I don’t want to be a Hyena

Living in South Africa means that a love of the bush is in my blood. My children learnt about the wild animals that call our country home from a young age, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed many visits to our beautiful game reserves to see these animals over the years too. So we absolutely love books about our wildlife, which is why we have liked reading Avril van der Merwe’s How Cheetah Got His Tears and Once Upon a Rhinoceros, and were excited to read her new title I don’t want to be a Hyena.

Hyena believes that none of the animals like her and sets out to learn to be a different animal so that she feels liked. First Elephant tries to teach her how to be an elephant, but Hyena doesn’t fare so well and soon moves on to learning how to be a lion. Unfortunately her laughing as a roar doesn’t impress Lion who suggests she could be a leopard, but she’s forced to admit defeat when this doesn’t work out for her either.

Hyena is sad until the other hyenas tell her how much they love her, and the other animals also share why they like her too. Hyena is happy again and says “it seems that I should just be what I was born to be. From this day on I will be the best hyena I can be, because that is what I am.”

I don’t want to be a Hyena is a little like a modern day Aesop’s fables, a fun story for children to read but also with a gentle message to be learned.  The lovely colour illustrations by Heidi-Kate Greeff also mean your child will be engrossed reading this tale about accepting yourself and being happy with who you are so that others may too.

I don’t want to be a Hyena is available from book stores and online retailers for a recommended retail price of R95. It’s recommended for children aged three to six years.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for sharing this book with us.

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