Dannika Patterson (text) and Ross Morgan (illustrator), Hedgehog the Wonder Dog, Ford Street Publishing, February 2023, 32 pp., RRP $26.95 (hbk), ISBN 9781922696205
Hedgehog is a wonder dog but only Sam can see just how special she is. Sam counts down all through the week for the day that he can see her. Meanwhile, Hedgehog plays and practices her tricks with Jo. Then, on that one special day of the week, Hedgehog truly gets to shine.
Though it isn’t explicitly stated, and only becomes clear towards the end of the book, Sam is a hospital patient, waiting for that visit from his special friend Hedgehog.
Hedgehog the Wonder Dog is a sweet, subtle and beautifully-written story about the power of comfort and healing that can come from a companion animal. It has strong visual elements through various mediums and the story is woven as much in the illustrations as in the text. The illustrations also delve into Sam’s imagination and help the reader see his rich inner world, his escape from illness and through both the text and the illustrations, the story explores the concept of point-of-view: nobody appreciates Hedgehog the way Sam does because of the comfort she brings him.
Children dealing with illness and dog-lovers alike will identify with Sam and fall in love with Hedgehog.
Teacher notes are available on the Ford Street Publishing website.
Reviewed by Pamela Ueckerman