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"Big Little Hippo" Is a Picture Book For Teaching That Kindness Is More Important Than Size

Updated on March 29, 2017
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Fun Read Aloud Helps with Self Esteem in Your Young Child

If you have a young child who has an older sibling, you have encountered your little one's self-esteem problem when they feel that being the smallest in the family is not a good thing. Valeri Gorbachev's "Big Little Hippo" is a marvelous tool to help with this family issue.

Little Hippos is worried about being the youngest and smallest in the family. His siblings and all of the other animals in the neighborhood are all bigger than he is. Mama Hippo tries to console him with the fact that he will grow up, but Little Hippo wants to be big now.

One day while on a walk, he encounters a little bug that is actually smaller than he is. The bug is helpless while on his back on the ground. Little Hippo sees the opportunity to help and the little bug's family is very grateful for the help. Little Hippo can't wait to tell his mom that he is now big! His self-esteem rises to the top when the bug's family gives him praise and calls him Big Hippo. He runs through the neighborhood announcing to all of the other big animals that he is now "big". His mom receives the news and is very happy that her little one now feels "big" and is on the way to growing up.

Gorbachev's charming picture book will delight small children with the idea that helping others who are smaller than they are is a wonderful way to become "big". Large colorful illustrations and easy to read print in the text will engage young children while reading. "Big Little Hippo" was published by Sterling Children's Books and has an ISBN of 9781454919063. This fun read aloud is recommended for ages 3-7.

Colorful Picture Book Helps with Self-Esteem

Little Hippo is the smallest in the family.
Little Hippo is the smallest in the family.
The opportunity to help another in trouble can raise self-esteem in your youngest child
The opportunity to help another in trouble can raise self-esteem in your youngest child

Meet the Author/Illustrator

Valeri Gorbachev immigrated to the United States from his native Ukraine in 1991. He brought his talent for writing children's books and his talent in illustrating and has written/illustrated more than 50 children's books. His interest in drawing and literature have created a successful career. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Gorbachev's Large Colorful Illustrations Contribute to the Theme

Little Hippo helps the little bug and receives a new name of Big Hippo from the bug's family
Little Hippo helps the little bug and receives a new name of Big Hippo from the bug's family

The Youngest Child in the Family Can Learn Self-Esteem in Many Ways

A young child who has older siblings often encounters self-esteem issues because of age and size. Parents are challenged to help with this family issue and reading fun read alouds like "Big Little Hippo" can start a conversation with your child who is experiencing this feeling of inadequacy because of age or size.

Younger children don't always receive a great amount of attention if there are older siblings. Busy families must remember to include the youngest in family activities and often must find activities for the youngest to participate in alone in order to help the child feel successful in his/her own right. Healthy interactions with older siblings can help with this family issue. Older siblings have the opportunity to teach conflict resolution and empathy when they interact with their younger sibling. These opportunities can help the little one feel "big".

Look for opportunities to engage your little one in helping around the house with chores that he/she can do without help. Big Little Hippo was able to help the small bug without anyone's help and your young child will relate to this concept after reading the story. Your young child might have ideas about other ways to feel "big". Engage your child in a conversation to come up with other ideas that will make them feel "grown up". Young children can also help in the kitchen. This is a great way to build self-esteem in your little one when they help to prepare a family meal. Setting the table, helping to clean up, and feeding family pets are all ways for your youngest to feel "big". Start a conversation after reading Gorbachev's "Big Little Hippo" to discover that kindness is more important than size.

Kindness is More Important Than Size

How do you help your child to feel "big"?

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