Friday, June 10, 2016

Harvey Hippo Wants to Fly! - a bookwrap

I think everyone on the planet has looked up into the sky and wanted to be like the birds that soar and fly in the heavenliness.  Today's book is about a little hippo who wanted to do  just that.


Created by Lisa Sankar-Zhu

Ages 3-8

Unwrapping some whimsical  illustrations for you....

About the book...

Harvey is an adorable little hippo that you fall in love with immediately.  He is obsessed with being able to fly.  He is very determined to make that happen.  He tries and tries by flapping his arms vigoroulsy...  no luck, jumping up and down and flapping wildly... but that brings him no luck either.   Oh my! What is poor little Harvey going to do?  He wants to take flight!!!

He receives advice and is inspired by those around him: a bird, a hedgehog, and an ostrich give him recommendations as to how he may obtain his goal but when he puts their proposals into practice.... no luck again. 

Downhearted and discouraged after all his well-meaning attempts to fly have failed he bursts into tears.  It's just not fair.  Why can't he soar high in the sky?  Just then his beloved mom comes by and encourages him to think harder, to think out of the box, and suggests that he find another way to make himself airborne.  Will Harvey succeed, become self-propelled,  and take off into the sunset with a happily-ever-after ending? 

The illustrations are full of expression, whimsical and colourful.  They fit perfectly with the text.  Kid's will be challenged and inspired by the message of:  seek advice, be resilient, and never ever give up on your dreams.   The old adage, where there's a will, there's a way is what this wonderful little book is all about.  I highly recommend it.  

About the author...

Lisa Sankar-Zhu has lived in China for nineteen years. Originally from the Caribbean, where she was a freelance journalist, she came to China to study Chinese Language. She met her husband-to-be, a Chinese national, while studying in Beijing. She owes her ability to produce works that reflect aspects of Chinese culture to her proficiency in Chinese, living in China for many years, having wonderful Chinese friends, and to having two sons, whose imagination and curiosity forever stir hers.

Q&A from the author...

Lisa Sankar-Zhu Don't just read a lot. Think a lot! When being creative, don't be afraid to let your imagination go where no other writer has gone before. 
Lisa Sankar-Zhu It's tough dealing with writer's block. I have discovered, however, that it helps if I take a break from writing, or even thinking about what I'm writing. If it's short-term, I might take my dogs for a walk, look at a couple of movies, go shopping, or even play computer games. If it's long-term, I work on something else for however long it takes to shake off my writer's block.
Lisa Sankar-Zhu I can be inspired by anything that piques my interest, for whatever reason. It may be something that someone says or does. It may be something that I see or read. Oftentimes it's something very simple, like a question which was asked of me, and which eventually inspired me with Harvey Hippo. 
Lisa Sankar-Zhu At a Kidscreen Summit in Asia, in 2014, I was trying to interest a senior representative from Nickelodeon in one of my animation series, which was in development. But my pitch didn't sell, because my IP did not fit into the profile of new programs the Channel was looking for. However, the representative from Nick did ask me a question, which my mind latched on to.

The question was whether I had anything for preschoolers involving two characters (it could be kids or anthropomorphic animals) as unlikely friends. I didn't. But I did not dismiss the question.

After months of dwelling upon that question, the concept for Harvey Hippo and his unlikely best friend (that best friend will be revealed only in the third book) was born. And, I chose to present Harvey to kids in picture-book form before working on the TV animation series, which I'll be doing in the future.
-source Goodreads

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