Book Reviews on "You Should, You Should!"

Any child and every adult can relate to the message in this book. The Hippopotamus represents the fear of rejection in all of us. The illustrations in this book bring out with crystal clarity our insecurities, but also show us how our greatest fears can be our greatest strengths. What a beautiful book! 

~Aaron N.

I read it to my 4-year-old and he wanted me to read it again and again, which I'm sure is great news since he's the target audience. :-) The pictures made him laugh--especially the hippo trying to peck-peck-peck the watermelon. The grammar and spelling are clean. I was able to read the book aloud smoothly, so the words fall together perfectly.  
My son definitely had a basic understanding of what the book was about and once we finished we had a discussion on how important it is to do what he likes and not what other people like. He did understand that the hippo was trying to make others happy which did not make the hippo happy, so he did understand the message. He only wants books he really really likes repeated. Usually, if we read three or four books for the day, he wants his favorite repeated. There are plenty of books he has no interest finishing from start to finish, so he knows what he likes. :-) His bookshelf has about 50 books and there are three books that he wants read over-and-over, so hopefully that gives you an idea of how much he liked your book. 

I read the book five times (four times with Ayden) just trying to find more to critique, but the book was so good that it ended up just being fun to read with my son.

~Melissa M.

My 10 year old daughter said she loved it especially the part about the spot. My 4 year old twin boys said - read it again, read it again. They giggled non-stop over the STOP! part. :) Their favorite picture was the hippo singing his version of his song. Thanks so much for sharing. I would definitely buy your book, love the theme and the rhymes and the illustrations. I would even recommend it for older kids with self-esteem issues.  This is truly a book I would read over and over to my kids and would want a printed copy.  My boys already said they wanted another hippo story. :)

~Rebecca P.

. . . A breath of fresh air.  The delightful and well-crafted illustrations are gorgeous, as well as intricate enough to hold up to close examination.  My kids are all picture book connoisseurs, and they enjoyed every minute.  The message, while important, is never preachy -- conveyed in humorous verse.  In a world where so many of us struggle to fit in, even to the point of being completely untrue to ourselves, You Should, You Should can open an important dialogue between parents and children, as well as provide giggle inducing fun.

~Lee V. Call

We love it!!!  My oldest son, Cole, 9 years old said, "It's probably the best children's picture book we've ever read!"  Seriously, I quoted him verbatim, so there you go out of the mouth of babes!!  Well done, we really liked the moral of the story to just be yourself and not to be bullied into doing something you know isn't you!

~Aimy W.

I am deeply touched by this story.  I saw myself in this story on every page. I got chills when hippo shouted "STOP". I wanted to shout it with him!! I was so proud of him!!! He had his own way of doing things and that was OK! I have lived a life of doing things that others said I should out of fear: fear of rejection, fear of looking stupid, fear of doing things wrong. I felt that I had to be the same as someone else, like the same music, say the same words, dress the same, to be loved or accepted. I am now learning that I am me, and that it's ok to be different! In fact, like the hippo, it is BETTER to be different, unique! And people like and value my differences, just as the animals at the end seemed to be enjoying his differences! I love this story so much, and I want to share it with my family! I want to read it to my nephews and niece and help them know it's ok to be different. Tell them it's ok to be themselves. That they should not do things just to please others, because who they are is much more beautiful than trying to be like someone else. ...  I love the page where the giraffe is trying to take off hippo's spot. What a powerful page!!! Wow. Try as we might, others cannot take that which is inherintely ours, and we should not allow them to. I want to hold tight to the 'me' in me, because it is what makes me special, and hippo's spot made him different and special as well. I love the message about acceptance. Accepting and loving oneself. What a difficult thing to do, but when we love and accept US for who we are, that is when others can love and accept us as well, and see that what we have to offer is both beautiful and special. Thank you!

~Annette B. 

