Books by Javier Sáez Castán

THE THREE HEDGEHOGS by Javier Sáez Castán
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

Cunning, winsome, and oh-so-European, this tale is full of wordplay in many languages from the Spanish author Castán. It begins with a list of characters: Hedgehog One, Two, and Three, The Crow, The Farm Woman, and so on. Act I shows how the hedgehogs got into the orchard, tumbled among the windfalls, and go home with apples stuck to their spiney coats. The Crow tells the farm woman, and she sends a posse of big round guys with clubs out to find the thieves. But winter's coming, and the posse goes home. In Act II, a rather larger posse sets off in the spring, finds and terrifies the tiny hedgehogs. But an apple tree has bloomed from the hedgehogs' discarded apple seeds, so there is forgiveness and celebration. (In the Colophon, the hedgehogs cook apples for everyone in the fall.) The soft-edged illustrations have banners in Latin and Spanish, dainty patterns of grass and flowers, delicious use of contrast (the hedgehogs are tiny and everyone else is huge). A glossary defines everything except the story's ineffable charm. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >