How Do You Hug a Porcupine: Coming to a Cereal Box Near You

What kind of prize do you usually expect to find in your cereal box? A cheap toy? The latest movie tie-in? If you look in a Cheerios® box this spring, the surprise might be the book How Do You Hug a Porcupine? by Laurie Isop and illustrated by Gwen Millward.

First-time children’s author Laurie Isop won the 2009 Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories New Author Contest®,which I wrote about last week. Now her book is being published by Simon & Schuster and distributed for free in some six million Cheerios® cereal boxes. How cool is that?

How Do You Hug a Porcupine? has a gently humorous, rhyming text that is sure to be a bedtime reading hit. We see children hugging all sorts of animals, but one boy asks, “How do you hug a porcupine?” Probably more than a few parents will be warmed by the similarity to hugging their own sometimes prickly child.

The illustrations are adorable, and child friendly. Isop was paired with veteran illustrator Gwen Millward, who was not part of the contest.

The books in the cereal boxes are special in that they are small paperbacks, about five inches by seven inches. That is a perfect size to slip in a purse or backpack for those moments when you are caught waiting somewhere (think doctor’s office). The cereal box versions have both English and Spanish text.

Don’t worry if you can’t find a copy of How Do You Hug a Porcupine? in the grocery store. You can also buy a hardcover copy from Simon & Schuster starting in July.

Kudos to Cheerios® and congratulations to Laurie Isop.

See what icon Jon Scieszka has to say about the program:

If you are interested in learning more about porcupines through nonfiction, check my review Porcupines from Two Points of View.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (July 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442412917
ISBN-13: 978-1442412910

This book was provided for review purposes.

And be sure to look for more information about children’s books at today’s  Book Talk Tuesday.