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Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story

Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story

by Lisa Wheeler, Janie Bynum (Illustrator)

What could be more poignant than a porcupine pining for a companion? With prose filled with puns and pleasing pictures, this passionate tale of love and friendship between two prickly creatures in a petting zoo makes a perfect read aloud. Full color.


What could be more poignant than a porcupine pining for a companion? With prose filled with puns and pleasing pictures, this passionate tale of love and friendship between two prickly creatures in a petting zoo makes a perfect read aloud. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A porcupine in a petting zoo? The concept sounds absurd, but Wheeler (Turk and Runt) and Bynum (Altoona Baboona) succeed in creating an appealing if clueless lonely porcupine who's looking for love in all the wrong places. "All the other animals got pats and pets and plenty of hugs. But not Cushion." Tired of the singles life, Cushion grabs his banjo one night and sets off in search of a wife. He attempts to woo cute rabbits, a sow and some beavers with a "sad, sad song," oblivious to the fact that his verses are mildly insulting ("I've been so lonesome all my life,/ And though you're pink and fat,/ I'm porcupining for a wife,/ So I won't mention that"). With their comically offending couplets, Cushion's serenades and misguided attempts at courtship set up much of the book's humor, underscored by Bynum's velvety violet nighttime spreads and Day-Glo sunlit scenes, created in digital watercolor and pastel. The alliterative text, heavy on jokey word play (Cushion "got the point" and feels "a prickle run down his spine") will both amuse and engage kids intrigued by language. Yet the story's flip tone doesn't completely mask the melancholy of Cushion's search, so children will cheer when the fellow finally meets the prickly gal of his dreams. Will they live happily ever after? According to the book, that's exactly the point. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Alone and unloved in the petting zoo, Cushion the porcupine laments his single state. He writes a four-line ditty expressing his woes and decides to court potential partners with a soulful serenade. Surprised and dismayed by his negative reception and totally unaware of the disparaging innuendoes in his personalized lyrics (he croons, "And though you're pink and fat," to the pig; "And though your teeth are bucky," to the beaver), he is about to give up when he meets Barb, a similarly solitary hedgehog. It's love at first sight-no "se-quill" necessary. This sweet and silly saga of the earnest but clueless lothario is a nicely paced combination of story and song (you'll need to make up your own brief tune) accompanied by cheerful watercolor-and-pastel illustrations. Cushion and friends are winsome and expressive and a little grasshopper companion that appears throughout the story is fun to locate. The full-bleed art will work well with an audience while the clever details and puns will bring a smile to children and adults alike. Sure to generate knowing and sympathetic chuckles, this title can be presented along with Helen Lester's A Porcupine Named Fluffy (Houghton, 1986) to make a humorous and prickly pair.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A banjo-strumming, blues-singing porcupine (named Cushion) searches for someone who does not find him too prickly to love. A petting zoo is hardly the place for a porcupine, especially a lonely one. With his habitat plastered with "No petting" and "Do not touch" signs, it is no wonder that this barbed but lovable creature is in need of love. Attempting to find another who is unafraid of his quills, he sets out, banjo in paw, to try and woo a mate. Cushion tries hard to interest one of the rabbits, but his verse "rabbits aren't too icky" doesn't do the trick and results in some verbal insults and a few carrots thrown his way. The pigs and the beavers are equally unimpressed with his lyrics. Spying a pen with signs similar to the ones posted outside his abode, Cushion peers in at the inhabitant. A sweet and shy hedgehog named Barb smiles out at him and invites him in a bit closer. Her harmonica-playing and equally prickly coat make them a perfect pair. Amusing watercolor and pastel illustrations perfectly accompany this silky smooth romance. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.50(d)
AD360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Wheeler is the author of Wool Gathering: A Sheep Family Reunion.

Janie Bynum has written and illustrated several books for children, including Altoona Baboona and Otis.

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