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Hollybee Hope Wants A Prickly Coat by Deborah Hinde

Hollybee Hope is a hedgehog with a prickly problem – she doesn’t have any spines! Her father tells her to be patient, but she is not a patient hedgehog. Hollybee wants to look like a real hedgehog, and when she finds a brush in a bucket she thinks she’s found the perfect solution. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. Maddie Mouse, Basil Bunny and Nanny Snuffles rally round the little hedgehog to help her solve her prickly problem.

Hollybee Hope Wants A Prickly Coat is another sweet animal story from popular illustrator Deborah Hinde. She has illustrated over 70 Kiwi books, including the bestseller A Kiwi Night Before Christmas, Moo and Moo and the Little Calf Too, and the Te Reo Singalong series.

Hinde’s first book as an author was Hare, released in 2016, and Hollybee’s tale is a nice follow-up. The language is rich with some lovely vocabulary included within the text to start deep learning conversations. There are also design features that will help introduce youngsters to the wonderful world of words, with italics, ellipses and exclamation marks throughout. Those features make it a nice book to read aloud as well, allowing for a full range of expressions and the characters to really come to life.

Hinde’s almost whimsical illustrations are a delight. Her animals are realistic, while also being full of character. With hints of Beatrix Potter, the palette is muted but also wonderfully deep and detailed. The inspiration for the book came from the hedgehogs and other animals that wander through Hinde’s garden, and it is clear she spent a long time studying them.

Aimed at pre-schoolers, it is a story of self acceptance, patience, and resilience. Preschoolers, as well as Hollybee, will learn to see being different as an advantage, rather than a disadvantage. A deceptively simple book, it is much more than just a story of a hedgehog with no prickles. Hollybee Wants A Prickly Coat is a lovely story with a big heart.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Picturebook Publishing, RRP $ 19.99


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