3 out of 4 stars
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How Teddy Hedgehog Found His Heart by Donna Rae Taylor is a children’s book about a young hedgehog who has a dangerous experience that teaches him to be grateful for his family and responsible for himself. Teddy never wanted to listen to his mother’s lessons about hiding from predators like Fox and Wolf, but, when he finds himself alone in the woods, he realizes that those lessons are going to save his life.
I like that this book explores the frustration that adolescents go through when growing up. Teddy is a relatable character who struggles when his parents expect him to be more responsible than his younger siblings. Children should be able to empathize with his emotions and learn from his experiences.
I also enjoyed that the illustrations in the book were drawn by hand. The author brings each character to life and gives the animals human-like clothing and expressions. My only complaint with the illustrations is that they should feature the characters more prominently. Currently, the characters are very small in comparison with their surroundings. Making them bigger would help kids connect with Teddy and his friends and family.
The story teaches useful lessons about family and responsibility. Teddy has to remember the lessons his mother taught him and depend on friends to make his way home safely. Without giving spoilers, I’ll say that the book wraps up more quickly than I expected and that the ending gets very unrealistic very quickly. The author also introduces two new characters in one page and doesn’t include them in the illustration or dialogue, which was confusing for me.
Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I appreciate that the author has made her protagonist relatable and included useful lessons for children, but the ending and the many grammatical errors I found forced me to remove one star. This book is suitable for children ages 4 to 10, but younger children may need a parent to read them the book.
How Teddy Hedgehog Found His Heart
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