Even Prickles Finds Friendship and Love

Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story

Kara LaReau (Author) & Scott Magoon (Illustrator)

Once a upon a time, there was a porcupine that was nice, but he was not loved.  The other animals didn’t like him.  He tried to be friends with them, but they ignored him.  He got very angry and even got prickly on the inside too.  He was sad, lonely and terribly miserable.  It wasn’t until he noticed, out of another stump, a girl porcupine.  They became friends and her name was Miss Pointypants.  She whisked him off adventures, and he wasn’t lonely anymore.  Trying to be friends with the other animals didn’t seem to matter anymore.   He even found love.  The two prickly pair decided that even with hard thorns on the outside that they could hug.

This is a special juvenile story about friendship and love.  It displays Mr. Prickles wanting and trying to be friends with the other animals, but fails.  Sometimes when we are at a loss’ end, we find hope.  There comes Miss Pointypants, another porcupine rescuing Mr. Prickles from his deep aloneness, and it definitely worked.  They became friends.

As children, we find it hard to make friends sometimes.  I think for the most part, similarities are what draws us to others to build friendships, but opposites also do attract each other.   Whether it may be a boy/boy, girl/girl or boy/girl, it’s basically the same.  Some kids make friends easily while others have to work hard to make just one friend.   For other kids, they can be ostracized and it can make them feel very abandoned.  It should not make a difference, whether we wear cheaper clothes, do not look appealing or aren’t as intelligent, but in the real world, these elements exist. It’s a sad reflection that kids are still this way and judged this way for friendship.

For me as a child, it was hard to make friends because I didn’t know the English language that well, but teachers seemed to just find me adorable in my broken English.  But as I got older, I found it easy to make friends, because they were all nice.  I didn’t run into a problem trying to be friends with anyone.  I was and still am a very nice person, accepting of friendship whether they are different from me or not.  I was very happy-go-lucky child to have the stable family that I had, and a variety of mixture of kids in our neighborhood, and we all had fun.  Kids are very sensitive whether they realize it or not.  And it’s the sensitive ones that feel different, I feel, that find it hard to flower friendships.  And it’s that one special person that suddenly passes by and says “Hi,” or “Do you want play together?” that changes everything.

Friendships are a foundation to building a healthy kid, because our family can nurture us to a certain point, but we need to be out and running with other kids our own age, and having fun: smiling, laughing, talking together.  No person is an island unto themselves.  A vessel is empty when there is no one in there.  And maturation also deals with finding friends to go along life’s journey with you.  One can’t survive alone, especially a kid.

This book is fun to read, but deals with a real issue that happens every day at school.  The happy twist in the middle makes it more enjoyable to read – it will awaken in them the meaning of friendship and love, and what it really means when you have a friend in your life.  I hope you get a chance to read this book, fun lively words with absolutely adorable pictures.

Recently published in the Los Angeles Times, The Kid’s Reading Room for her children’s story “Mustard and Pea,” and for her illustration debut for “The Teddy Bear Test,”  Catherine Lee works in the fashion industry, while her work at nights involve creating stories and illustrations, and making her childhood dream come true.  She is also a Illustrator-in-Residence for The Pen and Ink Blog (working with four wonderful people who are a part of SCBWI), where she continues to do fun interviews with published illustrators and writers, such as Peter Reynolds, Scott Magoon and Jana Christy.   She is a graduate of California State University of Fullerton with a journalism degree.  You can see her work  at  www.catherine-lee.com.