Who is Bentley the Hippo?
Bentley is our mischievous little hippo that teaches life lessons. Bentley helps to inspire children all over the world. The books in this first series will introduce children to real world problems, through stories, activities and a generous sized custom created plush of Bentley.
Emilie Buchwald, an award winning children's novelist, once said "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents"
In a fast paced, quickly changing and technologically advanced world, the pressure of needing to keep up with the latest social media platforms, gadgets, and electronics occupy the minds of not only professionals, adults and teens but also children.
Once upon a time, children couldn't wait to go outside to play with their friends, allowing their minds to wander and imaginations soar. This is not the case today.
The pressure that online social media platforms put on children nowadays making them compete for the wrong things and the wrong reasons is at an all-time high.
Factor in that we live in a diverse world consisting of many races, religions, colours and genders, there are additional feelings of confusion of "not being good enough and not fitting in. Values such as acceptance, respect, love and kindness have been replaced by sense of entitlement and feelings of being superior to others.
Statistics show there is an increase in depression in adults and teenagers. This is a result of anxiety that stems from all levels of fear, self-doubt, low self-worth and esteem and insecurity. many of these thoughts are embedded in the minds of children and do not surface until a later stage in their life.
Who created Bentley?
Bentley character was created by Roula Catounis in 2016. Bentley is a happy, positive hippo that wants a kinder world. On his journey, he faces obstacles and encounters other animals to share and help teach important values such as kindness.
Having witnessed recently a lot of bullying, hatred, neglect, disrespect, I have also experienced this firsthand growing up. Feelings of insecurity, low self worth and of not being good enough were in fact embedded in my own mind that resurfaced in my adulthood thus preventing me from bringing Bentley to life when he was originally created.
A dear friend of mine was forced to take her 5yr old daughter to a psychiatrist and this sparked me to move forward and bring to life this happy, positive hippo.
Benefits of Bentley
Gives Kids a Safe Feeling
Lets children know they're not alone
Builds social skills
Opens up kids' world to differences in others
Can ease stress
Who is Bentley for?
Kids aged 1 - 8
Families & Parents
Teachers & Caregivers
Libraries & Daycares
Education Centres & Montessori Schools
Preschools & Classrooms
The great thing about Bentley is that as your child grows, so does Bentley. Your child can pick up the books and practice year after year, developing positive social skills as they age.
Learn the lessons while spending quality time with family. We want to bring kids, parents, educators and caretakers back to the basics of teaching kindness, caring, sharing, acceptance and gratitude.
What Makes Bentley Different Than Other Story Books & Plush Animals?
With our creative educational system, Bentley sets off on an adventure following his dreams. At first this sounds like another children's storybook but it is more than that. his adventure is exciting and will make children lose themselves in a world of knowledge and pleasure. Through Bentley children will learn key values and the importance of friendship, kindness, caring, acceptance and individuality (to name a few)
We are trying to bring Bentley to life not just to sell another storybook and plush toy. Our ongoing program is an educational approach that will help children from a young age to believe in themselves and that they are important no matter what they look like; that they can dream and be whatever they want to be and that they canbreak all the individual enclosed groups of people to form one large united world, strengthened by uniqueness and individuality.
What comes with Bentley?
Our Introductory package will consist of:
A well-made, high quality plush of Bentley the hippo (see below)
The first storybook that will teach the first lesson of "SHARING"
Activities for children to participate in and practice the lessons learned
An exciting "surprise" reward that will remind children of the lesson just learned
Our goal is to help children steer away from the whirlpools of perfect bodies, skin tones, religious beliefs and the infinite and never-ending expectations. To allow them to run their imaginations wild by simply being who they are, being confident that different is good, and to help them reach their fullest potential as individuals.
And it does not stop there:
Parents will have the opportunity to purchase a very reasonable and affordable membership that will deliver the 6 additional books. Two values/lessons will be taught in each book. Each new book will come with activities as well as an exciting "surprise gift" so that children can continue learning.
Engaging for children:
To keep children motivated and engaged, we will keep the entire distribution a fun event, achievement status and little rewards (gifts) will be sent with each new book. Once children complete the entire series, a gift of completion will be sent. This will validate their effort, increase their self-esteem and encourage them to practice the lessons learned.
This is an exciting opportunity as Bentley will learn, develop and grow along with each child. We encourage parents to set aside their phones, and turn off their computers. Books provide values and it's never too late to read a book with your child.
Future of Bentley
We want to start off by returning parents and children to the traditional story time setting. We plan on integrating technology to "meet" Bentley on our website after the launch of our first book. Expect a series that will feature different animals with a specific flaw, attitude or item that makes them stand out or feel different.
Please use this link for the donation of this project. Thank You! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bentleyhippo/a-happy-hippo-teaching-children-life-lessons