Book Review: The Last Hedgehog by Pam Ayres

What’s it about?

To mark and celebrate National Hedgehog Awareness Week, Pam Ayres has written a less-than-fond farewell from perspective of the ‘last hedgehog left on earth’ – a delightful, hilarious and thought-provoking elegy to that most beloved inhabitant of the British countryside, the common hedgehog.

Pam Ayres’ spiky and wonderful creation reminds us that unless we take steps to prevent it, they will soon be far from ‘common’ indeed: beautifully illustrated by Alice Tait, the poem The Hedgehog sees our hero tell of all the terrible ends his family come to at our own hands – and exactly what we can still do to keep them alive, and see them thrive once more.

My thoughts

I heard Pam Ayres on Graham Norton’s radio show a couple of weeks ago talking about this book and I just wanted to buy it immediately.  I’ve not read any kind of poetry since I was forced to at school so was really looking forward to something different.

“Farewell, farewell, for what it’s worth

From the final hedgehog left on earth”

This is a super cute small book of poetry with stunning illustrations but with a serious tone at its heart.  You really shouldn’t laugh at some of the fates of the poor hedgehogs but they’re too funny not to! In each line you can hear Pam Ayres’ voice which just adds to its charm and enjoyment.

Full of gorgeous illustrations

Despite its lovable child-friendly cover this isn’t a book for young kids given that there’s reference to hedgehogs having sexy time 😉

Overall, a very short enjoyable read – very short indeed at two lines per page, it took less than 10 minutes to read it.  I’d hoped for something longer so maybe I’ll pick up some more of Ayres’ work in the future.  Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 48
Publisher: Picador


  1. 5th June 2018 / 10:10 am

    I had a sneaky read of this in the bookshop after seeing you mention it in another post and it is such a cute and funny read. Like you I don’t really read poetry but this is a nice and easy intro.

    Great review.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      5th June 2018 / 9:52 pm

      Ha ha, you could probably have read the whole thing in 5 minutes 😊

      • 5th June 2018 / 9:55 pm

        I pretty much did 🙂 It is probably still worth buying though to have a copy, the illustrations are so cute.

  2. 9th June 2018 / 11:40 am

    The illustration you showed is beautiful, it sounds like a lovely little book.
    Amanda #ToTT

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      9th June 2018 / 12:39 pm

      I picked that one as it was a double page spread; they are all equally as lovely (and amusing!)

  3. 9th June 2018 / 2:11 pm

    My mum loved Pam Ayres and I remember listening to a few of her poems (was she aired on the radio I wonder…). You could be mistaken in thinking it is a child’s book …

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      9th June 2018 / 6:59 pm

      She is a British institution 🙂

  4. suzanna
    9th June 2018 / 3:42 pm

    I loved Pam Ayres’ poetry. Although I’m not sure a book I could read in 5 minutes sounds like a good investment lol.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      9th June 2018 / 6:58 pm

      You’re absolutely right and I thought the same. If I hadn’t have had a voucher I would have used the library (I paid £6).
      Thanks for your visit 🙂

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