Picture Books

Percy’s Friend the Hedgehog by Nick Butterworth | Book Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. But if anyone is looking for any other hedgehog subjects for future projects, they can contact my personal assistant. Cover art is copyright of Harper Collins.

Percy is a park keeper. All of his friends are animals, because why not?

This is not as much a story as snippets and excerpts about a particular hedgehog and Percy’s friendship with him. Included within are the hedgehog’s likes and dislikes, a poem, the hedgehog’s favourite places, and more.

It should be clarified that this is a specific, unnamed, hedgehog. He is an individual and is not representative of a typical hedgehog. In fact, he seems to have some quite extraordinary – if not unbelievable – attributes.

For starters, the hedgehog seems to get things stuck to his head a lot, including apples. Hedgehogs cannot get apples stuck to their heads. This is a ridiculous myth peddled by literature. Please do not put apples on hedgehogs.

The hedgehog continuously laments that other animals are getting prickly with him about his prickles. (See what I did there? I’m so clever.) He writes a poem about his run-in with a duck and how he “jabbed her.” Please, ducks aren’t that delicate. It’s not like he tackled a naked more rat.

This hedgehog is apparently a “worrier.” He is afraid of many things, and yet not afraid of the fox, whom he has picnics with and tries to teach to colour. The hedgehog’s colouring ability is something akin to a superpower. Hedgehogs do not have good eyesight. Also, what hedgehog would have a picnic with a fox? If a fox invited me to a picnic, I’d assume I was the main course – especially if I was a “worrier.”

There are some nice aspects of the book. I liked the snow hedgehog and how the hedgehog liked to swing on the swing. The pictures are beautiful (best viewed through glasses if you’re a hedgehog) and my favourite was the double-page spread of autumn.

I am rather sceptical of Percy’s hedgehog friend. Perhaps I need to meet him for myself. I do not know if I will be picking up any of the other books about Percy’s friends. Definitely not the one about the fox!

2 out of 5 stars

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