Review (and commentary) on “A Porcupine Named Fluffy”

I love books by Helen Lester. But I’d say my favorite is, “A Porcupine Named Fluffy.” It’s been in our family reading rotation for years, and I believe all of my children have had this book read to them at one time or another. It’s a really cute book about a little porcupine that was called Fluffy and how all he wanted to be was that – fluffy. Especially since that was what his parents named him.

Fluffy eventually met a rhino with a similarly hilarious name (Hippo). The point is how funny it is when we’re named something that clearly, we’re not. But at the end of the day, even when we’re not, we realize it’s OK to be who we were made to be (not who others named us to be). We can even laugh at how ridiculous it is when we try to change who we are innately with just a name.

No matter what these characters tried to do, clearly a porcupine is still a porcupine just as a rhino is still a rhino, no matter what they’re called.

The last couple of years has really put this book into perspective. I’m certain that Helen Lester never intended this book to be a commentary on trans issues, but I’d like to argue, it most definitely addresses them.

Jazz Jennings

It’s been heartbreaking for me to see how many seemingly “well-meaning” parents have seen certain behaviors in their children and then automatically labeled their child as trans. One of the most famous examples of this is Jazz Jennings. His parents started the social transitioning process when the child was a toddler. Apparently, “Her parents noted that Jennings was clear on being female as soon as she could speak.” Jazz was diagnosed at 5 years old with gender dysphoria. A year later, he landed interviews on 20/20 and The Rosie Show, which really propelled him into mainstream popularity.

Remember – that child was 6 years old when he was first paraded in front of cameras as trans.


All that said, the correlation between “A Porcupine Named Fluffy” and Jazz are extremely evident. Fluffy’s parents named their baby porcupine because they thought it was a good name that fit their baby. But eventually, Fluffy began to question whether or not he was actually fluffy. So he decided to try and make himself more fluffy. He tried everything from eating more marshmallows to trying to become a cloud, but nothing worked. “Fluffy definitely wasn’t,” as Lester so succinctly put it.

Jazz definitely wasn’t

Although Jazz Jennings would not readily admit this, in his heart I’m certain he too would have to admit, “Jazz definitely wasn’t” either.

No matter how many hormones are pumped into his body, no matter how many surface surgeries are performed, this young man will always be a man. Period. It is cruel and wicked to have allowed this deception to continue to go on. It is the most heartbreaking thing to witness.

Attention or money or both?

I haven’t closely watched Jazz grow up, however, I’ve watched a couple of different recent YouTube videos. It’s amazing what some parents will do for attention and money. Again, that includes embracing a blatant lie as cameras roll, smiles plastered on faces.

This young man is constantly under scrutiny (mostly because he has his own reality TV show). Can you imagine the pressure he’s under to continue to be a trans activist? His parents continue to support the fallacy that their son is somehow a girl, just because he gravitated towards girly things when he was literally a baby.

A great children’s book

I’m thankful that Helen Lester wrote “A Porcupine Named Fluffy” almost 10 years ago! And I’m also thankful that in a gentle and funny way, this book grounds its readers in the truth of reality. A name given to someone doesn’t change that. At the end of the day, someone who gets labeled doesn’t even get to tell themselves who they are. God does.

Praise God that reality grounded in truth will always, always pop to the surface, no matter how hard someone tries to shove it down.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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