PORCUPINE BABY by Berniece Freschet


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The education of a young porcupine--astutely demonstrated, execrably pictured. Through Porcupine Baby's first days of searching for food with his mother at night, sleeping on a high pine limb by day, runs the refrain ""And he was not afraid."" He learns, too, ""why he had few enemies to fear"" when a young, unwary fox provokes his mother to stiffen her quills and instinct tells him to do the same. But a later meeting with an older, wiser fox is not so fortunate: the attacker flips Porcupine Baby over, leaving his bare underside exposed. He makes his escape downstream (""Like most animals, Porcupine Baby was a good swimmer""), but he realizes now that ""lack of fear had made him careless."" To the final fadeout--Porcupine Baby curled up in a hollow stump for the winter--the text is nicely cadenced, precise, and informative; the pictures, on the other hand, are comical, clumsy, coarse--and inappropriately colored light pink.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam