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Jan Brett's beloved character Hedgie stars in this charming story about a little Tomten who gets tired of porridge for breakfast and starts stealing Henny's eggs. But Henny wants a brood of chicks and she needs her eggs. With the help of clever Hedgie, she substitutes an acorn, a strawberry, a mushroom and finally a potato in her nest. But nothing stops that Tomten until the little hedgehog hides in Henny's nest: when the Tomten reaches in to get his morning treat, all he gets is a handful of prickles. He runs home for porridge and never comes back again! Intricate needlepoint patterns of Scandinavian designs frame the characters reacting from the borders in this beautiful picture book set in Denmark. Henny doesn't know what to do. Every morning the irksome gnomelike Tomten steals her egg and takes it home to cook in his kettle and gobble up for breakfast. But when she sees Goosey-Goosey sailing by with a gaggle of goslings, Henny is suddenly galvanized to do something. Will she never have chicks of her own? She consults her wise friend Hedgie the Hedgehog, who comes up with a clever plan guaranteed to give the Tomten a sharp lesson in appropriate behavior.
Jan Brett's trademark illustrations--detailed watercolors bordered by intricate needlepoint patterns---capture the charm and mischief of this Scandinavian-style folk tale set in Denmark. Each wide woven margin shows a hint in miniature of upcoming events: Hedgie crawling under Henny's brooding basket, or the enraged Tomten after being outwitted. Young readers will love guessing what Hedgie has up his proverbial sleeve, and will rejoice with Henny at the unusual hatching of her first brood of chicks. A warm, humorous, 100 percent satisfying story by the creator of many picture book favorites, such as The Hat and The Mitten. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter