Review (gifted)¦ As autumn approaches, it’s an important time of year for hedgehogs as they prepare to go into hibernation. Indeed, it’s important to carefully check before you light the bonfire just in case some of our prickled friends have chosen it as a place to sleep for the winter! I’ve always been fond of hedgehogs and am keen to pass on the love to my 4 year old daughter, Autumn. We’ve recently read Spikey by Tereza Anteneová, which was a great opportunity for us to learn more about these fascinating animals. Aimed at 2-8 year olds, this book is supported by the charity Hedgehog Street, and “aims to encourage children and their parents to help save the hedgehogs by creating hedgehog-friendly gardens and discouraging predators”.
The story is easy to follow for young children and begins with a friendly introduction from Spikey’s Grandma. Spikey is a young hedgehog who has a slightly deformed leg and was therefore rejected by his peers. One day after they’ve all gone, he decides the time has come for him to leaves his nest – and he needs to learn quickly. On his own, he bravely sets out on a big adventure in Regent’s Park, London. On his travels, he approaches many dangers and comes face to face with other animals in the park, creating many twists and turns. It is a lovely story which champions kindness and friendship. It also gently educates children about these wonderful creatures.
How it’s written
The book is written perfectly for 2-8 year olds, with language that they can understand. Yet at the same time, it teaches them new words too. My 4 year old had never encountered the word ‘aphid’ before! There is a good balance of illustrations for the age group; enough to help keep younger readers engaged but not too many for 8 year olds. The illustrations are as beautiful and heart-warming as the storyline. They depict Spikey just as I’d imagine him – a friendly, happy and inquisitive little hedgehog!
The text is a good size for children and is clear for them to read. My daughter enjoyed sounding out and reading some of the words as we went along. As well as the thought-provoking storyline eliciting questions, there are also questions at the bottom of each page to ask your child. These questions have a range of difficulties for 5-8 year olds and will really help to develop their analytical thinking. As I asked ones appropriate for her ability, I could see the cogs turning as Autumn carefully thought of an answer.
What Autumn thought
Autumn was entertained the whole way through. It really captured her attention, which was great because she doesn’t always engage with much shorter books than this one. In fact, she asked me if we could read it again as soon as we finished it!
When I asked her what her favourite thing about the story was, she said “I liked it when Spikey helped the ladybird and they became friends. And also when the fox made friends with them”.
To find out more about Spikey and the message behind his story, visit www.thelittlehedgehog.com. The paperback Spikey by Tereza Anteneová is £9.99 at all good retailers.
Disclosure: We were gifted this book in return for this review. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.