An introduction to personal space for youngsters by debut author-illustrator Thomas.
It’s Patrick Porcupine’s first day of kindergarten, and he’s excited to make new friends. However, when he squeezes between two classmates, both shout “Ouch!” when stuck by his quills. Patrick’s upset that no one wants to play with him, and he doesn’t understand why his classmates are getting hurt. Mrs. Turtle finally explains that everyone needs personal space, demonstrating by hiding in her own shell. She tells Patrick, then the whole class, to measure their space by stretching out their arms and turning in a circle. This solves Patrick’s problem, and in a sweet, final moment after school, his mother asks to come inside his personal space to hold his hand. Kids will likely understand Patrick’s difficulty before he does, but his gentle temperament makes him a hero to root for. Thomas’ illustrations, which appear to have been done with ink and crayon, have an unpolished feel that may resonate with very young readers. There are plenty of first-day-of-kindergarten books, but this one’s clear focus on a single issue may help teachers and parents approach the concept of personal space with young readers.
A pleasant picture book that fills an important need.