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Hedgie's Surprise (Hedgie)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  913 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
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 t ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 11th 2000 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2000)
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Dec 29, 2008 Kathryn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hedgehog fans
2 Stars for the Story--Four Stars for the Illustrations.
Okay, how could I not love a story where a hedgehog is the hero of the tale!? Go, Hedgie!!! But, however cute Hedgie and Henny might be, the tale left me a bit annoyed. I'm not clear what the "moral" of the story is (aside from helping one's friends) because the naughty elf that keeps stealing Henny's eggs (and is eventually thwarted by Hedgie) doesn't seem to suffer more than a prick when Hedgie pretends to be an egg at the end. B
Sep 09, 2013 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture

The story was more like a low 3-star but Brett's illustrations are lovely as always.
Crystal Warrick
I absolutely loved this book! The hen and hedgehog use teamwork to scare off the little boy who keeps taking the hen's eggs to eat them. The hen wants a family of her own, because she saw the goose and her babies in the pond one morning. The hedgehog helps the hen trick the boy into eating different things before scaring him off because he picked up the prickly hedgehog.
Dec 24, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it
Felt long. Tomten looked like an 8 yo boy, not a more gnome-like farm-elf. For once Brett's art didn't overwhelm, but then neither was it special.
Jan 21, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2012
Whenever we read one of Jan Brett's books, we are sure to look for any hidden (or obvious) hedgehogs in the illustrations and the borders of the illustrations. It's become a bit of a treasure hunt for us. Our girls have loved hedgehogs ever since they got to pet one at a local library event featuring a wild animal rescue center. They are certainly adorable! So when we saw that Hedgie had his own series of books, we certainly wanted to check them out.

Overall, however, we weren't all that thrille
Lindsay Fischer
Sep 30, 2014 Lindsay Fischer rated it liked it
Jan Brett displays great friendship in her story Hedgie’s Surprise. Henny lays an egg, only to have them stolen by the greedy Tomten. Henny didn’t mind until she saw a goose with all her babies. She wants to have her own babies too. When she is crying over her dilemma, Hedgie comes by and offers to help. Hedgie agrees to come up with a plan to trick Tomten into not stealing Henny’s eggs.
The faces in the illustrations deeply convey the emotions and motives of the characters. Henny and Hedgie’s
Sarah Hannon
Feb 20, 2015 Sarah Hannon rated it it was amazing
Personal Response- I like this book very much because the story is engaging and illustrations enhance the story. For example, the troll's, Tomten, facial expression and excitement when he gets an egg or when he gets a strawberry. This story is unique in that the book illustrations allow for each page to have a border that looks like stitching. It is a nice aesthetically pleasing touch to the illustrations.

Purposes: 1st grade
Read aloud for enrichment
-With this story, the children can learn that s
Jen Van Allen
Apr 24, 2016 Jen Van Allen rated it really liked it
Hedgie helps Henny protect her eggs from the Tomten who takes her eggs each morning. A surprise ending creates a special bond between Henny and Hedgie when the eggs hatch! This was always a favorite book of mine as a child, and I have fond memories of asking my mother to read this book to me on many different occasions. This is a book that I will, without a doubt, have as a part of my classroom library as well as a book that I will read aloud to my students.
They mystery of the eggs and the beaut
Sep 11, 2011 Angela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: l-s-faves, children
Throughout SK, my son kept coming home and telling me about Hedgie, a character in a story his class was frequently read either by their teacher or their librarian. This year, he is in Grade 1 and has the privilege of signing books out of the school library and bringing them home - his first choice was "Hedgie". I was so excited to finally be able to sit down with him and read this book for myself.

I can see why he loves it. I love Jan Brett and this met my expectations. Lovely illustrations and
Mar 03, 2011 Brittany rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
I considered this book - ok. I think that as a read aloud, kids might like the pridiction aspect of the book and therefore like it; but this story like wasn't anything outstanding to me. As usual, Bret's artwork is one of a kind, beautiful, and fun. One small opinion about the pictures is that the boy in the story is evil looking and a little scary. Like the mitten it includes a border in which upcoming pages and past pages are described. That all being said, I would most likely use this as a wh ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I think what stood out to me the most about this book were the illustrations; they were amazing, with details everywhere! I liked how she put a quilt pattern around the outside edges. Also, it seemed like she was telling more than one story at a time. On the sides as well, she had mini pictures about what the animals were doing off to the side or what the boy was doing in the meantime, while the main story was occurring with what Hedgie was doing. I also enjoyed the story as well, and I think ma ...more
Aug 24, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
As usual, Jan Brett's artwork is beautiful along with an engaging story. Poor Henny is having her eggs stolen everyday and Hedgie devises a plan to help Henny hide her eggs and teach the Tomten not to steal them. The author managed to convey why Henny wanted to keep her eggs in a very subtle way that children will understand without having to be hit over the head with a biology lesson. My 8 year old said that he loved the book because of the animals and the illustrations. He also noted that he t ...more
Lisa Carroll
May 10, 2011 Lisa Carroll rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, Jan Brett can do no wrong. This wonderful picture book had an entertaining story line and amazing artwork as usual. Through her words and fully detailed pictures, her stories truly come alive. My son adored the naughty tomten and we couldn't wait until we saw the antics that Hedgie and the Chicken came up with to thwart the tomten's plans. We recveived this amazing book a few years ago as a gift and enjoy it still. Brett's artwork is so entertaining that you feel as though you are ...more
Mary Sesar
This book is about a hen who keeps getting her little eggs stolen for food. She so badly wants little baby chicks so her and the hedgehog come up with ideas that would replace her eggs with other objects the fellow could eat. He kept coming back wanting her precious eggs so one morning Hedgie got in the hens nest and when the fellow reached in to grab an egg, he grabbed a porcupine instead!
This would be a great book to help teach children to try and solve their own problems. Together Henny and H
Dec 10, 2015 Nadine rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This book is very well written and beautifully illustrated. Jan Brett always does a wonderful job with her illustrations, the borders and sneak peaks inside the borders are my favorite parts. In Hedgie's Surprise, there is a boy named Tomten who steals one of Henny's eggs every morning so he can cook it and eat it. Henny finds out that the way for her to have her own babies is for the egg to hatch, which means Tomten can't take it. Henny and Hedgie come up with a plan and get it all figured out. ...more
Jessica Bennett
So cute! This story is about Henny who wants to have chicks, but Tomten keeps eating her eggs. Then, Henny and Hedgie decide to stop him by tricking him! This book is great for predictions because you can ask what the surprise would be or what will Tomten find next. Also, this book shows problem/solution well because the problem is that Henny wants to have chicks, but her eggs get eaten and the solution is that Tomten finds something else to eat!
Rosa Cline
Aug 29, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Ms Brett's children's books are always a joy to pick up. Between the text that tells wonderful stories to her illustrations that tell the story without the text. And if you look on the sides of the pages or the corners they tell a second story in addition to the original illustrations too.

