Jan Brett’s beloved character Hedgie stars in this charming story about a little Tomten who gets tired of porridge for breakfast and starts stealing Henny’s eggs. But Henny wants a brood of chicks and she needs her eggs. With the help of clever Hedgie, she substitutes an acorn, a strawberry, a mushroom and finally a potato in her nest. But nothing stops that Tomten until the little hedgehog hides in Henny’s nest: when the Tomten reaches in to get his morning treat, all he gets is a handful of prickles. He runs home for porridge and never comes back again! Intricate needlepoint patterns of Scandinavian designs frame the characters reacting from the borders in this beautiful picture book set in Denmark.
At our house, we like Jan Brett books and have acquired many of them. She tells a great story and the illustrations are exquisite. This one plays a little loose with the timeline for eggs hatching into chicks, but there are so many other things going on the time element is easy to overlook. There is the unlikely friendship between the hen and Hedgie, some egg-cellent problem solving, eggs being eaten and hatching into chicks, the Tomten eating lots of different foods, and the little trickster being tricked.
With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation’s foremost author illustrators of children’s books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, “I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I’m drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real.”