Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Hodgeheg by Dick King Smith

Picking up a book by Dick King Smith always conjures special feelings. It is like sitting in a warm living room in front of a cosy fire, snow gently falling outside you settle into your arm chair with a cup of hot cocoa and jam toast and begin to read.

This is exactly how I felt on a hot summer night when I started to read The Hodgeheg and once again Dick King Smith did not disappoint.

Victor Maximilian St George or Max to his family and friends is a very d e t e r m i n e d young hedgehog. The park is located on the other side of the road and the park is the place all hedgehogs want to go for food and fun but the journey across the road is a life threatening one. In fact this story begins with the untimely death of Auntie Betty run over while crossing the road.

Max is a bright boy and he is determined (this is a theme in this book!) to find a safe way across to the park. He makes three attempts and there are disastrous consequences. In the first Max is hit by a cyclist and bumping his head badly on the curb leads to his new mixed up way of speaking – words in the wrong order, first letters muddled and so on. There are three possible ways to cross – the zebra crossing, at the traffic lights or with the little humans who walk safely when a great big human in a long white coat with a pole that works like a magic wand as she walks out onto the road and the traffic stops immediately. Max needs to work out how happens because this might prove to be the safest way of all for tiny little hedgehogs to cross to the park.

The illustrations are perfect, the cover is cute and the writing is charming and funny. This is a perfect little beginning novel for a younger Primary reader and once you start reading Dick King Smith you will certainly come back for more. Personal favourites by this author include Smasher, Happy Mouseday, The Sheep pig and Blessu.

I am very sad that this wonderful author died earlier this year but since he produced so many fabulous books just take a look in any library and you will see we can all keep reading wonderful stories like this one for many years to come. By the way this is another book I found in the NSW School Magazine Bookshelf list.

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