A young hedgehog, curious about his world, asks other creatures about their beliefs.
Author/illustrator Buquet’s generously sized illustrations, executed with oil paints in a monotype printmaking technique, have a cultivated simplicity in their palette and design that mirrors the subtle message of the narrative. When Herodotus, a young hedgehog, overhears a bear making an offering of fruit and honey to the Mighty Bear Spirit, he is mystified. He tells Fox, who mentions that foxes, too, have a Great Fox Spirit. Herodotus then asks the wise hedgehog Venerable if hedgehogs have a Great Hedgehog Spirit. But Venerable tells him that humble hedgehogs know only one thing: “the sun rises, and then it sets.” Herodotus thinks this is inadequate, and he determines to ask other creatures about their Great Spirits. He discovers that they all believe in them; additionally, all believe their Great Spirits are the best—although the Hoopoe says there is only one Great Spirit. Confused, Herodotus closes his eyes, first hearing silence, then “crying, singing and the flapping of wings.” Herodotus suddenly realizes he is hungry and thirsty—in the moment—and, opening his eyes, sees Venerable. “I understand, I think,” he tells the old hedgehog. “Let’s go see the sunset.”
A Zen-infused tale about the importance of paying attention to now, delicately relayed without heavy baggage or lifting. (Picture book. 4-9)