Helping Hedgehog Home
This is the ninth adventure of Karin Celestine’s Celestine and the Hare series in which friendship, fun and kindness are the essence. The characters are little felt animals, particularly the Water Vole family comprising Bertram who likes sewing, his gardening lover dad Bert, Grandpa Burdock a nature expert who makes others laugh with his silliness, Granny Dandelion, fixer extraordinaire and Bertram’s mum Beatrice, explorer and inventor.
When a hedgehog in a hot air balloon crashes into the pond while Grandpa Burdock is investigating it for possible newcomers, he learns that the prickly creature has been shut out of her log pile home in the garden next door on account of a new fence. Now her balloon has burst and Hedgehog has no way of getting back.
While she refreshes herself with tea and bramble biscuits, Grandpa’s head buzzes with ideas for getting their visitor home. As his drawings of possible contraptions get ever more dangerous-looking,
Granny has been otherwise occupied, but when she appears on the scene and learns of Hedgehog’s plight, she too gets busy to find a solution.
Her workshop resounds with sawing and hammering and before long Granny reveals something that sends Hedgehog’s heart soaring with happiness …
This super-sweet altruistic tale bubbles over with kind thoughts and deeds; with a papier-mâché hot air balloon making activity and information about hedgehogs and how to help them at the end, it’s a delightfully playful, warm-hearted book for sharing with little humans.
Grotwig the Goblin
John Swannell Studios
‘Where’s Wally?’ and ‘a needle in a haystack’ sprung to mind on opening this photographic book, even though there’s not a haystack in sight.
Narrated in rather creaky corny rhyme by goblin, Grotwig, we share in his ramblings through the countryside: ramblings that, at different times of the year take him, as we see in Swannell’s photographs of topiary, pine and mixed deciduous woods, dry stone walls and hedgerows, ancient Yews and Oaks,
moorland hills and byways, and tranquil lakes, through all kinds of terrain.
There are times when the goblin asks readers to find him (with the aid of a magnifier housed in a pocket on the inside front cover) in the photos, This makes us slow right down and look closely at each of the rural landscapes. In itself, that is a good thing: the photographs are lovely and the peaceful scenes well worth paying attention to,
reminding this reviewer of some of the walks taken around the Gloucestershire countryside.
Children are increasingly pressurised and tend to seek escape on screens rather than going outdoors. A book like this might help to tempt them to do the latter and although they won’t encounter any goblins, there’s nature’s magic aplenty to discover in the great outdoors.