From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3–Hedgie the hedgehog is back. Aspiring to become an astronaut, he works as a member of the cleanup crew for the Star Lab run by the Professor (a dog), who is the smartest scientist on Earth and in charge of Outer Space. On the tiny planet of Mikkop, an erupting crater called the Big Sparkler, a popular tourist attraction, is inexplicably slowing down. The Professor orders his team to build a small spaceship that can carry a robotic astronaut into space to assess the problem. When the robot malfunctions, Hedgie is the only one who can fit into the vehicle, and off he zooms. Bretts color illustrations are filled with humorous details, including eager reporters (an owl, a flamingo, a toucan, and a cockatoo, whose postures convey their avid impatience) and whimsical spaceships filled with comical alien tourists. Small groups can easily view the richly hued art, although many scenes merit closer inspection. Children will cheer for this intrepid hedgehog as he solves the problem of the plugged crater.–Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. Hedgie the hedgehog loves heading the cleanup crew at Star Lab, but he longs to be an astronaut. The lab's scientists are concerned about Big Sparkler, an outer-space, volcano-like formation that has stopped emitting sparks that cause beautiful gardens to grow on its planet. When the lab's robot is damaged, Hedgie, who fits neatly into the lab's pint-size rocket, undertakes a mission to investigate. Ingenious Hedgie successfully restores Big Sparkler, which was damaged by space tourists. The setup is a bit clumsy, but, as usual, Brett's exquisite artwork will easily draw children's interest, particularly in scenes of underdog, child-size Hedgie soaring triumphantly through the beautifully imagined depths of outer space. One nagging question about the animal character groupings: Why are all the dogs scientists; the journalists birds; and Hedgie, the only hedgehog, an astronaut? Teachers may want to use this as a starting point for discussions of how humans impact the environment. For aspiring astronauts, pair this with Faith McNulty's fact-filled If You Decide to Go to the Moon
(2005). Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved