United Talent Agency

Elise Bellin, Librarian of the Islamic Resource Center, wrote this book review as part of an ongoing series that focuses on a range of books within the IRC collection as a service to the community.

Never Touch a Porcupine!

Never Touch a Porcupine! by Rosie Greening

ISBN: 9781788439855

Really young children love textures. They stick pennies in their mouths, toss balls just to see how they bounce, and generally revel in the physical world, having not yet developed the inner world in such a way that the “if” becomes more than the “is.”

In addition to the immediate gratification of the five senses, as children explore the world around themselves they begin to learn about the many and varied creatures that cohabit this planet with us. However, the younger the child, the more they still rely on immediate input of their senses to understand this expanding world. In order to safely explore, it becomes necessary to have ways in which they can be physical with if not the creatures themselves then a safe alternative. That is where things like texture board books come into their own.

In the case of today’s title, Never Touch a Porcupine!, very young children are introduced to some of the animals that they will encounter in the United States and similar geographically inclined habitats. Squirrels now have swirly, circle-filled tails; owls apparently have what look like rubbery fish scales. Okay, so as far as texture goes, there really is only the rubbery silicone similar to that used in oven mitts, unlike some other texture books where each one is a distinct feel rather than pattern, but they get to touch adorable animals drawn in bright colors and with creative use of patterning of the textural pieces that is both visual and tactile. For your youngest audiences, this book will be quite the hit.

Founded in 2010, the Islamic Resource Center (IRC) is the first Islamic public lending library in Wisconsin. The IRC aims to provide resources to educators, students, health professionals, interfaith groups, and any members of the Milwaukee community that want an accurate understanding of the Islamic faith, its practices, and its people.