Hedgehugs: Autumn Hide-and-Squeak

illus. by Lucy Tapper. 32p. Holt. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250112484.
PreS-K—Best pals Horace and Hattie are back for new adventures. Playing music, making shadow puppets, and numerous other interesting diversions keep them busy and happy until they are saddened to see the trees losing their leaves. Fortunately, a gap in the foliage reveals a new friend in the form of a fuzzy purple bat! The trio takes advantage of the falling leaves by playing a new game—hide-and-squeak. Horace, Hattie, and their new friend are cute and charming. A purple-and-orange color palette nicely complements the illustrations of fall features such as blackberries, acorns, and pumpkins. The language is prereader friendly. For example, the bat character is never referred to as a bat, but is instead called "the squeaky thing," giving children the opportunity to identify the animal themselves. Many autumn books focus on fall holidays such as Halloween or Thanksgiving, so this is a perfect read-aloud for more general discussions of the season.
VERDICT An adorable and playful introduction to autumn for the preschool and kindergarten audience.

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