Book Reviews

Book Review: Hedgehog Needs A Hug

Hedgehog Needs a Hug by Jen Betton


PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers



Everyone needs hugs, even if they’re prickly.

When Hedgehog wakes up feeling down in the snout and droopy in the prickles, he knows a hug will make him feel much better. But none of his animal friends are eager to wrap their arms around Hedgehog’s prickles, and he’s too smart to fall for Fox’s sly offer.

Then Hedgehog gets a surprise: Another animal in the forest is feeling exactly the same way.

Luckily, both are kind and brave enough for the perfect hug.


The lovely language perfectly matches the gorgeous illustrations in this book. The size and layout of Hedgehog Needs a Hug is wonderful for reading to kiddos on your lap or reading to larger audiences. Jen Betton’s inviting visuals will make this one a favorite. You are sure to get a big hug every time you read Hedgehog Needs a Hug to the littles in your life.

Kids will adore the lively language.

“And hippity-skippity-scram, she was gone.”

And anticipate the refrain:

“I need a hug. Will you give me one?” 

This is one of my favorites spreads in the book. When I was discussing Hedgehog Needs a Hug with one of my writer friends, she said, “The illustrations are so sweet. Realistic, but expressive.” I couldn’t agree more.

The composition varies from page to page, drawing the reader in and moving the story forward. I love when picture books end on a sweet note. And this one did not disappoint.


“I would give hedgehog a hug!” -Sophie, age 6

“I like the inclusion of others at the end.” -Mason, age 10

The Hedgehog Needs a Hug book trailer is soft and sweet. It captures the “feeling” of the book incredibly well.

Author-illustrator Jen Betton

I love to draw and write stories for kids! In Kindergarten I got into trouble for drawing presents on a picture of Santa, and I’ve been illustrating ever since. My picture books include, TWILIGHT CHANT, written by Holly Thompson, published with Clarion, and HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG, my debut as an author-illustrator, published with Putnam.

I have a BA in English from Grove City College, a BFA in Painting from the University of Central Florida, and an MFA in Illustration from Syracuse University. I also teach illustration and animation students.

My awards include third place and honorable mention in Children’s Market in the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles in 2010 and 2015, a SCBWI national mentorship award in 2012, and the portfolio grand prize at New England’s SCBWI conference in 2014.

You can find me in Dallas with my husband, chasing our two kids.

Learn more about Jen’s work:

Website: Includes a teachers guide, activity kits, printable coloring pages, Hedge-Hat Craft, Printable bookplates, hedgehog crafts, and an image discussion guide.

Hedgehog crown-Sophie
Sophie was excited to show off her HEDGE-HAT!

Follow Jen Betton on Social media:






OTHER REVIEWS of Hedgehog Needs a Hug:


Publishers Weekly

Where to find Hedgehog Needs a Hug:

Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound



5 thoughts on “Book Review: Hedgehog Needs A Hug

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