Elmore by H. Hobbie
Hobbie, Holly. Elmore. Random House Children’s Books, New York, 2018.
Holly Hobbie’s Elmore is a heartwarming story about a lonely porcupine determined to make friends. His prickly exterior makes the other animals scared of him at first, but through his creativity and inventiveness, he finds a way to help others embrace what makes him unique, all while staying true to himself.
The invaluable lessons that this picture book teaches are remarkable. Readers learn that what makes us different, makes us special; once we accept and appreciate our differences and share what we have to offer, others will get to know, accept, and appreciate us for who we are. This book also teaches its readers to not ‘judge a book by its cover’. Elmore was judged by the other animals because of his prickly quills, but once he celebrated his differences and the other animals learned what made him special, they felt lucky to be his friend.
Hobbie’s use of language is powerful and provides young readers with the opportunity to learn and have discussions about new vocabulary, such as solitude, emphatically, and tuckered out. Hobbie’s whimsical illustrations are adorable and charming, and her realistic portrayal of Elmore’s facial expressions are endearing; readers empathize and grow to love Elmore.
This book is highly recommended as a real-aloud for elementary school educators and parents alike, because it creates opportunities to discuss the hidden messages within the story. Children will be able to make their own connections with Elmore and feel comforted by the fact that making friends isn’t always easy, but others will learn to accept them for who they are, once they accept themselves.
Editor’s note: It is worth reading more about the author and the history of her namesake character. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly_Hobbie
Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Valerie Mayzel
Valerie Mayzel is a fourth-year student in the Elementary Education program at the University of Alberta. She is very excited to begin her career as a teacher and is looking forward to incorporating a variety of literature in her lessons to support student learning.
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