Hedgehog Hector loves his home, but it shouldn’t prevent him from going out.
There’s so much to do—cooking, playing the piano, snuggling on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate, etc.—that Hector never feels like going outside. His squirrel friend Archie knocks on the door of Hector’s tree and invites him outside to make footprints in the snow. Excited, Hector runs to find his boots. But then he begins to worry: What if he catches a cold outside? He decides to stay home. The next day, Max the mouse calls with the news that the lake has frozen; it’s perfect for ice skating! Hector gets excited again, but then he starts to worry. What if he falls and hurts himself? Hector stays home. The next day, Hector receives a party invitation, with “Music, Dancing, and Hot Chocolate for everyone!” Once again, nerves supersede excitement, and he decides to stay home. But after a fitful night’s sleep, in the morning he swallows his fear, puts on his best bow tie, and goes to the party. Archie and Max greet Hector warmly, and enjoyment finally takes over. A three-page afterword offers advice to caregivers on dealing with children who worry. Rooks treats her subject with a light touch and age-appropriate language, and her anthropomorphized animals, created with what appear to be watercolors, are delightful.
Gentle, reassuring, and persuasive. (Picture book. 3-6)