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Hedgie Blasts Off!
     

Hedgie Blasts Off!

5.0 4
by Jan Brett (Illustrator)
 

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More than anything Hedgie wants to be an astronaut and travel into space. He gets his chance the day the geyser, Big Sparkler, starts to sputter and fade, disappointing all the alien tourists, who fly to the tiny planet of Mikkop to throw coins into Big Sparkler and look at the strange flowers that survive on its sparkles.

Because only Hedgie can fit into a small

Overview

More than anything Hedgie wants to be an astronaut and travel into space. He gets his chance the day the geyser, Big Sparkler, starts to sputter and fade, disappointing all the alien tourists, who fly to the tiny planet of Mikkop to throw coins into Big Sparkler and look at the strange flowers that survive on its sparkles.

Because only Hedgie can fit into a small space ship, he flies to Mikkop, where he not only finds out what is clogging up Big Sparkler, but fixes the problem in a most unusual way. He returns home a hero amid cheers from the aliens and the scientists back at the Star Lab.

With an amazing gatefold illustration of Hedgie bursting out of Big Sparkler this is not only one of Jan Brett's most inventive books, but it's one of the funniest. Fans will love the unusual setting as they laugh along with a wild cast of characters, including comic aliens, canine scientists and bird reporters.

So jump on a spaceship and take a ride to Big Sparkler. You'll be glad you made the trip!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Favorite characters and series come to the fore this fall. Hedgie Blasts Off! by Jan Brett brings back the star of Hedgie's Surprise, who here is an aspiring astronaut in charge of the cleaning crew at Star Lab. When Big Sparkler, a volcano and huge tourist attraction on the planet Mikkop, begins to lose its sparkle, it's up to Hedgie to save the day, and he triumphs in a glittery gatefold. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Hedgie, the coverall-dressed and astronaut wannabe, is on the clean-up crew at Star Lab. His boss, the Professor, "the smartest scientist on Earth" in charge of Outer Space, is concerned because Big Sparkler on the planet of Mikkop, a big alien tourist attraction, is not working well. A small rocket must be sent to investigate, and only lucky Hedgie is small enough to fit in it. Hedgie vividly describes his space flight and the amazing planet. His solution to the problem of the clogged Big Sparkler is ingenious, producing a "KA-BOOM!" and a glittering lift-up page. He returns to Star Lab, thrilled to receive the Official Astronaut Star. As always, Brett creates solid, naturalistic animals set in detailed environments. Here, in watercolors and gouache with airbrush, she adds a crew of birds as reporters, a rather realistic space lab, and more imaginative scenes of outer space. Of course, it's Hedgie's spirited personality and bright red space suit that attract us most. The scene of his landing amid a bunch of giant flowers is spectacular; the vision of the odd space ships and odder operators reaching to grab flying coins is a rib-tickler. Technical possibility joins with futuristic possibility, with a glittering jacket to grab the reader.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Hedgie the hedgehog is back. Aspiring to become an astronaut, he works as a member of the cleanup crew for the Star Lab run by the Professor (a dog), who is "the smartest scientist on Earth" and "in charge of Outer Space." On the tiny planet of Mikkop, an erupting crater called the Big Sparkler, a popular tourist attraction, is inexplicably slowing down. The Professor orders his team to build a small spaceship that can carry a robotic astronaut into space to assess the problem. When the robot malfunctions, Hedgie is the only one who can fit into the vehicle, and off he zooms. Brett's color illustrations are filled with humorous details, including eager reporters (an owl, a flamingo, a toucan, and a cockatoo, whose postures convey their avid impatience) and whimsical spaceships filled with comical alien tourists. Small groups can easily view the richly hued art, although many scenes merit closer inspection. Children will cheer for this intrepid hedgehog as he solves the problem of the plugged crater.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fans of Brett's Hedgie will enjoy his predictable triumph in this lighthearted space adventure. Despite Brett's artistic ability, those unfamiliar with the small, spiky hero are likely to be less enthralled. This time around, Hedgie works as a janitor at a space lab populated by anthropomorphized dogs. When a volcano on a small planet named Mikkop ceases to function properly, the canine scientists create a "Rescue Robot," coincidentally shaped just like Hedgie. The robot's malfunction clears the way for Hedgie to achieve his heart's desire: a flight into space. He solves the problem of the volcano (visitors had been tossing coins into it for luck, plugging up the hole from which the magical flower-feeding "sparkles" erupted) and returns to earth. Although Brett includes a wealth of visual detail, much of it humorous, the slight story is unlikely to hold up to repeated readings. The use of a foldout page depicting a glittery eruption gives the book a gimmicky feel. Despite his obvious enthusiasm for space travel, this is not one of Hedgie's most successful outings. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399246210
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/07/2006
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
244,793
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

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Hedgie Blasts Off 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have two boys ages 8 and 4 and they both loved this book so much! The illustrations are incredible and the story is interesting and not predictable. Hedgies is so cute, and so are the other creatures in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nanny0717 More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book - pictures are awesome and it was a great part of our summer reading program!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago