Prickly Hedgehogs! by Jane McGuinness

Prickly Hedgehogs! by Jane McGuinness
Review Copy from Candlewick Press
Subject: Hedgehogs! I love hedgehogs, so I am definitely predisposed to thoroughly enjoying Prickly Hedgehogs! And this is even despite the fact that, as McGuinness tells readers in her "More About Hedgehogs" section at the end of the book,  "There are seventeen different species of hedgehogs in the world, but did you know that none of them live in North America?" In fact (and I know this because I have thought long and hard about having one as a pet, although I'd much rather have it wander across my yard to my back door at night for a saucer of milk) it's against the law to have hedgehogs as pets in several US states and Canadian provinces. McGuinness paces her book for little listeners, starting off by engaging them with the question, "Do you hear that? Listen, Someone's sniffling and snuffling and snaffling . . ." A paragraph per page of information about hedgehogs follows, with a few lines of additional factoids in smaller print under the illustrations, giving the reader the option to read or not to read. Interesting information abounds! Did you know that the nocturnal hedgehog can walk up to a mile in one night looking for food? And, at top speed, a hedgehog can run as fast as a human can walk? Following a littler of hoglets (the name for baby hedgehogs) from birth in the spring to hibernation in the winter, McGuinness's book is absorbing and, well, adorable.
PicturesHedgehogs! McGuinness's illustration style captures the cuteness of hedgehogs while also clearly presenting them as the wildlife that they are. I especially love the pages where the hedgehogs are hunting and eating even though, as McGuinness writes, "Hedgehog's favorite foods are probably not the same as yours." To connect readers to the content, McGuinness begins and ends her book with a girl who is curious - and respectfully cautious - around the hedgehogs.

Why Read? Why Buy?Hedgehogs! Little kids are curious - and sponges - and this is the perfect book to feed that interest in the world. I am a HUGE fan of non-fiction picture books for readers (and listeners) of all ages and it's never to early to incorporate them into story time, especially when they are as well written and illustrated as Prickly Hedgehogs!

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