Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome in Spring with a Good Book -- Hans my Hedgehog by Kate Coombs (Review)

Hans My Hedgehog

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, January 2012
Hardcover, 40 pages
ISBN-10: 1416915338
ISBN-13: 9781416915331
Grades: K - 3


A classic tale of love and acceptance from the Brothers Grimm is beautifully rendered in this magical retelling.

Hans is an unusual boy. Born a hedgehog from the waist up, he knows what it’s like to truly be an outcast. Even his amazing fiddle playing can’t help him fit in. So Hans flees to the forest with his herd of loyal pigs and only his music to keep him company. But then a most unusual thing happens: When Hans crosses paths with two kings with two lovely daughters, his luck starts to change. Will this lonely soul find true love after all?

This lively and lyrical retelling of the classic Grimm’s tale, paired with lush, detailed illustrations, reminds us of the power of music, the importance of belonging, and the transformative effect of love.

My Thoughts:

If you grew up as a fan of the Brothers Grimm Tales, then you will love this tale retold by Kate Coombs in which she takes the story and makes it even better.  I remember reading this story as a child and feeling bad for Hans, as his parents didn't love him, and he felt different.  He only longed to be loved, and set out on a journey to do just that, all while trying to break the spell cast upon him.

In Kate Coombs' tale, she has Hans' parents love him and the pigs help him out on his journey.  Also, instead of playing the bagpipes, Kate has Hans playing the fiddle.  But, in the end, like with the original, the cast is broken and Hans become a young man.  I have to say after reading and comparing the two stories, I am liking this more modern day version of the classic tale.  Even though Savannah didn't understand the story, she did like the beautiful illustrations, which really tied the story together.  

If you get a chance to read this book, or already have, let me know what you think.  Which version do you like better -- Kate's or the original one?

About the Author:

Kate Coombs is the author of several books for children including The Secret Keeper. She has taught every grade from kindergarten through college, most recently driving around inner cities, teaching homebound children. She lives in Bountiful, UT, where she shares her home with hundreds of much-loved books. You can visit her online at

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

No comments :

Post a Comment