My three year old son was in the hedgehog group when he was younger and now has a love of hedgehogs so when we noticed Ouch which has a large picture of a hedgehog with a bright rosy red apple on her back and on a background of grass and small flowers. The book was written by Ragnhild Scamell in 2006. This seemed to be a book perfect for my son.
The story is set in autumn and the hedgehog is preparing for the winter and builds herself a nest of leaves ready to sleep for the winter. Suddenly the red apple falls from a tree and lands on her back and sticks in her spines. She curls up in ball to try and get rid of the apple but this doesn't help and to make it worse she cannot now get into her nest for the winter. She meets a squirrel who is collecting nuts for winter who tries to help her but unfortunately all that happens is that she now three nuts on her back. They then meet a pig who suggests rolling on his back but all this does is add a leaf and a small pear. The story continues and the hedgehog meets various animals who all have suggestions on how to help her but all that happens is she acquires more items attached to her back. This continues until he meets a goat that excitedly eats all is stuck in her spines. The story ends happily with the hedgehog settling down in the nest for her winter sleep.
This book is set in Autumn and my son has been doing autumn as his topic at nursery so this seemed an ideal book. The story has so many learning opportunities. We have been able to discuss hibernation ,how animals collect for winter and what different animals do when it gets cold. My son will also count the objects of the hedgehogs back when we are reading the book.
The story holds my son's interest it is something new happening on each page .The book is 32 pages long and this seems to be a perfect length for my son. The illustrations by Michael Terry are bright colourful and bold which do fill the page. I think these do add to the story and give visual clues to understand the story. The animals do look friendly and their faces are full of expressions. My son actually enjoys it when the apple drops on his back and will shout out " ouch" when it lands. The language in the book is very descriptive and I do feel that this book does help to extend his language and vocabulary.
This book is also about friendship and how others try to help one another which I do consider to be a very important lesson for little ones who start the world very insular and have to learn to think about other people.
I think this is an excellent book for preschool children and think it would be enjoyed equally by boys and girls. I think that although simply a well illustrated enjoyable book it does have many opportunities to discuss many topics around this book.
This book has a RRP of £5.99 but is available on Amazon for £4.38 with free super saver delivery.
ISBN no. 1845062582