Hedgehugs Horace and Hattiepillar by Steve Wilson
Published by Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd
Horace and Hattiepillar are little brown hedgehogs and the best of friends. They do most things together, yet are each also happy to play alone when the other is separately occupied.
The hedgehogs are always busy and their play takes place surrounded by nature. Amongst many fun activities, they like watching blossom fall from trees, seeing the first star at night and playing in the meadow.
When Horace and Hattiepillar find a small, round, shiny and very interesting thing under a leaf they watch as a caterpillar emerges from it. With the little hedgehogs’ help, the caterpillar soon has lots of leaves to eat… and as it munches it grows and grows.
One day the caterpillar stops eating and makes itself a soft and silky bed, in which it sleeps for lots of days and lots of nights. When it emerges from the mysterious bed, the caterpillar has changed into something beautiful, colourful and wonderful…and it can fly.
Horace and Hattiepillar set about the same process as the caterpillar in an attempt to change into something beautiful, colourful and wonderful too.
They eat a lot and they make their own soft bed out of flowers, where they go to sleep.
When they wake the little hedgehogs are covered with colourful flowers that stick to their prickly backs. Playing high up on their swings, it seems to them they can even fly like the butterfly they’d seen emerge from its cocoon. Their imaginations make them believe they’ve changed like the caterpillar did, into something beautiful, colourful and wonderful.
This is a sweet book and it’s good to see Horace and Hattiepillar interacting as friends, being active, yet not being dependent on each other.
However, the word ‘changed’ tied into their perception of themselves as now being like the butterfly has me a little worried, due to the concept of having to change to be beautiful and wonderful.
Even so, the delightful pictures largely counteract this potential issue, because they demonstrate Horace and Hattie are simply wearing a surface covering of flowers when they see themselves as different. What’s more, the flowers are already starting to float away as the two friends play happily on their swings. Underneath they are the same beautiful and wonderful little brown hedgehogs… and perfect just as they are.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Steve Wilson
Illustrator: Lucy Tapper
Title: Hedgehugs Horace and Hattiepillar
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd
Published: June 2015