Mr. Fine Porcupine by Fanny Joly - Teaching Ideas

How would you feel if you came to town and everyone around you would scream and run away? If you said sad, then that is exactly how Mr. Fine, Porcupine was feeling. His hair was so big and so sharp everyone was afraid to be his friend. Mr. Fine, Porcupine was so lonely he decided that the best thing to do was to change his hair so people wouldn't be afraid to be around him. He sprayed it, patted it and covered it but nothing worked, his hair just kept getting in the way. Then finally, on a lonely day, he decided to go to the park. As he was walking around he noticed the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and the best part was, she didn't run away! They walked and they talked and they fell in love. Mr. Fine, Porcupine learned that it doesn't matter what you look like "someone will love you for just being you"!

I hope you have and use this book as one of your read alouds, it has a great message and it is really fun to read because it is written in rhyme.

The following information will help you with your lesson planning.

Reading level: 2.5
Theme: feelings, feelings/emotions (self-esteem, pride, confidence)
Genre: fiction

Suggested Vocabulary: perk, divine, ten-speed, prickly, quills, abide, distress, kink, lark, divine

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} Why is he called Mr. Fine? Why is he reading the paper? {possible questions during} Why would the people scream and holler? What is the plastic cap for? Why is porcupine covering his hair with fruit? What happened to the birds? {possible questions after} Did they get married?
  • author's point of view - first person point of view
  • author's purpose - entertain - silly pictures, written in rhyme
  • beginning, middle, end - {MOST important event from the beginning} Mr. Fine Porcupine goes to town and the towns people holler and scream and run away. {MOST important event from the middle} Mr. Fine Porcupine does everything to try to cover his hair, he sprays it, puts a cap on and tries to cover it with fruit. {the most important event from the end} Mr. Fine Porcupine meets a girl porcupine and they fall in love!
  • cause and effect - Why do the towns people run away when Mr. Fine Porcupine comes to town? because they are afraid of his hair. Why did the boy at the park cry? because his bubbles landed on Mr. Fine Porcupine's hair and popped. Why did Mr. Fine Porcupine try to smooth his hair? because he thought he was in everyone's way. Why did Mr. Fine Porcupine buy a cap? he wanted to try to hide his locks. Why did the birds get plucked bare? because they got too close to Mr. Fine Porcupine's hair. Why did Mr. Fine Porcupine get happy at the park? because he saw someone just like him, a girl porcupine.
  • characterization - write all you know about Mr. Fine Porcupine {looks, feelings, the kind of person he is}
  • classify & categorize - list all the things that people do to try to fit in or be accepted and things that people do to be an individual or stand out from the crowd {example - Mr. Fine Porcupine tried to straighten his hair to be accepted where as Mrs. Fine Porcupine left her hair as is}
  • compare & contrast - compare and contrast what makes you and your friend the same and different.
  • connections - {possible connections} feeling left out, not having any friends, feeling like you are different, trying to change to fit in, finding a best friend.
  • drawing conclusions/inferencing - Why is Mr. Fine Porcupine trying to change his hair? {clues from the story} everyone runs away from him. He doesn't have any friends to play with. {what I know} when people won't be my friend I think there is something wrong with me so I figure out what I can do to change it. {my conclusion} I think Mr. Fine Porcupine is trying to change his hair because he wants to have friends that will play with him and if he changes his hair he thinks that will happen.
  • plot - the turning point in the story is when Mr. Fine Porcupine decides to go to the park one more time and he sees a fine looking porcupine.
  • predict - What will Mr. Fine Porcupine do to his problem hair? What will happen to the bubbles? What is going to happen when Mr. Fine Porcupine puts on a plastic cap? Will the fruit on the ends of his hair work? What do you think Mr. Fine Porcupine's biggest, bestest, most prickly surprise is?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Mr. Fine Porcupine is feeling lonely and sad because of the way he looks. {solution}He tries to change his look but that doesn't work. He soon finds that he doesn't have to change his look because there is someone out there that likes him for just who he is.
  • sequencing - Mr. Fine, Porcupine introduces himself and his story. He rides his bike to town and they all scream and run away. Mr. Fine, Porcupine goes to the park and his hair pops a boy's bubbles. Mr. Fine, Porcupine tries to straighten and shrink his hair. He tries to wear a plastic cap but his hair pops right through it. Mr. Fine, Porcupine decides to put fruit on the tips of his hair but then the birds came and ate the fruit! Mr. Fine, Porcupine decides to go to the park one more time. He sees a very fine porcupine. The two porcupines sit on a swing and talk for awhile. She asked Mr. Fine, Porcupine to be his valentine and he said YES! Mr. Fine, Porcupine marries his valentine, Mrs. Fine.
  • story elements - list title, author, genre, theme, setting, characters, beginning, middle & end, or problem/solution.
  • summarize - {someone}Mr. Fine, Porcupine {wanted} wanted to have friends {but}his hair was making it difficult {so}he tried to straighten it, cover it even disguise it with fruit {then} he saw the most beautiful porcupine in the world and {finally} he was lonely no more!

I have created an activity packet to go with this book. It includes a characterization, compare & contrast, problem & solution and a classify & categorize worksheet, as well as a rhyming and place value set of Mr. Fine, Porcupine cards and recording sheets. Below is a preview of what is included.

Happy reading!


  1. This sounds like a great book! I hadn't heard of it before, so thank you for sharing it.
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. Hey Lori,
      It is a great book, and fun to read, I hope you can find it to read!

  2. Hi! I am your newest follower! I found you through TBTS.


    1. Hi April,
      Thanks for stopping by and becoming a friend!

  3. What a fantastic blog! Thanks for doing this!

    Your blog is a wonderful resource that I will definitely be using!! :)


    1. Hi Rachel,
      Thank you! I am so glad you find it useful!!

  4. Oh, My GOODNESS!!!! What a WONDERFUL site to stumble upon! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. It will save me tons of time!


    1. Hi Cynthia,
      Thank you! I am glad I can save you some time, that was my sole intention!


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