by Kara LaReau, pictures by Scott Magoon
Reading level: Ages 2 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Roaring Book Press (December 20, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
As today is Valentine’s Day, it is ever-so-appropriate to review one of my children’s new favorite books, Mr. Prickles. It is a special honor for me to review this title as its author, Kara LaReau, is the razor-sharp editor of my award-winning What Does It Mean To Be . . . ?® series of children’s picture books.
The Story: Mr. Prickles tries way too hard to fit in with the other forest animals. That is, until he meets Miss Pointypants. The cuspated couple grow quite fond of one another, and the exclusionary forest animals no longer matter to them.
The Rhythm: I love the cadence of this story. It is so much fun to read out loud. The word choice and emphasis not only serve as the metronome for the story but also help the young audience to feel the internal condition of the protagonist. The alliterations are clever and propel the plot.
The Artwork: It is obvious that Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon have a symbiotic working relationship and enjoy creating together. Scott’s artwork has facial expressions, especially in the eyes, that conveys great meaning and provides amusement value. As the relationship between Mr. Prickles and Miss Pointypants blossoms, so do their signature flowers. There are many delightful artistic details and humorous elements to notice throughout the book, so the audience will be captivated with each reading.
The Layout: We take great pride in thoughtfully laying out our books, so it is especially wonderful to find a book that has a layout that adds to the story. The placement of the copy alone distinguishes the characters and taps the tempo.
The Message: There are several great messages in this story. The first is about self-acceptance. The second is an effective approach to handling exclusionary play. The third, and why the book is especially relevant today, is that life is richer, sweeter, and more fulfilling when you share it with someone you love.
The Conclusion: Please support your local bookseller and buy this book from them, or find it on Amazon, or borrow a copy from your library, but by all means read it to the little p(r)ickles in your life. From all of us at Little Pickle Press to all of you, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy celebrating the love you are blessed to have in your life.