“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Joseph Slate / Edition: Reprint / Paperback / Reading Level: Baby-Preschool / 32 Pages / Book is published 2003-10 by HarperTrophy „
Little Porcupine's Christmas is written by Joseph Slate, and illustrated by Felicia Bond, who is better known as the illustrator of the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" series. The illustrations have a a simple charm that you can not help but admire, but the real magic of this book is in the story. I really think this book is a gem, that has some how never found the fame and recognition it deserves.
The story begins when Little Porcupine tells his Mother about the upcoming Christmas play. He wants to try out, but is afraid he is too funny looking. His mothers kind words encourage him and her assurance that he is the light of her life makes him feel warm and confident. Unfortunately the other animals, like many children can be cruel to some one who is different. Little porcupine's wish to be in the play only inspires ridicule, but he graciously accepts the job of stage manager, building the props, raising the curtain and cleaning up after the other animals. All the while his mothers words "You are the light of my life" comfort him.
If you do not wish to learn the ending then please stop reading here, but this is a children's book, and we know it can not end with him outcast and alone. When the big play begins, there is a disaster. There is no star for the shepherds to follow, to light up the night , or mark the stable. Meanwhile little porcupine, covered in glitter and tinsel knows just what to do. He hoists himself up to the top of the tree above the manager. Is it just the tinsel reflecting the stage lights - or is little porcupine actually glowing? He is the light of his mother's life,and now his kind and simple character is shining through for all to see. Little porcupine makes the perfect star and the play is saved.
My oldest son (5) enjoys this story because he likes to see Little Porcupine happy at the end, and everything go right. The youngest seems to enjoy the taunting bits more as he finds the other animals being "bad boys" funny. They both enjoy the lovely illustrations.
As for me, I like the book for encouraging children to accept differences and see what is inside. I also like it for showing a Mother's love and never miss the chance to tell my boys they are the light of my life as well.
Although out of print this book is available from £2.76 from Amazon used.
I like this story so much I am thinking to buy a hedgehog puppet to act it out for Christmas puppet shows.