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Hurty Feelings Hardcover – September 27, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618410821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618410828
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,428,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–"Fragility was a solid piece of work." So begins Lester's tale of a high-strung hippo whose incredibly thin skin belies her great strength. Oversensitive Fragility takes offense at even the most gracious comments and usually ends up breaking down in tears, which finally forces her friends to avoid her altogether. It takes real insults from a bully elephant, Rudy, to teach her to be as strong on the inside as she is on the outside, and he learns a thing or two as well. The punchy story line will keep children laughing, and Munsinger's characteristic watercolor illustrations bring the tale to life, making Lester's creatures all the more entertaining and enjoyable. Children may recognize characters like these in themselves and in their very own classrooms.–Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Despite her sturdy size and strength, Fragility the Hippo is a quivering bundle of insecurities. She perceives friends' innocent compliments as insults and quickly disintegrates into sobbing self-pity. It's no surprise that her friends grow weary of her theatrics and distance themselves. Then lonely Fragility stands up to the neighborhood bully, Rudy the Elephant, and the encounter gives her the confidence and perspective to hear sweetness rather than slights in her friends' remarks. Some children may have trouble following Fragility's delusional leaps as she twists compliments into insults, but Lester enhances the basic story about handling emotions with a satisfying slapstick humor that's beautifully extended in Munsinger's hilarious, wildly expressive illustrations of Fragility in all her moods. This is a good choice for read-alouds, but prepare for a chorus of listeners joining in with Fragility's whining refrain: "You hurt my feeeeelings!" Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Helen Lester has published The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken in 1983, in collabroation with Lynn Munsinger. They have also worked together on the hilarious Tacky the Penguin series and many other wildly funny and popular titles, including the award-winning Hooway for Wodney Wat. Helen Lester is a full-time writer who makes her home in Pawling, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Itdraws you in and makes you want to read to book to see what is wrong with her.
Melissa Sack
Love all of her books for the great messages they communicate about bullying, selfishness, bossiness and hurt feelings.
Christie West
Like I said, it lends well to silly and exaggerated voices, which only adds to the great story.
E. Sullivan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of Fragility, a hippopotamus who, despite her large size, was very fragile emotionally. Even when someone complimented her she managed to reframe it into an insult and was hurt again. So what happens when she is responsible for protecting the goal in the soccer match and the bully of an elephant decides to insult her? You'll have to read the book to get the answer. "Hurty Feelings" is a fun read for children with well-drawn illustrations that are both detailed and humorous, and an excellent message, which makes it a highly recommended read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on July 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Fragility is a hippo who is very insecure. Her friends give her nice compliment but she always takes them as insults. Fragility cries all the time and her friends start to avoid her. Things change for Fragility one day when she decides to stand up to the neighborhood bully Rudy the elephant. Find out how Fragility turns her life around and learns some important like lessons.

What did you like or not like about the book?

We felt that the book could be used to start various discussions on feelings. Also the topic of bullies could be brought up as well after reading this cute picture book.

Yes. The cover shows a big hippo crying and using up boxes full of tissues.

Itdraws you in and makes you want to read to book to see what is wrong with her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OneMom on September 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We recently checked this book out of the library. I was not familiar with Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger, but my 5 year old (and I) loved this book on the first read. The illustrations are delightful. The best part is the wonderful drama that can be injected while reading. My daughter loves all the great weeping and wailing that Fragility performs (she is a bit of a drama queen, eh?). Not only is it fun to read, it also has wonderful life lessons, such as: learning to like yourself, accepting compliments graciously, and even dealing with bullies (Rudy the bully ends up in a weeping pile himself, and he actually learns some lessons too).

I'm here today to purchase this book and any other Lester/Munsinger books I can find.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Sullivan on October 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love all of Helen Lester's books so had high expectations for this one and it certainly didn't disappoint. I'm a pre-k teacher and expected to use this to teach how words can hurt just as much as physically hurting someone. Believe it or not, bullying and teasing starts very, very early and it's something I wanted to squash early on in my class. It helped tremendously to get my little ones to understand that, but I loved that the book allowed me to lead into several other lessons as well.

-Bullying: Fragility the hippo takes everyone's compliments as insults, until she meets Rudy the elephant who really is very rude and insulting. Rudy knows how fragile Fragility is and uses it to hurt her feelings just because he feels like it. Good for discussing what bullying is and why someone might bully another person

-Whining: As anyone who has or has had a preschooler knows, they're just starting to learn how effective whining can be at getting their way or getting attention. Just before Rudy the bully shows up, Fragility is incredibly lonely because nobody wants to upset her and they're exhausted by her meltdowns. My kids LOOOVED the repetition (and exaggerated voice it lends well to) of "You hurt my feeeeeelings!" and helped them see how silly the whining is as opposed to just talking, just as Fragility learned at the end of the story.

-Two wrongs don't make a right: After several insults from Rudy, Fragility finally manages to throw his insults back at him. Far from helping the situation, this instead leads to two very sad, very hurt individuals. Helpful for teaching standing up for one's self instead of stooping down to a bully's level and making positive choices, even when someone else isn't being nice to you.
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By JAYNE KAMEN on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MY 2.5 YEAR OLD WAS VERY MUCH INTO THIS STORY. SHE WAS VERY EMPATHETIC TO THE HIPPO. THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE GREAT TOO!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend of mine had this book and i knew that it would be great for my head start kids. Class does not start for a couple of weeks.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book the the K-2 kids when we talked about being assertive and asking people not to call you something even if the other person thinks they are just joking or don't mean the comment as mean. Every time Fragility starts crying, I pause and ask how to be assertive in that situation. The vocabulary is probably more grades 3-5 so I end up explaining some words to the kids or changing them all together depending on the grade level. Overall, I like that there are several lessons you can talk about with kids in this book and its really funny. It is the right length to keep their attention and they all enjoy the story.
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