I received this book for free from Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Hedgehog of Oz by Cory Leonardo
Genres: Middle Grade
Published by Aladdin on February 23, 2021
Buy on Amazon
The Wizard of Oz meets The Wind in the Willows in this next middle grade novel from the author of The Simple Art of Flying, in which a theater-dwelling, Oz-loving hedgehog goes on the journey of a lifetime to find his way home in this tale of loyalty, friendship, loss, and hope.
Marcel the hedgehog used to live with his beloved owner Dorothy, but since getting hopelessly lost, he’s tried to forget the happy home he left behind. Now, Marcel lives a quiet life in the abandoned balcony of The Emerald City Theater where he subsists on dropped popcorn and the Saturday showings of The Wizard of Oz.
But when he’s discovered, Marcel is taken far away from everything he knows and ends up lost once more. His quest to return to The Emerald City Theater leads him to Mousekinland, where he meets Scamp, a tiny mouse armed with enormous spirit (and a trusty sling-shooter). Before long, they’re joined by an old gray squirrel, Ingot, who suffers from bad memories and a broken heart and Tuffy, a baby raccoon lost and afraid in the forest. And the travelers attract the attention of an owl named Wickedwing, who stalks them as they search for the old theater.
From field to forest, glittering theatre to the gutter, the animals’ road home is a dark and winding journey. But sometimes you need to get a little lost before you can be found.
Here is what I thought
The Hedgehog of Oz was a whimsical, fun and heartwarming story! It’s a story of friendship, family and courage.
Marcel is a hedgehog who has been passed around because a kid things they want him but then they don’t because he is a little prickly. Then he meets Dorothy his latest owner and thought he had found a real home. She would take him to the theater and they would watch all sorts of movies but their favorite was The Wizard of Oz.
Then one day she meets a boy and Marcel gets it in his head (with the help of a bird) that he is not as wanted and once you leave the nest you can never go back, etc. He leaves her backpack one day and before he knew it he was lost and he felt it really was true that you can never go back. He now lives in the Emerald City Theater where he meets two hens, he calls them Aunt Hen and Uncle Henrietta (for Aunt Em and Uncle Henry from The Wizard of Oz).
Things were going good there for him and the two hens until one day something terrible happens, the theater is closed down and he is rounded up and put in a crate and dumped out in the middle of nowhere. His crate is tossed and it tumbles down a hill right into Mouskinland! 🙂 His crate has done them a big favor as it landed on the nasty milk snake that was stalking the poor little mice.
You can pretty much see where this is going. He wants to go back the the theater to his two hen friends and along the way he meets a few friends to help him. First there is Scamp a feisty young mouse who is always full of ideas but they get her into a lot of trouble. Maybe sometimes she just doesn’t use her brain as she should. She think she can get him back home especially if they follow the yellow stinky water (ends up being yellow paint). As they travel they have to keep an eye open for the Wickedwing a very scary Owl everyone calls a witch. When they hid from it they meet Ingot a grump ole squirrel whose heart is a bit rusty because he has had some sad things happen to him. As they travel they again meet someone who growls at them because he is scared and trying to be brave. Tuffy is a baby raccoon who sort of met the same fate as Marcel and was taken from the city and his family in a car and dumped. So he wants to travel with them and find his parents.
It’s not an easy journey and along the way they have obstacle that they have to get around, not only just the Wickedwing but some nasty rats, scary trees, etc.
I loved all the characters in this book except of course for the bad Owl and rats! I think out of all of them Tuffy was my favorite as he just sounded so cute!
It was such a fun story that was very similar to Wizard of Oz but also different enough to be its own fun little story about a group who form a friendship and help each other as they journey to the city to find the Emerald Theater. It had a bit sadder ending that I had anticipated but overall I really had a lot of fun with this cute story centered around these adorable animals! My only complaint is I wish there was illustrations. I kind of hope there would be some in the final product as it would have been so cute to see pictures of their adventures.
I think kids and adults alike will enjoy this one!