A Porcupine Named Fluffy

Last updated Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Author: Helen Lester
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0544003195
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2017

Synopsis: Fluffy the porcupine is unhappy with his name: "So he decided to become fluffier." He climbs a tree and pretends to be a cloud! He even poses as a pillow. (His mother is not pleased when she sits on him.) When Fluffy meets a rhinoceros named Hippo, it puts his plight in perspective…and he makes a friend. This terrific tribute to self-acceptance comes complete with the cutest porcupine pictures on the planet!

Note to readers:
•  During your picture walk, identify and describe the animals mentioned. The main character is a porcupine which is known for having needles instead of hair or fur. The other character is a rhinoceros which is known for having 2 horns . They are the next largest land mammal next to the elephant and they are vegetarians. The rhinoceros is endangered with some species extinct in the wild (only five survive in zoos) because the animals are hunted for their horns which are cut off. The book also mentions a bunny, aka rabbit, and hippo, aka hippopotamus. The hippopotamus is the 3rd largest land mammal behind the elephant and rhinoceros. They are related to whales and porpoises and live in the water (lakes, rivers) in the day and at night graze on grasses near the water. They are large with short legs and are practically hairless and do not have any horns.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever seen a porcupine, rhinoceros, bunny or hippopotamus?
•  Where can you see all of these different animals? (the Los Angeles Zoo at Griffith Park)
•  If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Can you name things that are fluffy? (pillows, cotton, cotton candy, clouds)
•  Why did the porcupine not like his name? (because he did not feel fluffy)
•  If you could give yourself your own name, what would it be?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a porcupine mask. Take a paper plate or round piece of construction paper . Cut out eyes, nose and mouth. Around the plate or round construction paper, glue long strips of paper for the porcupine needles. Attach string to the sides and tie the mask on.
•  Make a porcupine valentine. Cut out a large heart. Draw eyes, nose and mouth on the heart. Glue long pieces of paper around the top of the heart for the porcupine's needles.
•  Make an animal Valentine. Check our February craft ideas on Pinterest!
•  Make a Valentine card for your mom, dad, teacher or friend.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!