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Porcupette fInds a family

written by

Vani ta oelschlager

Illustrations by Mi ke


She would tell me to stay under the rocks until she came back. When she did, she would take me on walks and show me berries and other things I would soon learn to eat.

I was happy and I knew I was loved until one day my mother left me safe at home and went on her daily hunt for food. She had always come back before. But this day she didn’t come back. I waited. I waited all night. I waited, and still no mother. I tried not to be scared. But I was.

I peeked outside. I was afraid; so, I put my quills out to protect myself, like my mother had taught me.

I went out into the snow to find Mom. I looked everywhere. I was really tired and really hungry when I came to a cave. I peeked inside.

What if Mother Bear leaves me too? Then I will be all alone in the big wide world.

I tried not to think about Mother Bear leaving me, but I was afraid they would notice I was not like them. I was afraid they would not love me. I was afraid they would not want me around. And you know what I do when I’m afraid. I stick out my quills.

Porcupette fInds a family

Written by

Vani ta oelschlager

illustrations by

Mi ke Blanc

“Porcupette is a prickly story of abandonment and adoption. A baby porcupine (“porcupette”) loses her mother and, in her search, finds a mother bear with her cubs. The bears accept the newcomer, but after a while our porcupette rejects them. The story’s success hinges on how the bear family decides to deal with the anger and hurt inflicted by their ‘outsider.’ “This book is an honest look at complex emotions as seen through a child’s eyes. Even though Porqupette is a children’s story, it should be read by parents, counselors, teachers, social workers, adoption agencies and clergy. This little porcupine tells a tale that sticks!” Ellen Kempf, MD Medical Director, Oak Adoptive Health Center, Akron Children’s Hospital Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics Member of Section on Adoption and Foster Care Mother of three adopted children “Attachment is one of the most important tasks to be mastered in the development of healthy emotional bonds between human beings. It develops early in life when young children are securely cared for by a nurturing parent figure. Individuals who have not established this critical emotional connection often experience permanent psychological and social challenges that affect them throughout their life time. “Porcupette explores the trials and tribulations often characteristic when a child experiences loss or abandonment from a parent. It suggests the complex emotions inherent in perceptions of abandonment and the process likely to develop when another caregiver reaches out to love and adopt the child within their own family. Porcupette gives voice to the fears, anger, and myths about the trauma of loss, yet gives rise to the path to help one accept the pain of the past and embrace the love offered in the present. A must read for all individuals who have experienced or counseled those who have dealt with adoption and parental loss.” Vincent DeGeorge, Ph.D. Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology Akron Children’s Hospital


Porcupette Finds a Family  

A story about how a baby porcupine (called a porcupette) finds a new family after losing his mother. Written by Vanita Oelschlager and illus...