Valentine’s Book Review: Porcupining


Around our house, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in any elaborate manner. Perhaps a special dinner and a few chocolate hearts.   Even so, it’s fun to have a cheerful holiday in the midst of what is, in our part of the world, a dreary month.

The book I want to share with you comes as a recommendation from my local children’s librarian, and is a new favorite of mine.  I just know that you’ll fall in love with this sweet little gem of a book as well.

Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story is written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Janie Bynum and is the story of Cushion the Porcupine.  Cushion lives in a petting zoo, but because he’s so prickly there isn’t any petting for him.  All of the other animals have families to keep them company, but Cushion lives alone.

Cushion is so lonely one night he writes a song, accompanied by his banjo:

“I’ve been so lonesome all my life.

No one will get near.

I’m porcupining for a wife,

Someone to hold me dear.”

Poor cushion grows tired of being lonely and decides to search the zoo for an acceptable mate.  He attempts to serenade the rabbits, then the pigs, and finally the beavers, all with no luck.  Perhaps because he sings them such sweet melodies as this:

“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.”

Perhaps not the best way to woo a lady.  Even if she is a pig.

Cushion has all but given up, when he comes across another cage labeled, “Do Not Touch”, “Keep Out”, and “No Petting”.

And who could reside there, but Barbara the Hedgehog.  These two discover that they are the perfect prickly pair.

From the front cover to the last page, this book is absolutely adorable with enough humor to keep it from being too sweet for the boys. It’s short enough that preschoolers could enjoy it as well as the elementary crowd.  The text is vocabulary rich and engaging.

Even the title is clever. Porcupining. I love it.

I think Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story would be the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day or anytime of the year.  You can also follow along with Cushion’s other adventures in Hokey Pokey: Another Prickly Love Story by the same author.

There are so many wonderful books for children about love. What would be your pick for Valentine’s Day?

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  1. Stephanie P says:


  2. This sounds really sweet. I have nieces and nephews coming for a visit this weekend, and I may have to pick this up for story time (my own boys might think they’re too mature for this now!).
    .-= Jan (Family Bites)´s last blog ..Orangettes =-.

    • Sounds like the perfect excuse to read this one! You might be surprised with your older kids… they just might like it too. :)

  3. Emily, this book looks adorable! It seems like it would be a fun one to read out loud :-)

    Happy Valentine’s Day!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..More Than Words: Simple Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them =-.

  4. This looks so sweet! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I wonder if our library has it…
    .-= Jenni @ My Web of Life´s last blog ..Has Your Family Been Outside Today? =-.

  5. That looks like a really cute book!
    I got my kids the board books ‘Daddy Kisses’ and ‘Mommy Hugs’ for Valentine’s day, I think they are really cute.
    .-= kelly´s last blog ..Moving Forward =-.

  6. Great book review, and this sounds like a wonderful Valentine’s day book. I’ve never heard of it and I’m always on the lookout for cute books. Thanks!
    .-= Jackie Lee´s last blog ..Kids Book Review ~ Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes =-.

    • Thanks, Jackie. I’d never heard of it, or the author before my librarian pointed it out. They are such a wealth of information!

  7. Thanks, Emily. This looks PRECIOUS. I’ll have to check it out.
    .-= Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog ..Resources and Support for Families Affected by Congenital Heart Defects and Heart Disease =-.

  8. Robin Bird says:

    You would LOVE the Spoon book. Not sure the authors name, but it is written by the same author as the Pea Story (where the parents insist he eat candy). The Spoon story is very sweet with lots of thoughtful pictures about a spoon that thinks the others (knife, fork etc) have it better.

  9. Great book idea! I am a lover of books and think they are a great investment for kids (and grown-ups too). Reading to kids is SO important. It will help make them better readers, encourages them to be book-friendly and gives parents a great excuse to stop what you’re doing and READ TO THEM.

    Thanks for sharing,

  10. I checked this book out of the library on your recommendation, and it is my daughter’s favorite book! She is just 2, and hearing her say “Porcupining” is one of the best parts of my day. She loves pointing out the porcupine and hedgehog. I would never have found this book by myself. Thank you so much!
    .-= Claire´s last blog ..Date Night 3: Game Night =-.

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