Children’s Book that Celebrates Differences – A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp

Children’s Book that Celebrates Differences –  A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp

The team at Special Needs Book Review is happy to tell you about another great children’s book that helps children appreciate differences. A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp is a children’s book that celebrates differences, helps kids see that being different isn’t a bad thing, and helps them conquer fear and embarrassment of being different. Ms. Hipp’s heartwarming story is based on true events that happened when their family visited Africa.

Guest Post by Helen C. Hipp

 Children’s Book that Celebrates Differences

A Different Kind of Safari

Summary: What do you need to feel happy about being different? Based loosely on real life experiences, this heartwarming and powerful book illustrates how self-awareness, and courage help a young boy named Raymond learn the difference between seeing things as they appear to be and seeing things as they are. Feeling “different and lonely” Raymond befriends a hippo while on Safari in Africa. Unlike other grey hippos, this hippo is pink. Ray is soon carried into a world beyond labels and challenging assumptions. You will never guess what happens next!

Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 12) for Reader Views Kids (06/14)

“A Different Kind of Safari” by Helen C. Hipp is a book about Ray, a boy on a Safari trip in Africa with his family. While Ray is under a tree resting, he hears and then finds Rosie, a pink hippopotamus. Rosie was shunned by her fellow hippos. At first, she tried to blend in, but, realizing it was impossible to do so, Rosie decided to conquer the fear and embarrassment of being different. Ray recognized that he had a lot in common with Rosie. Ray had difficulties in public settings. From Rosie’s example, he was inspired to go on an adventure to be happy with who he is and to celebrate his differences. On the way, he meets some unlikely help in his quest to see the world as it really is and to finally see that being different isn’t a bad thing.

I would recommend “A Different Kind of Safari” by Helen C. Hipp for people who like adventure and inspirational stories. My favorite character was Ray with his everlasting determination to complete his quest for happiness.

Children's Book that Celebrates Differences -  A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp

The reason the author wrote it:

The birth of the story began in Africa when my family spotted a pod of hippos and one was pink! My son fourteen at the time immediately named her “Rosie”.  Curious and wanting to learn more about this hippo we asked the guide many questions about hippos and hippo behavior.  Specifically I wanted to know why she stood so far outside of her pod? The familiarity of the guides answer took me by surprise, he explained that “Rosie” was tolerated but not necessarily accepted by the herd because of her differences.  As a parent of a child with special needs I immediately felt inspired to weave this experience into a children’s story that celebrates differences and helps children understand themselves and others.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 12, Intended for parents, caregivers, teachers and children who may have felt at some point in their life that they were different from their peers.

Excerpts from A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp

“My name is Ray. I am visiting Africa from a place far away. I do not mean to be rude, it’s just that . . . aren’t hippos supposed to be gray?

“Most hippos are,” Rosie said. “Not me, though. I stand out.” “You do not seem to mind that,” I said.A Different Kind of Safari by Helen C. Hipp
“Not anymore,” Rosie agreed. “At first I did, but not now.” “What did you do?” I asked. “How did you change your mind?”

“Not wanting to be different, I used to spend all day covering myself with gray mud. I just left a hint of pink in my cheeks, but it was hard work. You see Ray, hippos like me need water to be happy and to stay cool. When I was gray, I could not be both covered with mud and sitting in my watering hole cool and wet.”

“Why not?”

“The water washed my gray away, of course!” Rosie exclaimed impatiently.

“No matter what I did, I could not change what made me uncomfortable. Determined, I decided to go to the river, the place where I knew I could be happy, and learn how to be myself—Rosie, a pink hippo.

“Your story sounds familiar Rosie,

a lot like mine except I am more sad than happy,” said Ray.

“Really?” Rosie said.

“You look just the same as every other boy.

How can you know how it feels
to be different?”

About the Illustrator:

 Hilary Ann Love Glass illustratorHilary Ann Love Glass, illustrator: Hilary grew up in Vermont and has been drawing persistently since she was five years old.  In her early works she concentrated intensively on drawings of princesses.  Since then she has spent time with many mediums and subjects.  She uses acrylic paint, graphite, collage, and pen and ink.

In 2005 she found the technical medium of printmaking at the University of Vermont  and has been smitten ever since.  Her experience is primarily in intaglio printmaking but has a mind to dabble in woodcut and silkscreen as well.  A newer facet of her work is highly detailed pen and ink illustration. Her imagery offers many creatures both real and imagined, all rendered with extreme detail and narrative in their physical postures and expressions.

 Helen C. Hipp author of A Different Kind of Safari About the Author:

“Opening readers minds to abilities, capabilities, and alternate possibilities.”
Helen C. Hipp,  is the mother of a special needs child on the autistic spectrum. Throughout her son’s life, she dealt with not only his life challenges, but the challenges a parent goes through to get social services in place, and an education at public school where special education children are the minority. “There are a lot of challenges and issues shared amongst children and adults around self-acceptance,” Hipp said. “It’s important to be reminded of that and to learn that for ourselves.”

Find out what you can learn from Rosie the pink hippo, and how you can share those lessons with the children in your life as this popular children’s book puts into words the essence of Helen’s teachings, addressing the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities.

Helen Hipp’s experience raising a child with special needs led her to an M.A. in clinical psychology and certification as a life coach. She now has a  coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families. She wrote A Different Kind of Safari as a teaching tool for her adult and younger aged clients.

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READ Also: Interview Helen C. Hipp Author of Children’s Book that Celebrates Differences – A Different Kind of Safari

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This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.