Amazon / Goodreads
My kids and I loved this book. Not only did the little porcupine come across as a character that is easy for little kids to love and identify with, but there was a real point to this story and a lot of substance. I loved the way the author used emotion in her characters to tell the story and really gave the lost porcupine a place to belong and feel accepted. This story reinforced that it was okay to be different. My kids thought the illustrations were very enticing and I had no trouble getting them to pay attention. This is definitely a book I would recommend to other parents.
My Sentiments Exactly!
I could definitely see where this story was going. It seemed a little obvious to me, but I don't think children will notice the theme. It featured the unconditional love of a mother for her children. It did a nice job of illustrating how even if the children acted out, the mom was still going to take them back: no matter how different or how much they believed they didn't deserve to be part of the family. There were a couple of interesting animal facts thrown into the story as well and that was fun. The illustrations were sweet as well. I might recommend.
Sweating at the Gym While Reading a Good Book
I just read Porcupette Finds a Family by Vanita Oelschlager. What intrigued me about the book was the mama bear fostering a porcupine. Although it says it's aimed at adoption I think it's perfect for foster families with biological children. I'm sure it would be just as wonderful for the foster children too.
In the book the little porcupine's mother leaves to find food, but doesn't return. After searching for his mom and not finding her he stumbles upon a cave with a mama bear and her cubs. He's hungry so he snuggles up next to the cubs and drinks Mama Bear's milk. Mama excepts him and treats him as her own. Sure he's smaller and looks different, but that doesn't matter. While playing with his brother and sister bear he startled and shot them with his quills. Mama Bear wasn't mad; she just pulled the quills out. This happens a few times, but Mama still loves him. He went back to his home and Mama found him and brought him back. He learns that they will never leave him like his mommy did. It doesn't matter how different they are they still want him to be apart of their family.
I will most definitely be reading this to my daughter before we get foster children in our home. I'll also recommending this to a caseworker I know who collects foster/adopt books.
Picture Book Depot
March 19, 2011
Some authors are born with the courage to tackle the many difficult issues children may face in an honest, “here’s-the-way-it-is” manner. Vanita Oelschlager is one of those authors. Oelschlager’s books (lovingly called VanitaBooks) are designed to help children work through various challenging life experiences that their parents or guardians—though well-meaning—may tend to shy away from.
In Porcupette Finds a Family, Oeschlager tackles the tragedy of suddenly losing a parent and going straightway into a foster home. The story is told by little Porcupette (the proper name for a baby porcupine), who gives a first-person account of his early life with his loving porcupine mother. His mother dotes on him and teaches him many things, but one day she leaves their home of rocks to find food, and something goes terribly wrong. Poor Porcupette waits and waits but his mother never returns, so he wanders out into the snow and cold to search for her. He never discovers what happened to her, but he does stumble upon a mother bear sleeping peacefully beside her two bear cubs.
Scared, hungry and tired beyond words, Porcupette walks right into their cave, snuggles next to the cubs for warmth, and begins to drink milk from Mother Bear. To his surprise, Mother Bear and the babies accept him, and suddenly, Porcupette has a new family.
But like any child who has been uprooted from what he knows and thrust into a new environment, Porcupette has a new fear: How long will this new family last? Things seem fine on the surface, but what if Mother Bear suddenly remembers he’s not really her child? And what if the entire family suddenly disappears on him, like his own mother did?
Porcupette Finds a Family is a sweet and tender peek inside the mind of a child who, like a fish out of water, suddenly finds himself in a different home environment. The storyline is touching and exact, detailing the many ways foster children may act out and jeopardize their welcome in their new homes as they deal with their turbulent emotions. In addition, artist Mike Blanc’s illustrations are full of color, warmth and animated facial expressions, helping to render this a most comforting and child-friendly book.
This book is a must-have for classrooms, churches, foster homes, and staff and officials affiliated with any Department of Child Services agency. Don’t miss out!
Life & Health Library
It's one of those heartbreaking moments straight out of The Lion King or Finding Nemo, when a parent suddenly disappears. Just as gut-wrenching is the beginning of Porcupette Finds a Family, when the lead character waits all night for his mother to return from hunting and finally realizes she isn't coming back.
In this story about a baby porcupine, author Vanita Oelschlager does an excellent job of showing Porcupette's journey through loss, grief and a new fear: that his adoptive family will reject him too. Wandering in the snow while trying to find his real mom, he stumbles across a cave with Mother Bear and her cubs. He pretends to be a baby bear, hoping she won't notice he's different. She readily accepts him, but Porcupette's fear prevents him from bonding. He is so afraid she'll go away too that he starts to act out and stick his new brothers, sisters and mom with his sharp quills.
This book is about unconditional love, forgiveness and forming attachments even when there are no guarantees. It is a wonderful heart-tugging tale about accepting love from others, even the unlikeliest of sources.