C. R. Mudgeon
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C. R. Mudgeon

by Leslie Muir, Julian Hector
     
 

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A set-in-his-ways hedgehog gets a new worldview—and a new friend along the way.

C.R. Mudgeon, a sensible hedgehog, likes knowing just what to expect. Always. No surprises, no excitement. So when a noisy new neighbor, Paprika the squirrel, arrives, C.R. Mudgeon is even less cheerful than normal. The sights! The sounds! The peppery, fiery smells!

Overview

A set-in-his-ways hedgehog gets a new worldview—and a new friend along the way.

C.R. Mudgeon, a sensible hedgehog, likes knowing just what to expect. Always. No surprises, no excitement. So when a noisy new neighbor, Paprika the squirrel, arrives, C.R. Mudgeon is even less cheerful than normal. The sights! The sounds! The peppery, fiery smells! Everything about Paprika is just too much to handle, and C.R. is aching, sneezing, and seeing spots.

But everyone needs quiet sometimes, and when that time comes, C.R. Mudgeon will have just the thing for a new friend in need. And as for himself, he may even discover that a little spice is just what the doctor ordered!

Nuanced, joyful humor permeates the pages of this heartwarming picture book that will make even the littlest, grumpiest curmudgeons want to jump up and dance!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A squirrel named Paprika adds some much needed spice to the titular hedgehog’s humdrum routine in this chipper friendship tale. After flamboyant Paprika moves into the tree next door, bright red poppies sprouting outside his door hurt C.R.’s eyes, zesty aromas make his nightly dinner of “celery root soup—no lemon” taste bland, and mariachi music rumbles his roof; it’s all too much for the quiet, persnickety hedgehog. He’s content to read his favorite book, Medical Cures from A to Z, by the fire and treat himself to “one small fig for dessert—but only on Tuesdays.” But Paprika’s neighborly behavior works its magic, and C.R. decides he’d rather be bothered by the commotion than be lonely. Muir (The Little Bitty Bakery) gets the rhythms of two opposite personalities just right, and sprinkles a piquant note of humor over the proceedings. Hector (The Gentleman Bug) also has fun with the contrasts, from C.R.’s cozy slippers and well-worn sweater to Paprika’s outrageously patterned frocks and piñata-festooned abode. Ages 4�8. Agent: Anna J. Webman, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“C.R. himself is appealing; cute in spite of himself, with his pointy spines sticking up like recalcitrant hair, emphasizing his prickly nature…. This paean to the value of moderation, conveyed via a friendship story that will resonate with children, is just right for any kid who's wary of new things, and maybe a bit shy.”

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2012

“Hector’s charcoal and watercolor illustrations are full of witty details, like C. R.’s droopy daisy boutonniere and Paprika’s chili-pepper-patterned dress…children will appreciate the sentiment that “Good friends are the spice of life.”

School Library Journal, February 2012

"[A] chipper friendship tale…. Muir (The Little Bitty Bakery) gets the rhythms of two opposite personalities just right, and sprinkles a piquant note of humor over the proceedings. Hector (The Gentleman Bug) also has fun with the contrasts, from C.R.'s cozy slippers and well-worn sweater to Paprika's outrageously patterned frocks and pinata-festooned abode.”

Publishers Weekly, February 6, 2012

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A stodgy anthropomorphic hedgehog named C.R. Mudgeon likes everything to stay the same, from his suppers to his chair and sweater. One day, he is surprised to find a trail of red poppies outside leading to a mailbox labeled "Paprika Place." Someone new has moved in and painted the trim there bright red. When he complains to her about the poppies, a jolly squirrel tells him that she will plant tomatoes as well. At supper that night, the taste of his usual soup is spoiled by the spicy smells of cooking. Miss Paprika offers him a bottle of spicy sauce that tickles his nose. Next, she invites him to shake maracas in a mariachi band. In protest, he writes her a note urging her to move away. But when he finds her in bed with the "whooping waffles," he looks up the cure to make her feel better. He even learns to "shake his maracas" in a complete turn-around. The humorous visual story is told in vignettes and full-page illustrations, both offering details of the two different living styles as the text describes them in words. Charcoal and watercolors help depict the contrast between the dark hedgehog environment and the bright colors of Miss Paprika's. Perhaps readers will even pick up "curmudgeon" as a useful new word. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—C. R. Mudgeon is a prickly hedgehog whose orderly life is shaken up by a new neighbor. Paprika has a penchant for bright colors, hot sauce, and maracas. C. R. rebuffs the squirrel's friendly overtures and has to take to his bed to recuperate. Unable to bear the sight of her red poppy garden, the smell of her spices, or the sound of her music any longer, he puts an angry letter in her mailbox telling her to "move to a faraway tree." The next night he regrets his actions: "The quiet gave him a headache." When C. R. finds Paprika sick with the "whooping whiffles," he nurses her back to health. Hector's charcoal and watercolor illustrations are full of witty details, like C. R.'s droopy daisy boutonniere and Paprika's chili-pepper-patterned dress. While C. R. Mudgeon's change of heart comes about rather quickly, children will appreciate the sentiment that "Good friends are the spice of life."—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
Young readers may not know beforehand what a "curmudgeon" is, but so many kids are creatures of habit they'll sympathize with this hidebound hedgehog. Charcoal-and-watercolor illustrations are softly colored in moss green, tree-bark brown, yellow ocher, pale blue and dusty rose, appropriate to the woodsy setting. C.R. himself is appealing; cute in spite of himself, with his pointy spines sticking up like recalcitrant hair, emphasizing his prickly nature. Reminiscent of Ereth the porcupine from Avi's Poppy stories, C.R. is outwardly grumpy and suspicious of anything new. When Paprika the squirrel moves in nearby, she plants bright poppies, enthusiastically greets him--immediately assuming they're friends--and cooks spicy food, the smell of which makes C.R. sneeze. It's not until the tables are turned, and Paprika is subdued by a case of the "whooping whiffles," that C. R. breaks out of his rut to care for her, realizing that, in fact, he has made a friend. As he learns to share his tastes with her, he even spices things up a little: adding salt to his celery soup, lemon to his dandelion tea. This paean to the value of moderation, conveyed via a friendship story that will resonate with children, is just right for any kid who's wary of new things, and maybe a bit shy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416979067
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
841,782
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Meet the Author

Leslie Muir is a writer, painter, and poet. She is the author of Gibbus Moony Wants to Bite You! and the forthcoming books Barry B. Wary and The Little Bitty Bakery. Leslie lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Visit her at LeslieMuir.com.

Julian Hector is an author-illustrator who was born in Los Angeles, grew up in rural Texas, and graduated from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. His debut picture book, The Little Matador, was published in 2008. Julian lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and you can visit him at JulianHector.com.

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