Life is hard enough for eight year old Nicoletta. She has never really fit in at school, and she has always had trouble making real friends. She sees the world differently than other kids do, relying on her imagination to be her constant companion and friend. Nicoletta comes home from school one day and finds out that her Dad has just been offered an opportunity of a lifetime – in another country! This sudden change for the family is creating a lot of worries for Nicoletta. She retreats to her hammock to think, where her dad is already waiting for her. Snuggled in his arms, they talk about the news. Feeling a little better, she drifts off to sleep and wakes up in the most unusual dream! Nicoletta finds herself in front of Lipstickland Inc., where she meets Deloris the hippopotamus who quickly becomes her dearest friend. Through their various adventures at Lipstickland, Nicoletta confronts her worries and fears, and brings many valuable lessons with her to her new home.
In this heartwarming story of friendship, Deloris helps Nicoletta cope with the change, find value her own unique gifts and talents, overcome challenges, and realizing that she doesn’t have to be like everyone else to be special.
Lesson #1 – Coping with Change
Whether it is moving to a new house, a new school, or dealing with a change to family circumstances, change can be scary. Remember that you are never alone, and that talking about it can help you feel better.
Lesson #2 – We are not so different
Deloris teaches Nicoletta that anything is possible when we choose to encourage, support, and celebrate each other instead of focusing on our differences. No matter how different we may appear, all of us have something positive to contribute.
Lesson #3 – Talking about feelings
Children struggle with things that they don’t always share. These things may be related to how they view themselves or as a result of changes impacting their family or someone close to them. It’s ok to feel worried, scared, or sad, and it’s ok to talk about how you feel. Sharing your feelings with someone who cares about you, might help you work things out and feel better. What is important for them to know is that they don’t have to tackle them alone.
Lesson #4 – Dealing with Challenges
Challenges are a part of everyday life. As Deloris advises Nicoletta, they have been put in your way to teach you something and help you grow. Embracing challenges instead of fearing them enables you to see what you are truly capable of. Sometimes you can’t see the gifts you have to offer until you are encouraged to use them. Don’t let fear stop you from trying.
Lesson #5 – Friendship
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Who would have thought that a big, beautiful hippopotamus, all dressed up and wearing the most beautiful shade of red lipstick would help Nicoletta understand the true meaning of friendship. Nicoletta realizes through her adventures at Lipstickland that she doesn’t have to be like everyone else to be special or worthy of friendship. As Deloris reminds her, “We may appear different on the outside, but on the inside we are not so different.” We all have special gifts and talents that will be recognized, encouraged, supported, and even celebrated.