Hodgeheg by Dick King Smith I have had this little obsession with hedgehogs which is why I picked up Lulu and the Hedgehog in the rain. This is a charming little story slightly reminiscent of The Little Red Hen because Lulu asks everyone to help her care for the little lost hedgehog she finds washed up one day after torrential rain but ultimately this task falls to Lulu herself.
Lulu is determined to let the little hedgehog live a free life. She feels the hedgehog should not be treated as a pet. To do this she needs the co-operation of everyone in her neighbourhood so she can be sure when the hedgehog burrows under the fence he will still be safe in the next garden and the next and the next.
She needs Charlie to remember to shut his gate, the new old lady to stop using snail and slug poisons and the bossy man must not burn the piles of leaves he rakes up in his garden. Lulu and her cousin decide to form a hedgehog club complete with special badges and instructions.
This is a easy book to read with just six short chapters and delightful illustrations. It would be fun to read aloud or give to a newly independent reader.
Here is a little extract that made me smile :
"We still need a name. What have you thought of?' ...
Mellie lifted up the shoebox lid and looked at the hedgehog.
'Pineapple,' she said.
'Nearly every hedgehog in the world is called Prickles,' objected Lulu.
There was a pause while Lulu and Mellie patted hay and leaves into a comfortable bed and tried to think of a name that no hedgehog in the world had yet been called.
'Bubbles!' said Lulu.
'John' said Mellie.
'John? John! are you mad?'
'John Cherry Bubbles Pineapple Prickles,' said Mellie. 'Five names, like the queen!"
There are six books in this series and we have all of them in our school library.