A lonely porcupine, his friendship rejected by the other woodland creatures, finds a way to bridge the divide.
Poignantly, Elmore ponders his long-standing difficulty making friends. “What was the problem? After all, the ‘L’ in Elmore’s name, his mother once explained, stood for ‘love.’ ” After posting a “Friends Wanted” sign on his beloved old maple, he overhears the scuttlebutt: “He’s too prickly. It’s hard to be around him.” After a rainy day of rumination about his quills—which his bucolic lifestyle would seem to render superficial—Elmore’s visited by his uncle. When Elmore explains his quandary, his uncle delivers an affirming message: “Your quills are beautiful. You should treasure them.” Uplifted, Elmore later regards the quills strewn about his home and gets an idea. (Amusingly, Hobbie depicts his comfy chair bristling with them.) He bundles quills together and posts a new sign, offering free “100% real Porcupine quills” to be used as pens. The “quill event” is a big success: Elmore suggests making ink from berries. “Everyone loves getting a note from a friend,” he says—and soon, he’s getting plenty. He happily regards a new maple-tree posting: an appreciation signed “Your friends.” Hobbie’s signature watercolors depict gently anthropomorphized animals amid a lovely woodland meadow dotted with yellow poppies. Verbally and visually, she thoughtfully contextualizes such concepts as “solitude” and “to treasure.”
A sweet tale of interspecies positivity. (Picture book. 3-7)