As the oldest sibling, I have always been ready to defend and protect my sisters when needed, even when I was young. It didn’t matter if I was out of my league (or how annoying my sisters had been moments before), I was going to jump in, growl, and bare my teeth at antagonists.

If I could have gotten my hair to stand up on end to make me look bigger, I would have done that too.

In the long run, however, that was not generally a successful response and one of the most difficult lessons I had to learn as a child was that reacting to unkindness or aggression with aggression was not a viable option in most social situations.

If I complained about mean people, my mother would respond with one those sayings that would make me roll my eyes

You attract more flies with honey, than with vinegar

(Why would I want to attract flies? I would think.)

But I eventually learned that she was right, and that there was a certain kind of peace that came with reacting to aggression and unkindness with kindness instead of aggression.

That is the lesson of the book “Rosie and Friends: One-of-a-Kindness” by Helen Hipp, a children’s book that teaches the benefits of kindness over aggression.

Geared towards ages kindergarten to sixth grade, it shares my mother’s lesson about the vinegar and honey, except with charming animal characters and beautiful illustrations.

It tells the story of Hornsby the rhinoceros who, after battling with another rhinoceros, damages his horn so badly that the other rhinoceroses make fun of him and exclude him from their group.

Sad and lonely, Hornsby wanders around until he meets Rosie the pink hippo and her friend T.L.C. the wise crocodile. The other animals don’t think Hornsby’s damaged horn is a big deal, and are willing to accept him for who he is.

But Hornsby, used to battling with other rhinoceroses as his go-to social interaction, doesn’t know how to use kindness to interact with other animals.

Together, Rosie and T.L.C. help Hornsby understand new ways of making friends and how kindness can help him connect with his new friends.

The book ends with a cute activity where kids can make a horn like Hornsby’s and blow it gently to call to their friends.

Author Helen Hipp has a background in psychotherapy with a specific focus on coaching individuals with disabilities. This is the third children’s book she has written focused on building acceptance, self-confidence and understanding.

The illustrations by Taryn Cozzy are delightful, full of color and action while being sweet and approachable, and they pair well with the story line.

The book is “Rosie and Friends: One-of-a-Kindness,” by Helen Hipp. For more information, visit Rosie the Hippo’s website.

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Spotlight: Rosie and Friends: One-of-a-Kindness by Helen Hipp

Approaching life with excitement and energy, Helen works hard to help people achieve exuberance! Born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1959, Helen is the middle child of five. Her father, whose work demanded strong problem-solving skills and mother whose interest in art, provided Helen with endless opportunities to look at things from different perspectives.

Today, Helen continues to take advantage of an imaginative mindset that creates opportunities out of obstacles. A concept she fostered in her children, one of whom has special needs. As Helen explored career opportunities, she connected her personal experiences (parenting a child with special needs) with her beliefs, professional skills, and aspirations.

Helen received her M.A. in counseling and began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on helping individuals with special needs reveal their innate ability to solve difficult situations. Inspiration and fun, is Helen’s motivation and her life’s fuel.

Helen explains her enthusiasm as, “each day is an opportunity, waiting to be shaped and here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.”

Helen has authored articles for Family Works and Washington Family Magazine and written multiple self-help articles published by where she is viewed as an expert in her field. 

In addition to her work, Helen has written two children’s books creating a very effective way to motivate kids of all ages to meet their challenges with self-acceptance, confidence and understanding.

Her debut children’s book, A Different Kind of Safari, released in 2013 addresses the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities. Once again, the engaging safari family led by Rosie the Pink Hippo inspire, and help you see your life differently in her new book, Rosie and Friends Positively Different. With a cast characters experiencing real-life issues, her books provide children with the opportunity to identify, understand and feel supported by the characters handling of similar fears, interests, and concerns.

Rosie and Friends Helping Children to Understand That Their Uniqueness Is Not a Weakness.

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Book Review: To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through a Star Trek Lens

We were so excited to have an opportunity to read and review Autism Mom's newest book, To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through a Star Trek Lens

Barnes writes with empathy and experience about raising a child on the autism spectrum and the challenges they can face in understanding their own and others’ behavior. The various Star Trek episodes and characters provide perfect settings to better understand a wide range of behaviors and interactions while entertaining both parent and child. 

“The creative approach used by the author and her child ’s love of all things Star Trek was both refreshing and inspiring. A refreshingly new perspective, her book serves as an important reminder that role models and teaching opportunities are everywhere. 

Using snippets from the Star Trek episodes, this book highlights many key challenges faced by children diagnosed with autism in a way that is non-threatening and relatable. 

Providing opportunities to segue into conversations, the author’s use of thought-provoking questions are a strong teaching component, and the strength of this book”. - Helen C. Hipp MA.

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STORYBOOK SUNDAY: Rosie and Friends, One-of-a-Kindness by Helen Hipp

I, for one, liked Rosie and her friends immensely, though Hornsby took some getting used.  Hey, I would be bent out of shape too if what happened to him, happened to me, but the moral of this story isn't about what was and can never be, but rather one of hope and second chances.  Hornsby was THE man, er, um, RHINO, ready to take on the world one foul up at a time.  A twist of faith later and what do you know, his top "man" status is gone and he's left in the dust without a friend in the world...until Rosie and TLC happen upon him and BOOM, instant (if not unlikely) friends!  With their help, there's nothing Hornsby can't do...and the same can be said for readers young and old.  Combine the lovely story with the vibrant illustrations, and you've got the perfect way to celebrate National Kindness Day.
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Book review: Rosie and Friends One-Of-A-Kindness

by  on October 1, 2017 of Burlington VT Moms Blog

Sometime in the last year, I noticed a change in how kids were interacting with each other. Whether it was due to the exposure of riding the bus with middle schoolers, or just the natural way of life for kids after age 5, cliques started to become a predominant thing. No, I’m not talking about those friends our littles make at preschool (there is always a natural tendency to form groups based on friendships). Instead, I’m talking about the times you hear that your kid suddenly stopped being friends with someone because they got in a fight with another friend. Or when someone isn’t invited to a birthday party because they weren’t part of the group of kids.

As a parent with a gender-nonconforming child, I am constantly living in a world of fear for how other kids will accept her and how this will shape her future. In fact, I’ll never forget the day Wyatt came home upset because, “No one would play with her,” on the playground and how it felt to see my sweet little 5-year-old (now 6) become a victim of bullying for the first time. But she stood up, brushed it off, and chose to talk to her teacher about the situation. The next day at school, the bullying was addressed and it was amazing to see how her little classmates’ brains opened up and became accepting of how they made her feel and how they worked together to make Wyatt feel integrated and supported again.  

Teaching our children about differences has never been more important, regardless of where they stand on the ‘difference’ spectrum. We won’t always have children with open minds and hearts and it’s up to us to make sure humanity and kindness are words used in our daily vocabulary.

That’s why, when my family had the opportunity to review Helen Hipp’s new book, “Rosie and Friends – One-Of-A-Kindness,” I jumped at the chance. This is a truly lovely book about a rhino who thinks he has to be tough but after an unfortunate accident suddenly finds himself with a new appearance and has to learn how to adjust and accept differences.

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