How Little Porcupine Played Christmas
Joseph Slate ~ Felicia Bond ~ Thomas Y. Crowell, 1982
You guys know I am a snob about vintage kids' books, but that doesn't mean we don't visit our independent bookshop weekly to check out what's new. Though I was hesitant at first, I did eventually fall in love with Felicia Bond's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and subsequent titles, so when I recognized her illustrations on the Christmas display at the library, I couldn't help myself. Written in the early 80s, it has since been reissued with a different cover and title (Little Porcupine's Christmas), but go ahead and buy a previously-loved copy or check it out at the library as I'm sure this woman has more money than God at this point. (Just kidding. Tis always nice to line illustrator's/author's pockets with dough, no? Better them than those shysters at Fisher Price.)
So there's this porcupine see, and all he wants to do is be in the "Baby in the Manger" play... but his school/woodland chums think he's to prickly to be in the play and they oust him to janitor status and leave him out in the proverbial cold. Even though his momma thinks him "the light of my life", the other kids/pups/cubs/kits/lambs/ducklings turn cruel and nasty...
"No," says Little Fox.
"There is no part for you in the play. You are too funny looking."
"Besides," says Chipmunk, "the cotton snow will stick to your spines."
"And so will the tinsel," says Bunny.
Alas, the night of the play arrives and when it's discovered that there's no star for the wise men to follow, it is Little Porcupine's moment to shine. The drawings are dear and primitive and cast a wonderful shadow on a story that's all heart. Really, a feel good holiday tale for all those kids who've ever been left out of the fun.