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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Very Helpful Hedgehog, written and illustrated by Rosie Wellesley. Anova Books, 2012. $9.99 ages 3 and up

"Something had landed on
 his back and he couldn't
get it off.
He tried to see it...
and tried again...
and tried some more...
?
!"

I have never taken my friends for granted! I know what a real blessing they are in my life each and every day. There are times, I will admit when I am just like Isaac. I think if the truth were known, we all crave quiet at one time or another.

Isaac feels like that all the time. He is happy with himself, and likes being on his own. He doesn't need friends. Then, one day an apple falls on him and sticks to his spikes. Isaac uses all his problem solving chops to get unstuck...but, no go! He is so sad.

His tears and heartbreaking sobs prevent him from hearing a new voice:

"Hmmm, an apple. At last an apple has rolled into my paddock.
CRUNCH"

This is a story that will hold great appeal for the preschool crowd. They will very much enjoy the predicament that Isaac finds himself in, as well as the very talkative donkey whose love for apples is apparently boundless. And man, that guy can talk!

Isaac says nothing! Doesn't even faze the big guy. He's on a roll and he just keeps going...like the EverReady Bunny!

"Gala apples,
Granny Smith,
Irish Peach,
Honey Crisp,
Golden Supreme,
Golden Delicious,
Braeburn, Bismarck, Jonalicious."

Are you getting the picture?
Isaac has none of the social amenities that come with friendship. So, he just walks away. He likes being on his own.

But, when the next apple falls, he has a change of heart!

The telling is gentle and funny, with charming illustrations in lovely warm autumn colors. I love the white background that makes Isaac the clear focus for our attention, and the cover is an open
invitation to venture inside and get to know this tiny, delightful creature. Sure to be a huge success in reading circles and at bedtime, too.

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