Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story

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Overview

Mr. Prickles was not a particularly friendly fellow. He was tough to get close to . . . because he was a porcupine.

“You're not cute like us,” said Raccoon.

“Or cuddly like us,” said Chipmunk.

“Or playful like us,” said Skunk.

“I am,” said Mr. Prickles. “On the inside.”

Poor Mr. Prickles was very lonely-until the day he met Miss Pointypants. Could she be the perfect prickly companion for moonlit strolls and midnight feasts? Was love in the air ...

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Overview

Mr. Prickles was not a particularly friendly fellow. He was tough to get close to . . . because he was a porcupine.

“You're not cute like us,” said Raccoon.

“Or cuddly like us,” said Chipmunk.

“Or playful like us,” said Skunk.

“I am,” said Mr. Prickles. “On the inside.”

Poor Mr. Prickles was very lonely-until the day he met Miss Pointypants. Could she be the perfect prickly companion for moonlit strolls and midnight feasts? Was love in the air for even the sharpest of sorts?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lonesome porcupine Mr. Prickles, unpopular among the other woodland creatures, finds a kindred spirit in his spiny neighbor, Miss Pointypants. LaReau and Magoon (previously teamed up on Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars) depict Mr. Prickles as “hard to get close to,” but eager to be liked, in a forest ruled by furry bullies. “You’re not cute like us,” teases Raccoon, and Chipmunk snickers when Skunk sprays the outcast, leading him “to feel prickly on the inside. Very prickly.” Mr. Prickles’s angst gives way to romance when he meets the girl (porcupine) next door. Thereafter, the clique’s taunts (“Well, if it isn’t Spike and Barb”) lose their sting, and the porcupines enjoy themselves and “hug, very carefully.” Throughout, LaReau has fun with wordplay (“They knew better than to try and shake hands. Instead, they regarded each other pointedly”), though Magoon’s lovers don’t much resemble porcupines (and aren’t even all that prickly). Still, the “be yourself” message goes down easy in this tale of misfits, thanks to humor that ought to amuse readers of all ages. Ages 2–6. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
“Young audiences will be amused by the humorous character names and pun-filled text…”—BCCB

"'Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story”' is a variation on the 'just the way you are' theme. It tells the story of an ostracized porcupine who finds love and self-acceptance with a certain Miss Pointypants. The author  seems to have great fun with the porcupine’s linguistic potential (she gleefully mixes in phrases like 'prickly regard,' 'pointedly' and 'it was pointless')."—NYTimes.com

"Puns and droll humor pepper this story of lonely Mr. Prickles, a porcupine who becomes justifiably unfriendly after struggling unsuccessfully to befriend the other woodland creatures."—School Library Journal

 

“The simple, though sometimes challenging to learn, you’re-perfect-just-the-way-you-are and like-likes-like themes are presented with short sentences, frequent dialogue, good pacing, and clear nocturnal art…”—Booklist

 

“LaReau’s well-paced, pointedly pun-filled text shines a sympathetic light on her lonely protagonist, and the playful (and cute and cuddly) illustrations bring out the best in the spiky hero. Magoon’s use of color and varying perspectives in the nighttime scenes effectively convey mood and intensify the story’s emotions.”—Horn Book Magazine

"It looks as if Mr. Prickles will never fit in with the cast of furry forest creatures that cavort each night. This makes him feel “Very prickly.” That is, until he meets Miss Pointypants." —Kirkus Reviews

“…the ‘be yourself’ message goes down easy in this tale of misfits, thanks to humor that ought to amuse readers of all ages.” —Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Can a porcupine find friends and true love? Mr. Prickles tried, but as he was rejected and rebuffed, he grew even pricklier; actually he was getting pretty angry. After all, he was the same on the inside as everyone else, just different on the outside. To the other animals, he was not friendly, not like them and therefore was not a part of their games or fun. One night things change as Mr. Prickles noticed another porcupine in the stump near him and voila it is Miss Pointypants who convinces him to quit being angry with the other animals and to join her in having some fun. The night is young as they swim and dine and sit holding hands watching the big moon rise over the water. The barbs from the animals no longer stung, because the two porcupines were in love and they had learned to hug very carefully. The illustrations are amusing and reflect nighttime scenes for these nocturnal animals. There is also plenty of play on the words related to point, prickly, sharp and the like. A charming book that offers reads a message that we are indeed all the same on the inside no matter what our outside appearance may be. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Puns and droll humor pepper this story of lonely Mr. Prickles, a porcupine who becomes justifiably unfriendly after struggling unsuccessfully to befriend the other woodland creatures. ("He tried to join in their midnight picnicking, but it was pointless.") Bold cartoon illustrations full of clever details and dark, shadowy colors draw out the humor but also make the pain of loneliness and rejection resonate. When Mr. Prickles meets another porcupine, Miss Pointypants, she convinces him that spending so much time glaring at the other animals is boring. Pretty soon they're having too much fun together to care about the unkind remarks made about them. Kids who know something of social cruelties will find familiar scenes and a happy ending here.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
It looks as if Mr. Prickles will never fit in with the cast of furry forest creatures that cavort each night. This makes him feel "Very prickly." That is, until he meets Miss Pointypants. The lonely porcupine does his best to make friends with Raccoon, Chipmunk and Skunk, but he is too different and not "cute," "cuddly" or "playful" like them. Angry at being avoided and ignored, he retires to his stump to glare at them "with very prickly regard." One night he notices Miss Pointypants at a nearby stump. Slowly they become friends and enjoy a nighttime stroll, a splash in the lake, a woodsy snack and a romantic moonrise. When the tormenting trio sets upon them with taunts and teasing, the duo "didn't seem to care," discovering that "[i]t's much nicer being alone with someone else." LaReau clearly enjoys the particularly pertinent and pointed power of alliteration and wordplay here--more accomplished readers should, too. Magoon's cartoonlike illustrations manage to capture the range of Mr. Prickles' emotions as he goes from hopeful to annoyed to infuriated to surprisingly happy all within a relatively dark palette. The pair have a history of creating humorous tales that tackle not-so-funny issues (Ugly Fish, 2006, and Rabbit and Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas, 2008). Misfits, bullies, educators, parents and kids of all kinds just may learn a thing or two from this nocturnal love story. (Picture book. 4-8)
Pamela Paul
The author [has] great fun with the porcupine's linguistic potential …There's plenty of verve as well in the illustrations, by Scott Magoon…
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434837
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 12/20/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Respected editor Kara LaReau collaborated with Scott Magoon on Ugly Fish, Rabbit and Squirrel, and for Roaring Brook Press, Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and their two cats.

 

Scott Magoon has illustrated many successful books including Spoon by Amy Krause Rosenthal and the aforementioned Ugly Fish, Rabbit and Squirrel, and Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Very cute book

    Very cute book

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