Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Herodotus the Hedgehog by Jean-Luc Buquet from Eerdmans Publishing [Review]

My thoughts:  Herodotus is a curious young hedgehog who meanders through the forest encountering a plethora of forest critters from insects to huge animals. It all begins with a simple wandering and observation of bear's behavior. Then Herodotus questions the bear's behavior and wonders if other critters have a spirit to whom they give praise and gifts.

The story flows gently through the book and is nicely told. It makes for a good read-aloud book. There is, however, subtle teaching of subject matter that some would find difficulty with having it presented in the mask of a children's picture book.

Namely, the thought that there is only one great spirit and we all worship our own choice of spirits but they are all representative of the one great spirit. This smacks of the One God One Universe theory. But perhaps I read too much into this children's book.

The story can show differences in individuals so that a young child can learn that we are not all alike, but that we think, live, love, and worship in different ways. This can be used to show tolerance of the beliefs of others.

Or perhaps we can just simply read this as a sweet children's book about a hedgehog that meanders through the forest meeting critters along the way and having a chat with them. We can think, too, about the choice of the hedgehog's name, "Herodotus." Herodotus is considered the father of history as he was the first to document the facts of historic events. I don't see a connection between the two but surely the author has some intent in naming the little hedgehog after such a giant of a historic figure.

About the book: A philosophical story that celebrates diversity

Herodotus is a curious little hedgehog who loves exploring the woods. One day he sees a bear leaving an offering of fruit and honey to the Great Spirit Bear, and he wonders if other animals worship the Great Spirit Bear too. So he decides to talk to the other animals in the forest, and discovers that they each believe something different. Herodotus is fascinated by their ideas, but eventually he’ll have to decide what he believes in himself.

This thoughtful, engaging book will prompt readers to ponder their own beliefs and ideas about life’s big questions.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Eerdmans Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.


  1. I sometimes walk out of a book store with more money spent on books then I do on actual food

  2. Herodotus is one of my favorite early historians...really strange to see him as a hedgehog, but the book looks like an interesting read.

  3. Like Barbara, I also thought of the historian. I enjoy reading his accounts of history. Sounds like this little hedgehog might have some wisdom of his own to impart

  4. I think I'd want to preread this one before sharing it with my kids. Great to have you link up at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!


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