This story a Hen and a hedgehog out smarts a Tomten (a gremlin, elves etc) Tomten wants the Hen's egg every morning for his breakfast but she wants to have chicks. A very nice and fun story.
Jane G Meyer
Apr 30, 2012 Jane G Meyer rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love Jan Brett's books, and I do have an undying love for hedgehogs. Actually saw one once in England, and he truly (or she) ducked under a real hedge. It was one of those moments in life :)

Anywho, this book with all the sneaking of eggs and the Tomten with his sort of angry face isn't my favorite. I like that Hedgie can help poor silly Henny, and I like that the Tomten gets to try out some new cuisine, but, what is a tomten anyway? Need to go and look that fellow up...

Jul 09, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it
We loved this Jan Brett book as well. I love the personality her animal characters have and her illustrations are always gorgeously detailed and appealing.

This book is about a chicken and a hedgehog. While I haven't known any hedgehogs personally, I think that is in their favor. I believe them to be adorable thanks to Jan Brett and Beatrix Potter. And chickens? We own chickens and so books about chickens are always a delight.

Lots of wins here.
Jan 27, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Destiny Dawn Long
I love Brett's illustrations--she's got such a beautiful style and all of the detailing is lovely. There is a lot to talk about in the pictures. And I love the side bar images that show reactions.

However, the story was a bit tedious after a while. We borrowed it because we love "The Hat" so much and were excited to see another book with Hedgie. But this story felt much longer than "The Hat." It also felt a lot darker. The Tomten was a little scary, and definitely malicious looking.
Katie Pszczola
Love Jan Brett books! I used this book in a beginning middle and end lesson in a second grade classroom. We were able to focus on the details that describe the beginning, middle, and end. The students loved this book, especially because we would compare and contrast with another Jan Brett story. A story like this can always be used to reinforce sequencing because there is an order of specific things that happen throughout the plot. Another great story to also use for a friendship story.
Mar 04, 2012 Leslee rated it really liked it
A hen always gets her eggs taken from a little boy and Hedgie the hedgehog decides to help the hen. Every day he puts something different under the hen- acorn, potato, etc... until one day he puts himself under the hen and the little boy gets a huge surprise! Hedgie and hen together taught the boy a lesson and the hen was able to have her eggs hatch.
Oct 25, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing
Ages 3-7 years can enjoy this Scandinavian-type folktale, but it could delight all ages with its charming illustrations where pages are bordered by needlepoint designs. The expressions on both animals and humans draw readers into the setting. The colorful detail adds much to the simple tale where Henny wants baby chicks and is able to have them thanks to Hedgie;s surprise.
May 29, 2011 Marcia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: K-2,
Recommended to Marcia by: Nancy
This week's choice with the kindergarten (thanks, Nancy!) who await the hatching of their classroom eggs. True Jan Brett formula-with meticulous illustrations, borders and adorable animal characters. The K's liked the tomten and the little surprises as Hedgie worked to outsmart the sneaky thief. Delightful!
Apr 02, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Jan Brett never fails to amaze with her story-telling and illustrating. Her books can only be read when you have time. The illustrations just add to the story, and the side pictures just contribute to her stories. I will include plenty of Jan Brett books in my classroom library, and they will be used as mentor text as well.
May 28, 2014 Fibersian rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful Jan Brett book. A naughty little elf steals Henny's egg every morning. She is tired of this. Hedgie the Hedgehog has a plan to help her out.

Hedgie is a classic recurring Jan Brett character so as you read these books the character is familiar in traits. Brett's border illustrations help tell the story. This emphasizes the sense of story and encourages prediction.
Dec 20, 2014 Alexandra rated it liked it
Very cute story. And the title was adorable when you figured out just what Hedgie's surprise was. It was a very prickly one! So freaking cute how he helped out his hen friend. I love books like this where animals help each other out and succeed. ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Maya rated it really liked it
I love Jan Brett's style! The little extra pictures that help tell the story and all the needlepoint illustrations--warms this crafter's heart! My kids love this story--especially hedgie's surprise toward the end! this great simple story telling.
This book is a story about friendship between the characters. Hedgie needs to figure out how to keep her eggs. Again, Jan Brett's illustrations are beautiful and will capture young childrens attention. Some activities you could do with this book are to connect it with a farm unit
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With over thirty three million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I reme
More about Jan Brett...

Other Books in the Series

Hedgie (3 books)
  • Hedgie Loves to Read
  • Hedgie Blasts Off!

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