Saturday, March 17, 2007

Adeline's Porcupine

Adeline returns in Bobby Strickland's second book: Adeline's Porcupine. Illustrated by Kathryn Rathke in the same delightfully, simple style, this book teaches children about grace and inner beauty.

The story begins with Adeline adopting a baby porcupine from overly large porcupine family. She names her 'Grace'. Adeline sees the sweet spirit of this critter in spite of her prickly outsides. She tells her: Not everyone saw Grace's virtues. One pet in particular, a pompous poodle named Penelope, hated Grace. She was mean, teasing her always and encouraging the other pets to do the same. Adeline reminded the porcupine of her beauty within and pitied those who couldn't see it.

Grace knew what Adeline said was true. She decided to visit the snooty poodle. The next day she went to Penelope's house and asked to be her friend. The dog, as rude as ever, reacted so harshly her new tiara fell into the pool. Without thinking Penelope dove in to retrieve her prize, only too late remembering she couldn't swim. None of her friends present would save her. Only Grace knew how to swim. As she dove in to save her, Grace prayed: "Now I ask you, dear God, give me strength from above as I show this poor poodle the power of love."

From then on the two were the best of friends. The newspaper read "Dog Saved By Grace." The book ends with a lovely reminder: "How you look, little one, cannot measure your worth. In your heart you're the loveliest creature on earth. You know true lovingkindness will set you apart. Others look on the outside, but God seesthe heart."

Similar in style to the first book, the illustrations are monochromatic, featuring only black, white and lavendar. The lack of color only enhances the delightfully feminine drawings. The story is told entirely though rhyming verse.

What I Like: Everything! Few sequels are better than the first, but this one definitely is. I love the story. The author offers repetition encouraging readers to remember the source of true beauty. Adeline's character is sweet; one I would love my children to emulate.

What I Dislike: Absolutely nothing!

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Age Appeal: 4 and up

Publisher Info: Baker Books, 2004; ISBN: 080104507X; Hardback; $16.99

Buy it Now at for $4.99!

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