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Poper (Randall and Randall, 2019, etc.) offers another science-based picture book about a pair of animals.

Porcupette the porcupine loves to read. But sticking his nose in a “very important book” could lead to trouble when Moppet, a fisher, starts hanging around. From Moppet’s introduction—“Pleased to eat you”—young readers will grasp the idea that this friendly-looking creature is actually out to get Porcupette. But while Moppet tries to interrupt Porcupette’s reading with his antics, the rodent continues to peruse his book, about fishers, until he gets to the most relevant information: They hunt porcupines. Luckily, Porcupette’s distraction doesn’t end badly; as it turns out, the book also explains that fishers need to hunt prickly porcupines from the front to avoid the quills, a fact Moppet had clearly never read. Though the tension of predator versus prey is present throughout this ode to reading, Moppet is so charming in his dialogue and in Young’s (Mason the Bull and the Magical Christmas Tree, 2018, etc.) pitch-perfect, anthropomorphic cartoon illustrations that readers won’t feel too frightened for Porcupette. Poper’s dialogue, interspersed with the text of Porcupette’s book, flows naturally, and despite the very factual tone of the science tidbits, the vocabulary is never too intimidating for newly independent readers. The design, which features various colored backgrounds behind pieces of text, neatly alerts the audience to who’s speaking.

A clever lesson about situational awareness and the value of reading a book before acting.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-9814938-3-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Blue Whale Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019