20 Jul 2021


 Written by the late brother of a very good friend of mine and definitely one for my collection of hedgehog story books, today its my pleasure to share ...

ISBN 0 85236 356 7

Harvey the hedgehog has a problem 

- how can he crosss the road without getting run over?have the right answer?

Lots of woodland folk offer him all sorts of advice and help, but nobody seems to have the right answer ... That is, until he meets Ernie the brainy badger, Nat the fat brown rat and Maxwell Mole - the fabulous  Handy lads. {Back Cover Blurb}

Harvey was a VERY worried hedgehog. {First Sentence, Page un-numbered} 

Ernie wondering
The badger never made a really important decision in a hurry. He always thought about it very carefully ... wondered about it for a while ... and then, considered it all again ... Until, just when everybody assumed he must have forgotten the question, Ernie would come up with the answer. (Memorable moment, Page un-numbered} 

Sunday tea
MY THOUGHTS ... The story of everyday woodland folk with a dilemma ...

What to do when you can't cross the road without getting squashed?


You could of course stay on the same side of the road forever where its completely safe as the snooty old owl points out but then as Harvey rightly points out he has to cross the road sometime as he has relatives over there and he visits his Grandma every Sunday for tea. 

With cousin Winston now a dead, flattened hedgehog and the fact that 'nobody worries about a few spiky little creatures on the motorway ... They just vroom over the top of us and we're completely squelchified', coupled with Fergus {a fox, illustrated with an obviously dead fox in his jaws} remembering 'coming home with a nice juicy hen one night' ...

Written by a man whose love, knowledge and concern for modern country living {yes, even Ernie the badger has a mobile phone, 'a new, bright-red mobile phone'} shines through, Henry Brewis doesn't shy away from incorporating the lives {and deaths} of his animal characters into this story; writing of the dangers, both natural and man-made, that they face. 

Perhaps not a read for very young or particularly sensitive children ... or indeed for those adults not yet ready/wanting to answer any of the questions that might be raised as a result of reading the book..

Speaking for myself ...

A great introduction to some of the small animals and birds to be found in our countryside.

The wonderful story of a diverse group of countryside critters coming together to solve a problem with illustrations that are very realistic and yet at the same time have a cartoon like look that I found hugely appealing. I thought Harvey And The Handy Lads an incredibly engaging read that raised the issue of traffic on country roads. 


GENRE: Children's illustrated book featuring animals

Standalone story


PUBLISHER: Farming Press {Distributed in North America by Diamond Farm Enterprisers

ABOUT HENRY BREWIS ... Born near Alnwick, Northumberland in 1932, Henry Brewis was one of a clan of farmers in the area. He spent much of his life running a mixed arable and livestock farm at Hartburn, near Morpeth, Northumberland. In the 1970s he began drawing cartoons and writing regularly for farming magazines, including the West Cumberland Farmers Journal, regional NFU journals and Livestock Farming. Booklets of his collected pieces were immensely popular. Farming Press issued the first of Henry's full collections of cartoons in 1983. Funnywayt'mekalivin' was the star attraction of that year's Smithfield Show when Henry signed copies on the Farming Press stand. Henry sold his farm on a lease-back arrangement and began to devote more time to writing and drawing. A small industry grew up around him, with Christmas cards, licensed prints, statuettes, decorated beer mugs, tee-shirts and audio-tapes. He was also in demand as an after-dinner speaker. In his youth Henry had been a keen cricketer, fielding at silly mid-off, and despite many years of illness he continued to enjoy sport, particularly golf. Henry died in 2000 leaving three children and two grandchildren.

Find more of Henry Brewis' books here on GoodReads.

BUY THE BOOK ... ~ Amazon UK ~ Book Depository~ Waterstones ~ 

Book cover and illustrations {copyright of Henry Brewis} photographed by myself. 


Kelly said...

What sounds like a cute, clever story... I can understand how it might be distressing for some folks. Roadkill is a common sight in my neck of the woods, particularly possums, coons, and armadillos.

The illustrations in this look lovely.

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds like a truly engaging
story which conveys a sincere and
realistic message. And the
illustrations are lovely.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This sounds like such a lovely read. And I'm liking the look of the illustrations.


DMS said...

This sounds like a great book- and I think it is a fabulous addition to your collection. The illustrations looks sweet and the story is one that sounds like it brings up things to think about. :) Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

What a lovely epitaph to a talented man, you have written. You couldn't find a nicer tribute than you amazing post.

Whilst a book might not always be for me, I do so admire people who can illustrate so beautifully and he has given his characters such wonderful names too!

I know a little five-year-old who has just won himself an end of year headmaster's award for outstanding reading, who would love this. Yes! the idea of roadkill may not sit comfortably with him, but once explained, he is sensible enough to understand the 'circle of life' theory.

Thanks so much for sharing and I hope that all is well with you :)