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WEEKLY ‘WHAT’S ON THE SHELF?’ The Hodgeheg by Dick King Smith


‘The story of Max, the hedgehog who becomes a HODGEHEG and becomes a hero!’

So, this week I’ve pulled another favourite from my daughter’s shelf. I remember reading this as a child and was then re-introduced to it whilst teaching Year 2 – encouraging the sustained reading of a chapter book.

This is an endearing tale of a hedgehog called Max and his family, who dream of one day reaching their local park. However, nobody has found a safe way of crossing the very busy road. Little Max is determined to find a way! The story follows his problem-solving journey with elements of humour and tragedy along the way. The hedgehog characters are simply lovely. As always in his classic animal stories, Dick King-Smith truly brings the animal characters alive so as readers, we are clearly invested in their trials and tribulations.

This book lends itself to some great discussion points – ‘road safety’ and the protection of hedgehogs to name just a few. I also love that the book was first published in 1987 and therefore provides a little insight into ‘the past’! with references to milk floats and ‘telephone booths’. These created some very interesting discussions with my daughter!

This is a great introduction to chapter books for young children and is a great length to be read aloud without either person getting bored! My daughter was of pre-school age when we first read this together and she couldn’t wait to move onto the next chapter after each reading session. It also made her curious about other books by Dick King-Smith and as a result, we have since added other of his books to our collection. Older, more confident readers, would enjoy this for themselves and it is definitely a book for both boys and girls.

‘A charming classic from an all-time favourite author’.


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