Hedgehog Needs a Hug
Author: Jen Betton
Published June 19, 2018 by Putnam
Goodreads Summary: Everyone needs hugs, even if they’re prickly.
When Hedgehog wakes up feeling down in the snout and droopy in the prickles, he knows a hug will make him feel better. But none of his friends are eager to wrap their arms around Hedgehog’s prickles, and he’s too smart to fall for Fox’s sly offer.
Then Hedgehog gets a surprise: Another animal in the forest is feeling exactly the same way.
Luckily, both are kind and brave enough for the perfect hug.
My Review: I adored this book. It’s about a hedgehog who wakes up and feels down. He really, really needs a hug, and the other animals are clearly avoiding him because he is prickly. The book doesn’t say this, so it was fun to ask my son why he thought they were avoiding him. Then he meets skunk, and skunk needs a hug (but of course, skunk is stinky). This is a great book to teach kids about some of the ways in which they might unintentionally hurt people.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a great text to talk about how we treat others. I’d love to pair it with texts like Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Sometimes, we subtly hurt others without realizing it. A close analysis of the words and behaviors of characters in these two texts offers great potential for building classroom community and kindness.
Additionally, many of the defense quality of animals are addressed in the book which would make it a great elementary book to use cross-curricularly in science, reading, and community building.
Discussion Questions: How do the animals react to hedgehog? How does this make hedgehog feel?; What is hedgehog’s reaction to skunk? How are they similar and different?; How did the author use alliteration to make the rhythm of the text sing-songy?
Read This If You Loved: Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (Kellee’s Review | Ricki’s Review), My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison, Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea, Endgame by Nancy Garden, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, Burn by Suzanne Phillips, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
**Thank you to Penguin for sending us this book! I loved it.**