Title: I’m Not Scared A Big Hedgehog and Little Hedgehog Adventure
Written and Illustrated by: Britta Techentrup
Published by: Prestel Publishing
It is not very often nowadays you find a picture book suitable for the 5+ age range. Most picture books are reducing the word count and telling the story as sparingly as possible a lot of the detail needed to keep the emergent reader engaged is lost. In this beautifully written picture book Britta Techentrup has expanded her text to successfully create two distinct characters with their own voice and personality.
We met Little Hedgehog and Big Hedgehog before in Britta’s book, Big Hedgehog and Little Hedgehog Take an Evening Stroll, a story exploring nature and the beauty of the world. In contrast, I’m Not Scared, examines the complexity of being afraid, from dark basements to deserted streets, strange noises and swooping birds to cars’ glaring headlights, menacing foxes and friendly cats.
Throughout the book Britta does not identify the gender of either of the hedgehogs but we understand they have a parent-child relationship. As they embark on their picnic walk we see the different ways they react to unknown situations – how Big Hedgehog is protective and Little Hedgehog tries to act brave, insisting each time they were not scared.
Britta’s distinctive illustrations with their wild and rich layers of natural colour bring their emotions to life. Through picture and text the book subtly demonstrates a variety of different strategies for dealing with fear such as, accepting kindness, being still, counting, holding hands and whistling.
This would be a useful book for the classroom to stimulate a discussion on identifying and dealing with things that make us scared. It would also be the perfect book for an older emergent reader to explore and enjoy.
I have also previously reviewed The Swing by Britta Techentrup. To read this review see: Book Review: The Swing.