Cover image for Hedgie's surprise
Hedgie's surprise
Brett, Jan, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[United States?] : Spoken Arts, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 audiocassette (7 min.) : analog + 1 book (1 volumes (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 x 27 cm)
Hedgie, the hedgehog, helps Henny, the speckled hen, trick the Tomten who has been eating all of Henny's eggs for breakfast.
Reading Level:
AD 550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.5 0.5 44037.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.4 2 Quiz: 22503 Guided reading level: M.
Format :
Sound Cassette

Sound Recording


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CASSETTE KIT 1267 Juvenile Fiction Little Books
CASSETTE KIT 1267 Juvenile Media Kit Media Kits
CASSETTE KIT 1267 Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Bestselling children's book author and illustrator Jan Brett was born on December 1, 1949. She decided to be an illustrator when she was a child and is known for her detailed and carefully-researched work.

Brett grew up in New England and attended the Boston Museum School. Her books have received much acclaim by publications including Newsweek, The New Yorker, Parents magazine, Redbook, and Publishers Weekly. In 2005 Brett earned the Boston Public Library's Lifetime Achievement Award. Her book Three Little Dassies was published in 2010 and made the New York Times bestseller list. Other of her works that have made the New York Times best seller list are: Home for Christmas 2011, Mossy 2012, Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella., 2014 The Animal's Santa.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. Henny lays an egg every day, only to have it stolen by a hungry troll boy named Tomten. How, then, can she have a family like Goosey-Goosey, whose goslings follow along behind her? Hedgie the hedgehog comes to the rescue, offering to trick Tomten into leaving Henny's eggs alone. He substitutes an assortment of round objects for Tomten to steal and then finally rolls himself up in a prickly, pinchy ball that sends the Tomten away for good. Meanwhile, Henny's eggs begin hatching in Hedgie's "nest." Brett's visual format is familiar, with needlepoint borders framing rich, carefully drawn scenes of the house and the barnyard. The borders also have Brett's signature predictive elements, so each spread suggests the coming action. The story, with its child-friendly voice will be very appealing to preschoolers. The only snag is that chicken eggs take several weeks, not days, to hatch--something children will probably know if they have done an egg-hatching project in school or preschool. Denise Wilms

Publisher's Weekly Review

Brett's (The Mitten; The Hat) trademark, elaborately bordered paintings are once again the centerpiece of her latest tale set in timeless rural Scandinavia. And, as in her prior works, the author's endearingly expressive animal characters, depicted in meticulous detail, steal the show. After viewing Goosey-Goosey's brood of chicks, Henny the hen longs for her very own offspring. But each morning a greedy, elf-like "Tomten" steals her newly laid egg, insisting he needs "a little yummy for my hungry, hungry tummy." Henny awakens her friend, Hedgie the hedgehog, with a loud wail, "No eggs, no chicks, no peeping babies," and he offers to help Henny put a stop to the Tomten's thievery. On successive days, her pal plants in Henny's nest an acorn, a strawberry, a mushroom, a potato andÄin the ultimate deceitÄhides himself in the straw, rolled into a ball, which sends the rogue running after he picks up the prickly fellow. Thanks to Hedgie's cleverness, five eggs hatch into fluffy chicks, fulfilling Henny's wish for a family of her own. Youngsters will be happily diverted by the busy goings-on in both Brett's mainframe illustrations and elegant borders, which feature a red-and-white needlepoint background and egg-shaped spot art that tactically foreshadows the narrative. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Henny longs for a brood of peeping chicks but nothing she does can stop the hungry Tomten from taking her egg each morning. Hedgie the hedgehog takes pity on her and devises a trick to defeat the greedy troll. Each night he places a different object in the hen's nest-an acorn, a strawberry, a mushroom, and a potato. When the unsatisfied Tomten finally demands an egg or Henny for his stew pot, Hedgie rolls himself into a prickly ball in the hen's nest, sending the surprised Tomten running away forever. The real surprise is the clutch of eggs Hedgie has stowed in his own nest that hatch into five baby chicks. The tale is adequately told but somewhat overshadowed by Brett's characteristic lavish watercolor illustrations and folk-art designs. The action unfolds in two-page spreads surrounded by needlepoint borders. The designs in the borders change with each page and pick up elements of the story. Watercolor medallions set on each side give additional views of the action: the Tomten in his hayloft; Hedgie climbing into the henhouse with a strawberry stuck on his spines; the nest with the hidden eggs. While this is not one of the author's strongest offerings, the simple story and visual appeal make it an acceptable addition to picture-book collections.-Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.