Elmore by Holly Hobbie

Published by Random House

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Summary:  Elmore loves his cozy home inside a maple tree, but he’s lonely.  He can’t understand why he has trouble making friends until he overhears some animals saying, “He’s too prickly.  It’s hard to be around him.”  What’s a porcupine to do?  When Elmore’s uncle comes by for a visit, he tells him he should treasure his quills rather than wishing them away.  This gives Elmore an idea, and he gets to work gathering up the quills around his house and tying them into bundles.  Next, he sets up shop giving away his genuine quill pens.  The neighbors love them, and before long, he is receiving friendly notes from all over.  40 pages; ages 3-7.

Pros:  Elmore is a lovable character, and the portrayals of his tree house are cozy; his story gently reminds readers of the importance of appreciating yourself and reaching out to others to make new friends.

Cons:  While Elmore receives many friendly notes by the end of the story, he still doesn’t seem to have any in-person friends.

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