Today, as well as doing normal Nosy Crow work, I am – and I really can’t believe that I’m saying this – hedgehog-sitting. The photograph above is of an African Pygmy Hedgehog (currently sleeping underneath my desk), which I am INDESCRIBABLY excited to be looking after for a couple of days. These are a special domestic breed of hedgehog that can be kept as pets: they’re very tame and friendly (and eat cat food).
I will freely confess that there is really very little point to this post beyond my wanting to put a picture of the hedgehog on the blog, but to keep things within the margins of professional credibility, I started thinking about hedgehogs that feature in children’s books.
Interestingly, hedgehogs do not actually feature too heavily in children’s literature, and the reason for this is, for the most part, because they are not animals that are native to several parts of the world (including North America), and so there is a long-running feeling that hedgehog books will not Sell Well to those countries.
But there ARE some very good books with hedgehogs, most notably The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter. There is also, Adrian pointed out to me, a croquet-playing hedgehog in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And there are some rather more niche stories like (this one comes to me via the owner of the Pygmy Hedgehog herself) the (originally Serbian) picture book Hedgehog’s Home, by Branko Ćopić.
If you can think of other good examples of books with hedgehogs, I’d be very interested to hear them. And in the meantime… here’s one more picture of the one that’s temporarily taken up residence at Nosy Crow (being modelled by 2014 Bookseller Rising Star Ola):