Else Holmelund Minarik written and Yossi Abolafia’s ‘Am I Beautiful?’ brings to mind Plato’s immortal quote “Beauty in the eyes of the beholder”. A hippo calf learns there are many definitions of beauty and that they are all right. His recurring question “Am I Beautiful” finds a reassuring answer only with his mother.
A baby hippo sets out for a walk as his mum wallows in the mud for some quite time. In the course of the course of his walkabout he spots a family of lions. The lioness tells her cubs, ” My sweet, silky, cuddly little darlings. You are the most beautiful darlings in the whole wide world“. Little hippo steps in and asks if he too is beautiful. Mother lion is not too sure she finds baby hippo the most beautiful and asks him to run along.
Baby hippo then comes upon a family of herons. Father heron is who is giving his young ones a lesson in standing on one leg, can’t help admiring his beautiful children. He says they must be the ‘most beautiful little creatures’ he has seen. Little Hippo now stands on one leg and imitates the herons and asks father heron if he too is is beautiful. Father heron finds the display quite unsettling and gives no clear answer.
Hippo then watches a human mother play with her delighted off-spring. “You are the dearest, fattest most beautiful baby in the whole world she says“. Hippo too falls on the ground and lifts his legs in the air like baby and asks the mother, “Am I beautiful too?”. The human mother finds this question so funny she laughs uncontrollably.
Baby hippo walks back to his mother and asks if he is beautiful. Mother hippo’s answer is only to be expected. She says, ” Sugarplum, all hippos are beautiful. And you are the most beautiful of all because you are mine.”
Baby hippo understands that he is loved truly and thought of as the most beautiful through the eyes of his mother. If every child were given that feeling of being special, loved and accepted totally for who they are they will no longer ask “Am I beautiful?” but shout out loud “I am beautiful“.