I read your book to my 3 year old son Jamie. The characters on the first page had him engaged straight away. As I was reading he said, "And what's that little guy saying?" pointing at the green lizard. I said, "He's looking at the possum and possum's telling hippo to climb the tree." Jamie said, "He's very big." I said, "He is, but look he tried to climb it and pulled the tree down. Then the pelican tried to make him walk up the hill. They all want hippo to be like them, but he just wants to be himself and do special things just hippos do. Then the giraffe came along with a magnifying glass and looked closely at hippo and saw a big spot and said no that spot won't do. The giraffe trying loads of ways to take it off, then the hippo shouted stop!"  Jamie said, "He likes his spot, he wants to keep it."  I said, "Yes exactly, he likes the way he is."  I showed him how hippo had his own special things that he did well, and explained how all the animals were different but special in their own way. He said, "Yeah hippo just likes to do his own thing."  I said, "Yeah he is happiest when he is just being himself."  And he said, "Yep he just does his own thing, like I do."  You see if anyone tells Jamie to play a certain way or build with blocks a certain way he always tells them, "I just like to do my own thing." So he really could relate to the story. 

~Joe and Jamie O.

I loved it !!!!! (and I didn't have to ask anybody if I did ....ha ha ) What a great story, the illustrations are awesome and it was just a nice quick read but it got the point across. we need to trust our gut and even though hippos may have big guts :)  they still need to trust themselves and go with their own thoughts. I really enjoyed it.  Kudos to you for a charming, helpful story and you can quote me on that!!

~Kris F.

We loved it!!  The pictures were bright and fun.  My 2 year old loved them.  Even on a computer screen, the illustrations totally engaged him.  The words and story flowed really well.  And I loved how the story had a good message.  We are always told that we need to change who we are to fit in.  It is nice to have a children's story book teach the message that you are just fine the way you are.

~Melissa T.

My daughter is only 1 year old, and she was totally into it. She loved the bright colors and cute characters. While i was reading it to her, she kept pointing at the pictures with wonder and amazement in her eyes and then would squeal with excitement. So cute! I also loved it! I look forward to adding this to my library. 

~Jenni S.

Awww just had a read of it, the story is adorable and love the message behind it, its one that I back all the way, no one should ever try changing who we are, we are all special in our own little way. Will see what the kids make of it later, I can see them wanting a copy ;) Your illustrations are inspirational and full of humour, just what us big kids like he he. You should be incredibly proud of this, it has best seller written all over it.

~Corrina H.

My sister and I opened your book and read it at the same time.  We had so much fun reading it!  We loved it!  Your book is wonderfully written.  It's exactly the kind of book I would love reading to my kids, or would have loved to read as a kid.  I love that you chose a hippo as your main character.  He's so cute and innocent and sweet.  He reminds me of, :)  Being pressured into doing things just so that others will like him.  I think we all do this, one way or another.  We want people to like us and acknowledge us, not that that is a bad thing, but like the hippo sometimes we can lose track of who we really are and what qualities and characteristics make us so unique and special.

Not only is the story amazing, but so is your illustration of the story.  I love your style.  My favorite page is the one with the giraffe trying to remove the spot from the hippo, so funny.  Each character is designed with care especially that adorable hippo :)  It's your illustrations that really bring the story to life and that is an amazing talent to have!  So enjoyed it and I am so looking forward to buying this book soon!  I am going to read it to my little 8 year old brother....and he's going to love it!

~Cassie R.

Love it.  It helped me to realize that I need to be me not want others demand I am.  I may make changes from experiences but I am who I am and you need to learn that I am who I am.
It helped me to realize that maybe I try to please people and not push back a little bit because that is not who I am.  I learned that I may be co-dependent and did not realize it.  Wonderful story and illustrates that being who others want us to be may not be the best for them or me.  Loved it, and loved it some more. 

~Steven W.

WOW - this is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!  I think it is absolutely perfect ... - what a wonderful message to teach little people so they grow up to be just who they are!!

~Sara M.


  1. Good job Ginny! You are a success from the sounds of these reviews :) I'm proud of you!

  2. Amazing reviews Ginny, and thanks again for all your hard work in bringing this unique story with it's wonderful illustrations to us.

    Joe & Jamie O Brien.


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