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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
The Prickly Little Porcupine is a children’s book by Jill Horton. The book opens with Posey Porcupine staring at herself in the mirror. She’s worried about her quills and how others perceive them. She wanted to be more like her other forest friends who are not as prickly. Posey goes out to play with Freddy and Fiona Fox, but just as they’re enjoying themselves with a ball, it lands on Posey’s quills, popping it. She helps Beatrice Bear gather berries, but her quills get stuck in a bush. Even though Beatrice helpfully removes Posey’s quills, Posey is still embarrassed. She runs into the beavers, and a small beaver, who has never seen her, cries out over the sight of her quills. After another attempt to play with a forest friend, Posey gives up. She kicks a rock that turns out to be her friend Tulip Turtle. Based on her own experience, Tulip has some advice to share with Posey, and it helps the porcupine see herself in a new way.
The Prickly Little Porcupine is a colorful and interesting book that celebrates differentness and friendship. Posey’s insecurities blur her ability to see her uniqueness, even though her other forest friends don’t seem to be bothered by her dissimilarities. Once she changes her perspective, Posey sees her quills as a gift, not something of which she should be ashamed. Jill Horton’s story could help many young people gain more body-positive views, and the book could be used by librarians, teachers, and caregivers to help build self-esteem.