Pointed Wordplay: Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story by Kara LaReau
MR. PRICKLES WAS NOT A PARTICULARLY FRIENDLY FELLOW.
MUCH OF HIS UNFRIENDLINESS WAS DUE TO THE FACT THAT MR. PRICKLES WAS A PORCUPINE.
AT FIRST MR. PRICKLES TRIED TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE OTHER FOREST ANIMALS.
But it's tricky to make a close friend when you're hard to get, er, close to.
And the cliquishness of those fur-weather friends in the forest is not much help either.
"YOU'RE NOT CUTE LIKE US!" SAID RACCOON. "OR CUDDLY LIKE US!" SAID CHIPMUNK.
"OR PLAYFUL LIKE US!" SAID SKUNK.
"I AM INSIDE," SAID MR. PRICKLES.
But the would-be playmates can't get past his prickly persona, and being excluded from the group doesn't do Mr. Prickles' personality any favors either. Their pointed quips pierce his soul, and Mr. Prickles feels he'll always be a quilled outcast, unfriended by his particular social network.
But it's a big world out there in the forest, and one day Mr. Prickles bumps into a similarly equipped and be-quilled personage, in the form of Miss Pointypants, and it seems that Cupid's arrow may have made its way to his heart. Even though their would-be pals nickname the quilled couple "Spike and Barb," it seems that love will find a way and the two prickly personalities may find a way to each others' hearts in a quill-fated friendship.
Author Kara LaReau is lookin' sharp with pointed puns in her latest, Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story (Roaring Brook, 2011), her wordplay ably portrayed in Scott Magoon's playful pictures. As they suggest, everybody has some prickles sometimes, and the trick is learning how to get close enough to see the non-prickliness on the inside.
Quills and porcupines are quite popular these days, making it easy to pair this one with other porcupine picture books that make the same point--Paul Schmid's Hugs from Pearl (see my review here) and Laurie Isop's How Do You Hug a Porcupine?, (reviewed here), two tales that make the point that getting close means learning to see the person inside the prickles.