A Porcupine Named Fluffy

by Helen Lester

Other authorsLynn Munsinger (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1986



Call number




Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1986), 32 pages


A porcupine named Fluffy is happier with his name after he meets a similarly misnamed rhinoceros.

User reviews

LibraryThing member farbooann
This is a great children's title about names and self-esteem. The Lester/Munsinger combination is one of my favorites in the picture book world, and this is my favorite one.
LibraryThing member Coeta
This is a cute book! The story of two unlikely friends with something in common. Makes for a good laugh and teaches a great lesson.
LibraryThing member susan.suihkonen
This book is full of humor that all ages will appreciatewhile bringing up sensitvie issues of fitting in and respect for differences.
LibraryThing member kidlit9
A porcupine named Fluffy is happier with his name after he meets a similarly misnamed rhinocerous.
LibraryThing member kmcgiverin05
This books genre is fantasy, it has talking animals that are the main characters which goes beyond what could really happen in our world. On the other hand it is a great story that has believable characters. The theme of the story is that it doesn't matter what your name is because a name doesn't
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define who you are as a person (or Porcupine). I would say this book would be appropriate for the early primary aged students. It is very simple yet has a great theme. Fluffy is a very round character that begins by questioning his whole existence to becoming someone who is content while along the way gains a brand new friend.
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LibraryThing member srgrammer
This is a funny book with great pictures. It will keep any young childs attentin and make them want to read it over and over again.
LibraryThing member conuly
This is one of my older niece's favorite books. I can tell, because she takes it out from the school library every other week. She's going to be SO thrilled to get it for Christmas this year, I just know it!

So, here we have this porcupine. And when he was born, his doting parents went through a
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whole list of normal names - Spike, Quillian, Lance - before settling on, doncha know it, "Fluffy". No, I don't know what they were thinking either... and neither does their son. With the literal-mindedness of the very small, he sets out to make himself, well, fluffy. (Obviously, he's already Fluffy, but it doesn't make much sense to be Fluffy when you're not, does it?) He eats marshmallows. He takes bubble baths. He covers himself head to toe with shaving cream.

It doesn't work, and as he walks off into the woods to think more about it, he runs into a BIG SCARY RHINO. (Nevermind that rhinoceroses aren't indigenous to the same area as porcupines, it works.) And the rhino is dead set on being a bully until he hears Fluffy's ridiculous name. It *is* an absurd name, and the poor rhino just cracks up laughing. And when he confesses that his OWN inappropriate name is "Hippo", well, there's just no cure. They become the best of friends, and don't worry so much about their stupid, ill-chosen names again. And accepting the inevitable is much better than trying futilely to change it, so there you go.

It's a very funny book, and it's simple enough for middle-small children to read to themselves. I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member michelle.smith
What funny characters in this book. The porcupine is so cute in this picture book. He sure has some tough problems to over come.
LibraryThing member sealford
A porcupine named Fluffy....how funny would that be? At some point, most of us feel that our names do not reflect our personality. Imagine being a porcupine and having to be called Fluffy. It was almost too much for this poor little guy to bear...until he meets a friend.
LibraryThing member KylieBrigham
A whimsical and funny children's book, this short story introduces children to ideas of love, friendship, and acceptance. A porcupine named Fluffy (as the title suggests) and rhinocerous named Hippo meet and form an unlikely friendship, bonding over their qualms about the oddness of their names.
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Overcoming their desire to "fit in," the two friends gradually come to see the hilarity and irony in their names, and laugh so hard that they begin to cry. This book, ultimately, teaches children about being comfortable in their own skin and never judging someone by their appearance (or their name!).
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LibraryThing member meastwold
This wonderful fantasy story develops the character of fluffy and reader's are able to travel with him as he discovers more about himself and what his name really means.
LibraryThing member DiamondDog
Helen Lester has a knack of taking difficult situations and making them funny and acceptable. Children can relate to her unique characters and the predicaments they get themselves into. In this story, there is a porcupine named Fluffy who just doesn't understand why he was given that name. He tries
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everything he can think of, including covering himself with marshmallows to make him look more "fluffy", but he just isn't. Then Fluffy meets a rhinoceros and these two, very different fellows, become the best of friends who share a common bond. A fun story to share that will give you all the giggles!
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LibraryThing member hreilly
This book has adorable illustrations. It also has an equally adorable way of delivering the message, "What's in a name anyway?" to a young reader. Fluffy the porcupine feels like his name doesn't fit him and tries desperately to make it fit. He meets a rhinoceros named Hippo who knows exactly how
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he feels. The two become fast friends and Fluffy decides that he is comfortable with his name. A lot of children don't like their name when they are young and it is important to learn how to be comfortable with yourself. I know that I didn't like being named Helen as a child, because I was always the only Helen under the age of 60. Over the years the name grew on me because it was my great grandmother's. Had I been read this book as a child, maybe I would appreciate my unique name more.
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LibraryThing member msmarymac
When his parents are faced with naming their new son, they struggle to find the perfect name. They decide to name him Fluffy. But Fluffy doesn’t feel very fluffy so he sets out to find things that will help make him fluffy such as soaking in a bath that only makes him soggy, or whip cream that
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only makes him sticky. Fluffy soon learns that a name is only a name and doesn’t have to describe you or your features when he meets a Rhinoceros named Hippo.

