The latest entry in the Little Hedgehog series finds him delivering Christmas gifts for Santa Claus, who is stuck at home with a cold.
When the story opens on Christmas Eve, Little Hedgehog finds a note from Santa and a sled loaded with presents outside his door. Being a helpful hedgehog, Little Hedgehog pops on his favorite red stocking cap and sets off in a hurry to get the job done. The plot unfolds with one mishap after another. First, the sled goes downhill too fast, and the presents fall out into the snow. Hedgehog uses his red hat as a stretchy sack to load up the presents, but a strand of wool catches on a bush, and the hat unravels, spilling out all the presents once again. Badger comes to the rescue, and finally, the two succeed in delivering all the gifts to the forest animals. The illustrations include a few textural highlights of velvety flocking, as in some of the previous Little Hedgehog stories, but this rises beyond the gimmick. It has a stronger plot with more drama than most of his other books, along with the usual cuddly-cute critters.
A strong outing for Little Hedgehog; the cozy Christmas setting is a bonus. (Picture book. 3-6)