Think you’ve got prickly in-laws? Think again. With relatives like Unclelus NotoCactulus and Grandma Melocata, Felipe’s family is stuffed with stuck-up succulents. They’re all about personal space at Cacti Manor. Well, everyone but Felipe; he just wants a hug. But his family is too stiff-stemmed to pay him any attention.
One day a new friend, a yellow balloon, floats into his life. (You can imagine how well that goes.) Felipe accidentally puts the balloon in the hospital, and the Cacti family name is dragged through the dirt. Since his family only cares about their reputation, Felipe uproots himself to find someone else who does care about him.
Felipe finds a solid friend, a little rock. Since they both have families that took them for granite, the two kindred souls become fast friends. The beginnings of their adventures (stargazing, tennis, and popping inflatable pools) are all captured in a scrapbook on the endpage. The illustrations are loose and emotive. No surprise, given Simona Ciraolo’s background in animation.
The lesson? We can all be a little sharp sometimes, but that’s no reason to build a terrarium in the desert and give up. What you need are friends who stick with you. Those kinds of friends rock.