Very CAREFULLY! How Do You Hug A Porcupine? by Laura Isop
HUGGING BUNNIES IS JUST DIVINE!
BUT HOW DO YOU HUG A PORCUPINE?
Even the bunny is not so sure this is a good idea, even if the loving little girl in this story-in-rhyme seems determined to hug as many critters as she can corral. Dogs are cinchy--they go for affection most any time. The cat, however, looks a little askance as she is approached for a caress. And for that pony, provide a pail of grain and--instant equine popularity:
HUG A HORSE? OF COURSE!
Cows? Could be. A pig. Well, spread your arms big! Bring a ladder for the giraffe, certainly, but that elephant makes it easy by offering a friendly trunk to give a squeeze right back.
But a porcupine gives even this protagonist cause for a pause. Like, where do you start?
Laurie Isop takes on this pricklesome problem in her How Do You Hug a Porcupine? (Simon & Schuster, 2011), pushed along by her bouncy verse and propelled with humor by illustrator Gwen Millward's ability to give the objects of our girl's affections comic expressions that mirror their own personalities. Her chosen porcupine is doubtlessly dubious about the whole idea, which adds to the fun of the final and inevitable embrace. Pair this one with Paul Schmid's porcupine's-eye-view of the whole embraceable dilemma in his recent Hugs from Pearl. (See my review here. )