When three-year-old Amber Kibbey fell in love with a hedgehog at Devon's Riviera Bay Holiday Park earlier this year, her mum Claire knew that it was the real thing. So when they made a return visit to the park this autumn, the family had a big surprise in store for Amber – a matching mini-version of the pretty pink outfit worn by her heroine! It was presented to the star-struck toddler just before she set off for the Brixham park's daily children's show where mascot Penny Prickles was due to be on stage.
And in front of a cheering crowd, Amber went under the spotlights to receive the admiration – and a big hug – from the hedgehog which had won her heart.
Penny's mini-me outfit was made by Amber's nan Kay who had joined Claire and her partner Chris for the two-week holiday, together with her grandad and auntie.
They have been taking holidays at Riviera Bay since Amber was born – but after this spring's visit, the little girl wouldn't stop talking about her new friend Penny:
"Amber loves all the mascots at the park, but Penny Prickles was far and away her favourite," said Claire who lives in the Cotswold town of Burford.
"Her nan suggested it would be great if she could make Amber an identical dress covered with the same shiny stars, and finished off with pink boots just like Penny's.
"Amber's eyes lit up when she saw it, and the icing on the cake came when Penny Prickles invited her up onto the stage and everyone there burst into applause!" she added.
Claire, who is expecting a baby next March, works part-time in a local tea-room – but has arranged more time off later in October for yet another return visit to the park.
"We all love Riviera Bay as it's such a friendly place in a lovely location, and there's plenty going on all the time. They really know about keeping children happy!" said Claire.
Meanwhile, Amber is counting the minutes until she can once again be reunited with one cuddly hedgehog which has no plans to hibernate this winter!
• Riviera Bay is one of 27 top-rated seaside parks owned by Park Holidays UK where half-term breaks this autumn are available from £89.00 per family. For details, see www.ParkHolidays.com.