Using animal characters often helps to take the child out of this world into a make-believe world where things that make us different in America, can be explored without pinpointing the real differences. In the case of bullying, this may be especially important. I don't think this book is about bullying per se, rather it is a book about getting to know and liking--and love ourselves, no matter what we look like...
Read or Listen to Interview with Carole
The minor twist used by Carole in identifying the issue facing Henrietta Hedgehog's prickly problem, was perfect... You see, Henrietta was not liking who she was--a hedgehog that had quills on her body, which, at certain times, would help her against any enemy that might attack another. She knew that if somebody got too close to her, though, they could be hurt, even if she didn't mean to hurt anybody!
What to Do? Henrietta wanted to just not go to school. But her mother wouldn't allow that. So, thinking about those she knew in her class, she remembered that Bella Beaver was somebody she thought looked nice, so she made a mask to wear that made her look just like Bella...
But when she got to school, Bella took one look and thought that Henrietta was making fun of her front teeth, which were Bella's prickly problem for seeing herself as needing to change... Wow! Henrietta soon realized that everybody had something that they didn't like about themselves...and that the others still were willing to be...a prickly hedgehog, a beaver who didn't like her front teeth, a squirrel who doesn't like his "squeaking" voice...and many others who came to talk to Henrietta and tell her that they still liked her, even with her quills!
How about you? Is there anything that you don't like about yourself? Well, think about it and be open to talk about your problem with your mother, or even your teacher... Sometimes, you'll find that the problem you have really isn't prickly at all!
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