Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love

Benn Sutton, illus. by Dan Pinto. Harper, $9.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-196101-4
The third picture book published in recent months to deal with the romantic misadventures of a hedgehog or porcupine (along with Hugs from Pearl and Mr. Prickles), this debut offering is based on Pinto’s 2007 animated short of the same name. It’s February 13, and Hedgehug has big plans for the next day: “Tomorrow I’m going to be in love, he thought.” But when he tries to give various animals a homemade valentine (and a hug), it turns out that love hurts, both for the recipients (“You spiked me,” complains the bunny, Hedgehug’s quills poking out of her chest) and, in the case of a gruff boar, for Hedgehug himself. Pinto’s thickly painted cartoons effectively play up his long-suffering protagonist’s willingness to love, which he finds in the sweet finale. Up to age 7. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
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