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Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Do You Hug A Porcupine~Book Review



Previous Grand Prize Winner Laurie Isop’s Book, How Do You Hug a Porcupine?, to be Featured inside Three Million Specially-Marked Boxes of Cheerios this Spring

Have you ever dreamed of seeing your words in print, turned into a children’s book and read by families across America?  The Cheerios New Author Contest, which kicks off its search today for the next great new children’s book author, provides aspiring writers the perfect opportunity to make this dream a reality. One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a possible publishing deal with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, in addition to having his or her book featured inside Cheerios cereal boxes nationwide.

As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the whole child and connecting families by fostering a shared love of reading, Cheerios invites aspiring authors to enter its New Author Contest now through July 15, 2011.  Entrants must write and submit an original story, in either English or Spanish, suitable for children ages three to eight.  Those who think they have the “write” stuff can visit for more information and to enter.


Cheerios is also announcing that 2009 New Author Contest Grand Prize Winner Laurie Isop, of Renton, Wash., and her book, How Do You Hug a Porcupine?, will be featured inside three million specially-marked boxes of Cheerios this spring. Isop’s story, which was selected from more than 8,000 entries, will also be available in bookstores nationwide as of July 26.  “The Cheerios New Author Contest helped me achieve my decade-old goal of becoming a published author,” said Isop. “Winning the contest was equivalent to winning the literary lottery – the experience has been nothing short of life-changing and has motivated me to write every day.”

“Cheerios believes that reading is a key building block for learning and life,” said Meredith Tutterrow, Cheerios marketing manager.  “Through our New Author Contest, we are proud to support ambitious new writers as they create stories that will inspire young readers for years to come, as well as provide families across America with access to quality books so that they may continue to experience the joys of reading together.”

In conjunction with the launch of this year’s New Author Contest, Cheerios plans to donate 100,000 new books through its charitable partner, First Book.  As part of its Spoonfuls of Stories® program, Cheerios works with First Book to get high quality, award winning books in the hands of children in need.  Since the program’s inception in 2002, Cheerios has given away more than 50 million children’s books free inside cereal boxes. Cheerios has also donated $3.5 million to the nonprofit First Book® to get books to children from low-income families. 

“First Book takes great pride in partnering with Cheerios as part of the Spoonfuls of Stories initiative. For the past nine years, Cheerios has been a champion for children’s literacy and access to quality books,” said Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book. “We are grateful for Cheerios contribution to First Book’s greater mission of providing new books to children across the United States.  Together, Cheerios and First Book are helping to provide the tools children need to realize and attain their dreams.”

Ron Rauss of Warrenton, Va. has officially been named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 New Author Contest and will follow in Isop’s footsteps when his winning story Can I Just Take a Nap? is distributed inside Cheerios cereal boxes next spring 2012.

My review~

So have you ever seen a real porcupine? Now imagine hugging one, ouch! Hugging a bunny or a bear are a lot easier to picture! I wouldn’t know how to even begin to wrapping my arms around a porcupine.

After seeing all his friends hug their favorite animals, one brave boy works up the courage to hug a porcupine, but the porcupine isn't so sure he wants to be hugged!

The latest contest winner Laurie Isop and illustrator Gwen Millward  have done a fantastic job!

In 2010, mom and small business owner Laurie Isop, of Renton, Wash., was named Grand Prize Winner. Beginning now, Laurie’s book “How Do You Hug a Porcupine?” is featured in three million Cheerios boxes nationwide, letting children nationwide enjoy a good book at their breakfast table. Of winning the contest, Laurie has said it’s equivalent to winning the ”literary lottery” – she is truly evidence that even the loftiest of aspirations are worth working towards!

I had the pleasure of having a phone interview with Laurie today.

I asked Laurie where she got the idea for her story. She told me it came up around the dinner table. Her family was talking about all the different kinds of people there are and what peoples personalities are like.

I asked her how she found such a great illustrator and she said she was provided by Simon & Schuster.

I asked her who her best critic was. Laurie said she read the book to a group of 5 year olds and they loved the story. She said she also was able to make a few changes because of some of the reactions they had.

Laurie also said she has several other children’s books that she is working on.

~I received a product sample in order to write my review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed are mine.

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