Hedgehogs (Snap Books), by Paula M. Wilson
This book has an interesting focus, and one that is well worth considering when it looks at hedgehogs and when considering books about other animals as well. Some books for small children are focused on introducing an animal to the reader, but this book has an assumption build in that the reader may want to adopt this cute but sometimes rather fragile animal as a pet. It is always interesting to consider the assumptions that are present in a book, and although this book is by no means a long one, it is a work that assumes that the reader is at least thinking about owning a hedgehog and needs to be informed about how to take care of them in at least a basic and general sense, as well as to be informed about some of the places where one might not be able to keep a hedgehog because the laws prevent it, viewing the animal as a vector for diseases as well as an invasive species, no matter how adorable it is. Still, if you have a young reader who really likes hedgehogs and is thinking about having a quirky and cute pet capable of self-defense, this book certainly comes with a warm recommendation as far as I am concerned, given that it meets a definite niche as far as animal books go for young and curious readers.
This particular book is 32 pages long, quite short given its contents and somewhat serious purpose. This book has four chapters and thankfully has large pages and somewhat smaller text than the usual for this sort of book so as to convey enough information to the middle-to-upper elementary school reader that the book is aimed at. First, the author introduces the reader to the hedgehog, if this is necessary (1), encouraging the reader to be interested in these cute and quirky animals. After that the author discusses hedgehogs as pets, encouraging them but also commenting on the responsibilities that are involved (2). This leads to a chapter on caring for one’s hedgehog, in an age appropriate way, making sure that someone is able to do what is necessary to keep the hedgehog socialized and healthy (3). After that the author discusses fun and games that one can have with one’s hedgehog (4). After that the book finishes with a glossary, suggestions for those who want to read more about hedgehogs, some internet sites, and an index.