Hedgehogs are something of a novelty here in Europe and my kids are obsessed with them. Luckily there are many wonderful books which feature a hedgehog for a main character. Through these stories they have learned more about the behaviors of hedgehogs and enjoyed some well written books.
Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm is a retelling of a classic tale. A child which is half-man and half-hedgehog grows up as a bit of an outcast. But just like Beauty, the hedgehog man turns into a handsome prince upon finding love. In this version, many of the original details were changed which gives the story a much more positive tone than the original.
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (Peter Rabbit) - Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is a washer woman who does laundry for all the forest creatures. This is a sweet story which contains many sophisticated words that help to build little vocabularies.
The Beginning of the Armadillos by Rudyard Kipling is a legend which explains how armadillos came to be. When the fox tried to capture a hedgehog and a tortoise, he got confused about who was who. As he straightens himself out the hedgehog and tortoise learn each others tricks and slowly change form.
Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett tells the story of a Tomten who likes to eat eggs for breakfast. When the hen gets fed-up, Hedgie helps the Tomten to stop taking the hen's eggs with a trick. Many of Jan Brett's books feature hedgehogs, but this one is our favorite.
When the hedgehog in Miss Jaster's Garden is sprinkled with seeds his skin begins to itch. He ponders whether he will become a vegetable or flower garden before leaving the garden to do a dance. Miss Jaster sees her flowers leaving and Hedgie is mistaken for a thief. Luckily the police officer straightens out the situation.
Hedgehog, The (Eye View Library S.) contained far more information on the habits of hedgehogs than any of the other stories. Written in story format, I recommend this book with one bit of caution. It describes how the male hedgehog runs in circles around the female for three hours before she allows him to mate. Some find this page too graphic for little ones.
Knitting a hedgehog is a fun project to go along with these stories.
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