Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love

Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love

by Dan Pinto

Love is patient, and love is kind,
but for Hedgehug love is prickly, too.
Join this lonely hedgehog as he searches for someone to accept his heart .

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Love is patient, and love is kind,
but for Hedgehug love is prickly, too.
Join this lonely hedgehog as he searches for someone to accept his heart .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The third picture book published in recent months to deal with the romantic misadventures of a hedgehog or porcupine (along with Hugs from Pearl and Mr. Prickles), this debut offering is based on Pinto’s 2007 animated short of the same name. It’s February 13, and Hedgehug has big plans for the next day: “Tomorrow I’m going to be in love, he thought.” But when he tries to give various animals a homemade valentine (and a hug), it turns out that love hurts, both for the recipients (“You spiked me,” complains the bunny, Hedgehug’s quills poking out of her chest) and, in the case of a gruff boar, for Hedgehug himself. Pinto’s thickly painted cartoons effectively play up his long-suffering protagonist’s willingness to love, which he finds in the sweet finale. Up to age 7. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This very short, overwhelmingly sweet little book is a new selection for Valentine's Day. Hedgehug is looking for true love, but his attempts to find a sweetheart exactly on February 14 seems ill-fated. His attempt to hug a bunny leaves the rabbit covered with hedgehog spines. Owl does not want to be awakened to accept Hedgehug's love. Boar rejects his advances, well, boorishly. With the lesson that "love hurts" spelled out, Hedgehug finally finds his intended one in the form of a barely recognizable armadillo whose armor will protect her from Hedgehug's spikes. There are lots of action words and sound exclamations that might make this a fun read-aloud. The pictures are cute and colorful, but Hedgehug looks round and cuddly, not spiky and it is somehow out of sync to hear the child-like Hedgehug speaking of "falling in love." Pre-school children give Valentines for acceptance, not love. The concept of falling in love on Valentine's Day seems more appropriate for a teeager hoping to get flowers from a boyfriend than for a pre-schooler exchanging cards. The humor of saying that "love hurts" is clearly a joke for the adult reading the book rather than for the young listener. There is always room for another Valentine's Day book, but this one is, at best, an additional purchase most resembling something you might buy at a card shop. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS—Hedgehug has been waiting eagerly for Valentine's Day because he is certain he will fall in love on that day. He has even made a valentine to give to his special sweetheart when he finds her. However, when the day finally comes, Hedgehug runs into trouble. In quick succession, a bunny, an owl, and a boar all reject him when he tries to hug them. The boar adds insult to injury by butting him and ruining his valentine. But as Hedgehug turns to go home, very sad and lonely, there is a tap on his shoulder and an armadillo hands him his own discarded valentine with his name crossed out and hers added, saying "P.S. I like your spikes." The small book's illustrations are done in bright colors painted as if they were collages done by a very young child, and in a couple of cases the almost impressionistic pictures are a little hard to decipher. For instance, it is hard to tell at first that Hedgehug even has spikes. Patti Stren's Hug Me (HarperCollins, 2001) has a similar story line, but features a porcupine that wants hugs. An additional purchase.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
Dear Hedgehug eagerly anticipates Valentine's Day. But when he goes out, heart in hand, he finds his loving gestures are quite unwelcome. Pinto's first story comes from a set of drawings he made that later became a film. Now that film has been adapted into this picture book. There are books aplenty about hedgehogs and other prickly creatures having difficulty finding love. But the childlike, painterly look of the illustrations, along with Hedgehug's sweet determination, just may motivate readers to make room for this tale. Hedgehug appears so swept up in the excitement of sharing his valentine heart that he does not take time to properly get to know the objects of his rather instantaneous affection. Doris the Bunny and Edie the Owl are quite rude. With an "OUCH!" and an "ARGGGGHHH!", they rebuff his spiky embrace and reject his "stupid" and "silly" heart. Alone and dejected, he looks up to find a fearsome boar that delivers a loud "THUMP." Poor Hedgehug's heart is crumpled, and he learns a sharp lesson that "Love hurts." All seems lost until thick-skinned Hannah the armadillo appears on the scene. She has patched up the seemingly ruined valentine, which now reads, "i think you're special! P.S. I like your spikes." With just enough heart-beating action and well-placed sound effects, this could become a new holiday favorite for preschoolers still puzzling out how to best share their own feelings. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.13(w) x 7.13(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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