The Last Hedgehog

Pam Ayres

Illustrated by Alice Tait

2018 Winner

Books are My Bag Poetry Award

03 May 2018
48 pages


'A national treasure' Daily Express

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.

'The Last Hedgehog is a little book, but it's an important book and it's a profound book' Graham Norton

The Last Hedgehog is a little book, but it's an important book and it's a profound book . . . It's sweet and wry and everything we'd expect from Pam Ayres . . . but at the end it gives the reader a bit of kicking.

When I say that Pam Ayres ought to be the Oxford Professor of Poetry, even the Poet Laureate, I am not being facetious ... Ayres uses simple verse forms - comic ballads or folk song idioms - to make poignant observations about tiresome husbands, gossiping wives, false teeth or battery hens.
I find her work sweet and sour, gentle and sad, and often very moving in its wistful way.

Her humour, which verges on the black at times, is contagious and so original