keep the attention of the audience. There might be one too many rounds of bullies, but the repetition helps get the point across. And, we see how one person can affect the behavior of so many others.
Hugo with No Bullying Sign
Age-wise, with a six-year old son, I did find the book a little too young for him. He could read it himself, but there weren't even enough words per page to keep his interest. I might say the audience is about 3-4 year olds, and maybe early fives, where the parent still reads to the child.

Talking about respect, you can't forget about someone named Aretha.
The hardcover runs $15.95 and might seem a bit expensive. Consider instead the Kindle version at just 4.99. If you don't have a Kindle device, you can still read the book on your laptop/desktop with the appropriate software from Amazon.

I love the fact that the book will be available in seven different languages. Watch for these to come out soon, if they aren't available yet. There is even an introduction to Spanish in the text, which comes across okay, as long as the parent is the reader. Do watch their Facebook page for giveaways, too. None active now, but there may be more in the future.

DisclosureI received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. this would be a great book for the kids in my neighborhood.

  2. I do think it is important to teach kids about bullying at an early age, they themselves could be victims of it