A Place to Call Home

Knopf. (Our Friend Hedgehog: Bk. 2). Oct. 2022. 144p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524766740.
Gr 1-3–During a routine trip to Owl’s loft, Hedgehog comes face-to-face with a startling surprise: In front of her stands a hedgehog! After ruling out other possibilities for what she just saw, Hedgehog realizes that she may have met her first family member and she supposes that “it might be nice to meet a relative.” With the help of her friends Owl, Mole, and Beaver, Hedgehog sets out to find the family that she’s never had. This second installment of Castillo’s “Our Friend Hedgehog” series is a great reminder that families come in all varieties. Featuring a cast of animal characters that range in temperament as well as complexity, this story is propelled by Hedgehog’s search for home, with purposeful parallels drawn to the Friend Fort that her friends are busily creating. With full- and half-page illustrations, readers will be drawn in by the vibrant artwork that shares equally in the storytelling. Watercolor, pen, and pencil are used deftly to show the change in seasons as well as the important features of these animal friends. With short chapters and even pacing this chapter book is a perfect fall read-aloud, but equally enjoyable as an independent read with a cup of hot chocolate.
VERDICT This gentle series sequel is a must-have for collections that serve younger readers.

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