Dr Hedgehog and the Post Box Rescue by Jerry Mushin, paperback picture book, published by Sweet Cherry Publishing in 2014.
Martin Mouse has disappeared again. His mum is very worried, so she calls Dr Hedgehog to help search for Martin.
This simple picture book is part of a series covering the mishaps of Martin Mouse and his saviour, Dr Hedgehog. Each book is able to be read independently of the other books in the series.
The plot is basic, the language simple and the text large, great for early readers to try. I read this book to my younger children, and they all seemed to enjoy the story. My eldest child, at eight, thought it was much too easy for her.
The illustrations are large and clear, though I wasn’t keen on the image of Dr Hedgehog. I normally find hedgehogs rather cute, but Dr Hedgehog is actually a little scary. Maybe it’s the spines coming through his doctor’s coat, or his grumpy expression throughout the book. Even when the rescue is complete and he can finally go home, he still doesn’t look happy. This kind of spoilt the book for me, though my kids didn’t seem to mind, and asked for a re-read.
Dr Hedgehog and the Post Box Rescue is suitable for preschoolers and children in lower primary school.
*I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads Giveaways.
I am encouraged by your generous comments on my stories for young children. The other seven books in the contract (which include some of the best stories) will be available soon.
Although some of the illustrations are disappointing (for example, I wanted Martin Mouse to look like a mouse and not like a child in a pantomime costume), these books give me great satisfaction. I am confident that parents (and grandparents) will enjoy these books as much as the small children to whom they are read.
I wrote the stories more than thirty years ago, when my son Stephen was in preschool. The stories evolved over several years. They were about the animals that we saw frequently. On evenings when it got dark early, I used to put a saucer of milk in the garden and then wait silently, with three-year-old Stephen beside me, until, at the same time each evening, a hedgehog came out of the undergrowth to drink it. The hedgehog never stayed long. Obviously, he was rushing to get to his work at the hospital. That is how I began writing the stories. Within walking distance of our house, Stephen and I used to watch cows eating grass (and looking grumpy), and sheep giggling at silly jokes, and horses looking friendly and helpful, and frogs swimming strongly in cold water, and pigeons, sparrows, dogs, and chickens, all of which became part of the stories. Gradually, the stories developed a pattern of Martin Mouse getting into awkward situations and needing help. When Stephen was older, about five years old perhaps, the stories developed an additional theme. They were now also about the relationship between Martin Mouse and his mother. Mavis Mouse was always worried about her son. This is how mothers have behaved since the beginning of time, of course, and Stephen could recognize the behavior of his mother. When things went wrong, often after ignoring his mother’s good advice, Martin Mouse was always worried that she would be cross, but she was always so pleased to see him get home safely that all was immediately forgiven.
Thankyou for taking an interest in my stories.
That’s a lovely way for your stories to have developed. I get the worrying mother thing! It is hard to watch my children do things that take them into danger (especially if I’ve advised against it!), but I’m always glad when they come out the other side. I will have to read more Dr Hedgehog books to see how the relationship between Martin and his mother progresses. I can already tell that Dr Hedgehog will have his work cut out for him getting Martin out of trouble! My younger kids are keen for more of Martin’s adventures too.