Porcupine Hugs tells the story of Prudence, better known as Pru, a lost porcupine. As she tries to find her family, she tries to make friends with Roz the raccoon and Franny the frog, but these new friends are afraid of her quills. Prudence’s luck changes when she meets Agnes, better known as Aggie, the armadillo who is also lost but who’s not worried about Prudence’s quills because of her protective scales. The two girls become friends and are able to find their way home.
As a pediatric otolaryngologist, I have dedicated my career to children and their physical and emotional well-being. It’s not uncommon for my patients to look different from other children because of tracheostomies, craniofacial issues, or cochlear implants. Even children who don’t look different can feel different. And feeling different can sometimes mean feeling lonely. This story of a lost porcupine who is scared and alone will resonate with all children who worry about being different. They will relate to the experiences of the porcupine protagonist as she learns for herself that true friends will embrace her just as she is.