Darling Hedgehog: Goes Down a Foxhole By Auralee Arkinsly


Author Interview

What inspired you to write DARLING HEDGEHOG GOES DOWN A FOXHOLE? 
My author friend, Kathy Joy, had been visiting, and for a thank you when she went home, she gave me a card with a little stuffed hedgehog in a pink tutu. Well, I put it on my window ledge and that meant that I saw it there every time I opened my eyes in the morning. It really made me smile. One morning as I was slowly coming awake, the beginning of the story just came to me. I’d never written a children’s book, but I thought I’d like to try. Also, it is just in my nature to be a little quirky. I’ve also been known to give people out-of-the-box advice. All of these elements come to life in this story. 

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say? 
Be careful out there! (And that is basically how I autograph the front page.) 

What challenged you about writing this story?
Things that I thought were written clearly, but when we talked about the images, I realized that a couple of different things I had written could be imagined in a way that I hadn’t expected. So, I had to make sure the story and images were complementary. When I imagined writing this ending, I lay in bed and rolled in laughter until the tears fell down. I knew in my heart that this story wasn’t a feel-good look-into-the-sky-and-see-rainbows kind of children’s book, but I also felt deeply that it was a valuable teaching tool. Playing a trick in the storyline made me feel naughty and I had to accept the risk that some parents wouldn’t appreciate it if I went in that direction. Still, I couldn’t help but giggle uncontrollably. My young artist was not as amused as me. She wants to be a vet and became irritated at having to draw caged animals in the fox’s pantry. 

What was the illustration process like?
My artist, Julia Swezy, is such a talented gal. She was in ninth grade. Julia’s mother agreed to do the layout of the book for us as she is a graphic artist. So, after her mother passed along the general proposal, I went over to Julia’s house and offered her a contract without seeing a single image. I’d been her babysitter, and I’d followed her artwork for years, so I felt confident. However, when she sent over the first image, I just fell in love with Darling Hedgehog in a very big way like I’d fallen down the foxhole myself. If I asked her to do an aerial perspective, she did it. If I asked her to make cut-outs of certain images, she did it. Nearly every single picture Julia sent to me was excellent, but she had projects and finals to finish at school, so I had to wait for the finished product. Waiting gave me time to tweak the story and clarify some things. Also, when I changed up the ending, there was a bit of a disagreement, but we made it through. Her mother actually did one of the final proofreads as we were compiling the final layout, and added the chapter headings for me. 

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?
Kids seem to take to the story right away. It is a story about opposites with opposite appetites. In our world, we are encouraged to love everybody, and then, we are lectured about being naive. But let’s be honest, some people do not have our best interests at heart, so it is better to learn personal boundaries earlier than later in life. In this case, the fox is naturally looking for small rodents to eat, but the little hedgehog’s winsome ways catch the fox off guard. They do try to be friends, but folks, this is never really going to work, especially as dinner time approaches. It is the adults who tend to overthink the story and worry about it. I believe children can learn subtle things quite well, and this story is all about using your natural strengths and learning about your limitations by using your own intuition even if you don’t know the full extent why. It does have a crazy race to the end and a happy ending is found at that. 

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
If alone, I love taking pictures as I take walks. It is especially fun to explore the State of Colorado with my husband. I also love my friends and family and I love to read. I’m involved in a book club, and when my family comes to visit, we cook, eat, and play board games for hours. 

Darling Hedgehog: Goes Down a Foxhole By Auralee Arkinsly

Children’s Chapter Book: Paperback & ebook, 44 Pages

August 8, 2019 by Capture Books

Darling Hedgehog goes on an adventure to look for her parents who dropped out of sight. 
Darling Hedgehog learns about the animal nature of things in high humor and carefree, cute, and winning episodes. Learn about opposites, homophones, and similes as two animals in nature roll into fantasy land. For children 4-8 or preschool and kindergarten, as a read-to-me picture book, and first grade and second grade as a chapter book.
Darling and Miss Fox come to life as Darling introduces herself to the strange animal who is Miss Fox. Miss Fox gives her gifts so that Darling is distracted from her mission. The two animals look for things to do together in fantastical attempts to be friendly. When Darling enters Miss Fox’s kitchen, she realizes that by nature, not all strangers are good for you. Will Darling save the day when it’s already dinner time?
Pictures similar to Charlotte’s Web and the Mercy Watson series are characterized and painted in full-color, though the pages are set up like a chapter book.
This book helps to train children in natural wisdom, analysis, and discernment. It helps to balance the teachings of acceptance of everyone and friendliness to all. There may be good purposes for everyone to exist under heaven, yet all purposes may not be good for a child. So, beware, and flee from crafty foxes especially when they are holding your parents in the pantry.


Darling Hedgehog: Goes Down a Foxhole is about Darling falling into a foxhole and meeting Miss Fox while looking for her parents. But she forgets her parents when she meets this stranger. I think the meaning if this story is to teach kids about talking to strangers, but it looses readers in the beginning by having Darling forget his parents because if a stranger. It is explained better over in the pages of the book. But there are still some things that are a bit strange. The pictures were cute, and they did fit the story. And the book cover is adorable with Darling in her tutu.

Hopefully the author can rework some of the story that readers are having problems with. It is a really cute story with great potential. I am giving this one 3 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

A special thanks to the author/publisher and Prism Book Tours for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

(Affiliate links included.)

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Tour Schedule
August 24th:LaunchHearts & ScribblesCaptive Dreams Window

August 25th:Locks, Hooks and Books Christy’s Cozy CornersBizwings Blog

August 26th:Wishful EndingsMusings of a Sassy Bookish MamaRockin’ Book Reviews

August 27th:Splashes of JoyKarma Readz Kidz Bookz

August 28th:RemembrancyAndi’s Kids BooksTeatime and Books

August 29th:Grand Finale

About the Author

Auralee Arkinsly writes in good humor about serious subjects because kids of all ages can learn a lot from laughing. Since opposites exist, she believes children can learn to identify the nature of things and get out of a risky situation. “Good Laughter sparks the mind.” She reckons if she can save some from the bumps and bruises, then she has done a good day’s work.

Goodreads | Amazon
Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally to those who can receive the gift card through one of Amazon’s branches
Ends September 2, 2020


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Grand Finale Tour Featuring *Darling Hedgehog* by Auralee Arkinsly @AArkinsly @prismbooktours #giveaway – I'm All About Books
  2. Trackback: Tour Grand Finale and Giveaway! DARLING HEDGEHOG GOES DOWN A FOXHOLE by Auralee Arkinsly (Children’s Book)
  3. Trackback: #BlogTour #Giveaway – DARLING HEDGEBOG GOES DOWN A FOXHOLE by Auralee Arkinsly – Book Lover in Florida

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