‘The Hodgeheg’ is a story about an intelligent hedgehog named ‘Max’. Max lives in the garden of 5A with ‘Pa Hedgehog’, ‘Ma Hedgehog’, and his three sisters, ‘Peony Hedgehog’, ‘Penny Hedgehog’ and ‘Petunia Hedgehog’.
The story begins with PA Hedgehog explaining to his children about the problems that hedgehogs have in crossing the road to get to the park. Having listened to his father’s speech, Max asks his father how humans can cross the road safely. PA Hedgehog tells his son that he does not know and sets him the challenge of finding out.
The next day, Max begins his investigation. Firstly, he finds a zebra crossing and decides that this must be the secret to crossing the road safely. To test his theory, Max decides to walk across the crossing in front of a lorry. However, he quickly comes to realise that that traffic does not stop for hedgehogs, only people. After narrowly escaping being hit by the lorry, and a cyclist, Max returns home and explains to his family what happened before going into early hibernation from the shock.
Max eventually wakes up and decides that he must try to cross the road again. This time he notices people crossing the road when they see a green man appearing on the traffic lights. He attempts to cross the road here but finds it difficult to avoid the people coming from the opposite direction and only just makes it to the other side.
Although he has finally made it across the road, and to the park, he now has another problem; he does not know how to get back. Max considers the problem for a while and decides that the best thing to do is run across the road as quick as he can before any more traffic comes. He does so and, after the driver of a milk float almost crashes to avoid him, Max arrives home safely.
Despite all of this, Max does not give up and decides that, since humans cross the road during the day, he should try this too. The next day, Max observes how the lollipop lady stops all of the traffic twice a day and allows the children to cross. Max returns home to his family with this information and, the following day, they all cross the road when the lollipop lady stops the traffic. They arrive safely at the other side and decided that they will do this once a week from now on.
This book is suitable for lower KS2 classes. It can be read by the children individually or can be read by the class teacher to the children. Many talking points can be raised from this book, including the importance of road safety. However, the main message of this book is that determination is important if you want to succeed; an important value that all young children should be led to consider.