Personal Reflection: I loved this book! Often times children complain about the name their parents have given them and this is a great book that helps them see they are not alone. This book allows children to laugh and not feel bad about a name they might not truly love. I personally had this issue growing up and it wasn’t until I was much older did I learn to appreciate my name, it always seemed so old (Martha). I still don’t use my given name but I also don’t dislike my parents for giving it to me anymore.

Classroom Extension:
1. A great book to help students learn that names are only names and not identifiers. Students who struggle with name calling will learn that sometimes kids have names that they don’t like but they can’t do anything about that.
2. A good book to discuss friendship. The rhino was all set to give Fluffy a hard time until he started laughing so hard at his name which was probably because he had such a funny name for a Rhino. The two become fast friends over sharing something in common, a funny name.
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LibraryThing member bmmoore
This book was about a porcupine named fluffy; hints the title. In this book, Fluffy began to realize that he was not fluffy, so he tried different things to become fluffy. After many failed attempts he began to get discouraged, until he ran into a rhinoceros. The rhino asked him what his name was
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and laughed at him when he said Fluffy. That upset Fluffy so he asked the rhino what his name was. The rhino became embarrassed and told him his name was; the rhino said his name was Hippo. The two laughed at each other and because they were different, they became best friends.

I thought the book had a good message, that even though we are all different, we share common things with each other no matter how strange. I wasn't a fan of the things the author had Fluffy do to become "fluffy." I felt they were bad examples for kids (climbing trees to be a cloud, covering themselves with whipped cream, eating a bunch of marshmallows). For these reasons I gave it 2.5 stars.
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LibraryThing member ecm014
Not the most accurate name for a porcupine is it? Fluffy grows up questioning whether he really is fluffy, and then he comes across a rhino with a name that isnt too fitting either. The Rhinoceros' name is Hippo hahaaa. The two bond over the humor in the matter. It is a great book to help instill
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self acceptance and friendship. I would recommend this book for children just starting to read because I think that the pictures will help them decipher the words that are more challenging
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LibraryThing member mferaci
A Porcupine Named Fluffy is about a porcupine that is struggling with his name. Fluffy tries repeatedly make himself fluffy to match his name, but continues to fail. Fluffy runs across a rhino who's name is Hippo. The two get a kick out of the other's unfitting name. I think this book would be cute
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to read to young children because some of Fluffy's ideas to make himself fluffy are pretty funny. The book would be easy to interact with children while reading and keep them interested.
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LibraryThing member vboch1
I enjoyed this book for a few reasons. The first reason I liked the it is because of the character Fluffy. He is funny in how he tries so hard to make himself fluffy as his name entails. He comes up with humorous ways to match his name such as rolling in feathers, soaking in a bubble bath, and
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putting whipped cream all over himself. The second reason I enjoyed the book is illustrations. The illustrator did a good job of showing an image of everything that Fluffy did. For example, there were pictures for when he had feathers all over him and when he put whipped cream on himself. The final reason I like the book is the theme that it presents. He is a porcupine named Fluffy so he tries to change himself to be like his name. In the end, after meeting a rhinoceros named Hippo, he realizes that his name does not matter because his name does not define him. The big idea from this story is that you are not defined by what people call you and you should never try to change yourself to match other's expectations.
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LibraryThing member acaine1
In my opinion this is an excellent book. The first reason I like this book is based off the plot and organization of events. For example, while trying to resolve his inner conflict, the porcupine tries to fly and change, add cream and soap, and eat marshmallows to make himself more "fluffy".
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Another reason,I like this book because of the issue it pushes readers to think about. The book focuses on a young porcupine who doesn't exactly live up to his name. However, the book pushes readers to consider if it really matters as we watch the porcupine tries to change himself because of the main. The main message of the book is to never try to change yourself because there will always be someone who likes you.
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LibraryThing member pduste1
A Porcupine Named Fluffy is my favorite children book. I really love this book because of its humor and its message. The entire premise of the book is very funny. The porcupine, ironically named fluffy, is always put into situations where he pokes holes through things. For example, "He was even
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more convinced when he accidentally slept on his back and poked holes in the mattress." The humor of the books makes it very fun to read and encourages rereading. I also enjoyed the books message. Fluffy the porcupine and Hippo the rhino become friends because they both have silly names. This is a great lesson on accepting who we are. I enjoyed the way Helen Lester promoted this through these silly circumstances. The main idea of this book is being comfortable with who you are.
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LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
A porcupine named Fluffy is happier with his name after he meets a similarly misnamed rhinoceros.
LibraryThing member NMiller22
A porcupine named Fluffy is happier with his name after he meets a similarly misnamed rhinoceros.


Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1988)


Original language


Physical description

9.75 inches


0395368952 / 9780395368954


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