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Nastya Ryabtseva, illustrated by Nataša Jovanić

Picture Book, Mundo Benvirá, 2023

It is hard to make friends when you are covered in prickly needles that everyone is scared of. Theodor the Hedgehog is so lonely he is prepared to do anything – even turn himself inside out, quite literally – to make other animals like him.

But when he meets Sofia the Tortoise, Theodor discovers that a real friend will appreciate you for who you are – and that only when you celebrate your true self instead of fighting against it will you be able to realize your full potential.


Jerusalem-based educator and journalist Nastya Ryabtseva has never met Nataša Jovanić, an artist from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Yet, having been introduced online by mutual acquaintances, Nastya and Nataša created this sweet and wise picture book about the freedom and joy that come with self-acceptance.


Rights Sold:

Brazil: Mundo Benvirá; China: Shanghai Juvenile, Korea: DajeongDagam; Turkey: Koç University

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