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Friends Give Hugs Even If Someone Is Prickly and Different

Updated on June 29, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Hugs for Hedgehog

Young readers will find a lesson in friendship and the value of a hug along with Hedgehog
Young readers will find a lesson in friendship and the value of a hug along with Hedgehog | Source

Hugs Can Come from Anyone and Everyone to Make a Friend's Day Better

Jen Betton's Hedgehog Needs a Hug is a special picture book that can teach freindship and the value of a hug to make a friend's day better. Young children need hugs now more than ever in our society today. Hugs tell young children that they are safe and loved. Adults will also appreciate this delightful picture book because adults need hugs too!

Hedgehog is feeling sad and goes to look for a friend to give him a hug. But Hedgehog is prickly and different from the other animals and no one wants to hug those prickles! Rabbit uses the excuse that he has a cold and does not want to hug Hedgehog because he might give Hedgehog his cold. Raccoon also has an excuse of bad breath. No hugs for Hedgehog from Raccoon! Turtle is sleeping and Hedgehog continues to search for a friend that might give him a hug. The sneaky fox is willing to hug Hedgehog but Hedgehog is not about to fall for the fox's tricky offer to give him a hug. A surprise friend is finally found and Hedgehog shares a hug with this smelly friend that has also found that no one wants to hug him because he is stinky. We can all learn from these two friends who are different from others in ways that some might find difficult to love.

The colorful illustrations of each animal friend in Hedgehog Needs a Hug are beautifully appealing with charming facial expressions for each animal in the story. Betton's new picture book is recommended for ages 3-8. Hedgehog Needs a Hug was published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Random House. It has an ISBN of 9781524737122.

Charming Illustrations Help Tell the Story of the Value of a Hug

Hedgehog is sad and needs a hug
Hedgehog is sad and needs a hug | Source
Raccon does not like Hedgehog's prickles-no hugs rom Raccoon
Raccon does not like Hedgehog's prickles-no hugs rom Raccoon | Source
No thanks-Hedgehog is not falling for the sneaky fox's offer to hug him
No thanks-Hedgehog is not falling for the sneaky fox's offer to hug him | Source
A surprise friend comes along that also has had difficulty finding someone to hug him because of his difference
A surprise friend comes along that also has had difficulty finding someone to hug him because of his difference | Source

A Few Lessons for Young Children to Practice Hugs in the Classroom

Picture books with life lessons are popular with childcare teachers and teachers who teach in early childhood classrooms. Hedgehog Needs a Hug offers the opportunity to teach friendship and the value of a hug for someone who is different and even unlikeable. Early childhood teachers know the value of teaching social skills at an early age for young children to carry with them in later years. The question of "can't we all get along?" is increasingly important to answer in our society today.

*Read Hedgehog Needs a Hug in a story time session. Call attention to the beginning that Hedgehog wakes up sad and grumpy. Brainstorm with your class about things that make them sad or grumpy.

*What kinds of excuses are offered from the animals that do not want to give Hedgehog a hug? Brainstorm with children to give a voice to their thoughts about what they may not like about certain people. Young children have very definite ideas about what they like or dislike about others. Create a writing lesson to write each child's words about their likes and dislikes about people they encounter. Use Happy/Sad stickers to place beside each sentence idea that the children tell for their likes/dislikes.

*Why does a hug make people feel better? Brainstorm and write children's ideas about how a hug can make a person feel better.

*What kind of animal is the surprise that gives Hedgehog a hug?

Science Lessons from Hedgehog Needs a Hug

Betton's Hedgehog Needs a Hug also presents the opportunity to use this delightful picture book to teach lessons about forest animals. Teachers who teach in early childhood classrooms often have curriculum concepts to teach that include learning about animals. The forest is full of interesting creatures that young children are eager to learn about.

*Read Hedgehog Needs a Hug in a group story time session.

*What is a hedgehog and how is a hedgehog different from a lot of animals? Have pictures of real hedgehogs with their prickly skin. You might have available a pin cushion with prickly pins (heads up) with sharp side down for children to experience what the prickles on a hedgehog might be like.

*What does a hedgehog eat? Have samples of some vegetables that hedgehogs might like. The forest is full of leafy foods for forest animals.

*Continue your exploration of the forest animals that Hedgehog encounters while searching for a friend that will give him a hug.

Use Picture Books to Teach Life Lessons

Do you have a variety of picture books for young children to learn life lessons?

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© 2018 Cindy Hewitt

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