It looks as if Mr. Prickles will never fit in with the cast of furry forest creatures that cavort each night. This makes him feel “Very prickly.” That is, until he meets Miss Pointypants.
The lonely porcupine does his best to make friends with Raccoon, Chipmunk and Skunk, but he is too different and not “cute,” “cuddly” or “playful” like them. Angry at being avoided and ignored, he retires to his stump to glare at them “with very prickly regard.” One night he notices Miss Pointypants at a nearby stump. Slowly they become friends and enjoy a nighttime stroll, a splash in the lake, a woodsy snack and a romantic moonrise. When the tormenting trio sets upon them with taunts and teasing, the duo “didn’t seem to care,” discovering that “[i]t’s much nicer being alone with someone else.” LaReau clearly enjoys the particularly pertinent and pointed power of alliteration and wordplay here—more accomplished readers should, too. Magoon’s cartoonlike illustrations manage to capture the range of Mr. Prickles’ emotions as he goes from hopeful to annoyed to infuriated to surprisingly happy all within a relatively dark palette. The pair have a history of creating humorous tales that tackle not-so-funny issues (Ugly Fish, 2006, and Rabbit and Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas, 2008).
Misfits, bullies, educators, parents and kids of all kinds just may learn a thing or two from this nocturnal love story. (Picture book. 4-8)