On the Rocky Road to Love: Hedgehugs by Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper
HORACE AND HATTIE ARE THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS.
THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THEY LIKE TO DO TOGETHER.
They do duo daisy chains, splash in rain puddles, and research the four-leaf clovers by the river.
In fact, there's just one joint venture in which they don't succeed--HUGS!
Hugs are hard for hedgehogs.
THEY ARE JUST TOO SPIKY!
Not that they haven't tried several approaches. Rolling in fresh snow results in snow cover, but they are too frozen to enjoy their snowy hugs. They squeeze inside sections of hollow log, and try to embrace, but logs are just too lumpy.
They try spearing strawberries on each of their prickles, but attempting to embrace simply results in the makings for a strawberry smoothie.
Finally they stumble upon a solution--thick woolly stockings! They nibble out a hole for their heads in the heels and with a bit of a struggle, pull the socks over their prickles. AH! Comfy and completely non-abrasive body stockings! Now for...
... A PERFECT HEDGE-HUG!
Love conquers all, in Steve Wilson's and Lucy Tapper's Hedgehugs (Henry Holt and Company, 2015), a sweet tale of a too-spiky pair who find a way to show their affection. Tapper's soft-colored collaged backgrounds are pleasantly pretty and do not distract from the lovable digitally-produced main characters, and author Wilson offers a closing joke that the old problem of missing socks in the wash are a sure sign of hedge-hugs happening somewhere. For a Valentine's Day read, this one sticks to the theme that love always finds a way!
Other tales of of hard-to-hug American porcupines and British hedgehogs include Kara LeReau's and Scott Magoon's Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story and Benn Sutton's Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love. For more tales of the propinquity-challenged prickly people, see reviews here.