Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us

(Our Friend Hedgehog: Bk. 1). May 2020. 128p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781524766719.
K-Gr 3–Hedgehog and Mutty live on a river island and spend their days playing, imagining, and dreaming. One day, a storm carries Mutty away, and Hedgehog sets out to rescue her friend. Along the way, Hedgehog meets companions throughout the forest who help rescue Mutty and become a new group of friends. This gentle early chapter book is sure to delight young fans of animal friendship stories. Full-color illustrations make the title inviting to readers just breaking into the longer format, and plenty of white space and larger text is also welcoming. Some of the word choices may be difficult for striving readers. However, repetition and the use of definitions in context, especially by the owl, will help expand vocabularies. The bright, detailed illustrations work well to enhance the plot and bring the characters to life. The final chapter, “Us (the beginning),” promises more adventures from this spirited crew.
VERDICT This sweet adventure and cast of new friends is reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh or a calmer Mercy Watson. A suggested purchase for all fiction collections that serve early chapter book readers.

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