From a Caldecott Honor-winning artist comes a cozy classic-in-the-making about finding your friends and sticking together through thick and thin.
"Our Friend Hedgehog feels like a modern-day Winnie the Pooh. It's so warm and full of joy and love. It's got classic written all over it." --Victoria Jamieson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl
Sometimes you make a friend,
and it feels like you have known that friend your entire life. . . .
Hedgehog lives on a teeny-tiny island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty, for company. When a great storm carries Mutty away, she embarks on a quest to find her friend. Following the trail of clues Mutty left behind, brave Hedgehog meets a wiggly Mole, a wordy Owl, a curmudgeonly Beaver, a scatterbrained Hen and Chicks, and a girl who's new to the neighborhood, Annika May. With bravery and teamwork, there's nothing that can stop these seven from finding Mutty, but along the way they discover something even more important: each other.
The first book in a new series from Caldecott Honor winner Lauren Castillo, Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us has the feel of a timeless classic, introducing an unforgettable cast of characters who will star in many more adventures to come.
An array of woodland characters pay kindness forward in this character-driven series opener from Castillo (Imagine). Hedgehog is largely content with her island life alongside best friend Mutty, a stuffed dog, but when a storm separates them, she gathers her courage and sets off to find him. Falling into an underground abode damaged by the recent storm, Hedgehog is befriended by empathic Mole, whose home she helps to repair. In turn, a thankful Mole assists Hedgehog with her search, and the two meet multiple friends along the way, Mole greeting each animal in a different language ("Guten Tag, Owl!"; "Salaam, Hen"). The characters recall those of Milne's Hundred Acre Wood: Word-loving Owl lists definitions, headstrong Beaver is preoccupied with his home of sticks, adventurous Hen and her two playful chicks engage in familial bustle, and narrator Annika Mae Flores, a brown-skinned child who is new to the area, binds them all together following a waterlogged adventure. Inviting mixed-media illustrations evoke a timeless sensibility, rich with foliage and burgeoning friendship. And Castillo's friendly message about community, courage, and new beginnings should be a hit among early readers. Ages 5 9.