Saturday, March 4, 2023

Winter Reading 2023 Henrietta Hedgehog's Prickly Problem


Children struggle with fitting in with their peers. If they are the first to have a growth spurt, they feel outsized and uncomfortable. If they are the last to do so, then they worry that their friends think they are babies because they are shorter than their peers. Too skinny. Too curly headed. There are so many physical characteristics that make younglings feel different or that give another child the opportunity to tease.

In Henrietta's case, that feature is her quills. Of course a hedgehog has quills, it is part of their bodily makeup, but Henrietta wishes she has "a bushy tail like a squirrel or soft fur like a ferret." She dreads going to school because the other kids make fun of her and pretend they are afraid of her quills. But after a particularly rough morning, she finds herself surrounded by other kids who feel the same way. It turns out that they have all been teased about something -Bella Beaver's teeth, Wally Weasel's short legs, even Dylan Deer's freckles. It turns out that Henrietta isn't alone in her anxiety.

Youngsters reading this story will also realize they are not alone in feeling insecure or wishing that something about their appearance could be changed. If they take Henrietta's experiences to heart, they will see that it is better to find understanding friends who can help you to appreciate yourself in all your uniqueness than to worry about the naysayers of the world.

As a mother, grandmother, and author of more than 50 children's books, Carole Roman continues to create stories that are perfect for sharing at home and at school.

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