Ava's Poppy


Ava is delighted when she discovers a brilliant red poppy in the middle of her yard.  She sits with the little flower in the sunny days of summer and shields it from the rain, until one day the petals start to drop and the tiny flower fades away.  But when spring comes again...Ava is surprised anew.

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Ava is delighted when she discovers a brilliant red poppy in the middle of her yard.  She sits with the little flower in the sunny days of summer and shields it from the rain, until one day the petals start to drop and the tiny flower fades away.  But when spring comes again...Ava is surprised anew.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Employing a gentle tone, Pfister encapsulates the circle of life in this sweetly simple story about a girl’s fondness for a flower. When ginger-haired Ava spies a bright red poppy in the field near her home one summer day, she recognizes it as both a thing of beauty and a new friend. Weeks pass, and faithful Ava “looked after her friend with tender loving care,” protecting it from the wind, shielding it from rain, and watering it. The flower eventually turns brown and withers, and Ava marks the sad occasion by burying the plant and arranging a ring of memorial stones in the poppy’s special spot. The subsequent spring brings with it a welcome new friend where the old one used to be, as readers will likely guess. Like he did in Questions, Questions, Pfister continues to explore stylistic departures from his Rainbow Fish books; his large-scale, cheerfully hued images, which have a mottled texture reminiscent of cabbage leaves, float against a white backdrop. Opening and closing spreads that depict the poppy from seedling to shriveled stem are well-chosen summary bookends. Ages 4–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Images transferred to the paper from cardboard cutouts loaded with acrylic paint are rich with color, texture, and visual interest."-School Library Journal review for Questions, Questions.  This same technique was used in creating the art for Ava's Poppy.
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Ava finds, befriends, and tends to a poppy in the middle of a field. She is sad when it fades and dies and buries the seed head, only to be surprised and pleased when a new plant grows in the spring. Among the many stories that depict the life cycle of a flower, this one is unremarkable. The bright, sponge-paint pictures are attractive, but the simple story lacks any kind of drama. Ava's lonely devotion to her flower friend is, in fact, a little odd, as is the presence of a single flower in the field. A pleasant, but purely additional purchase.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
This trite and simplistic tale of friendship and the life cycle offers little that is new. A translation of the German Lisa's Mohnblume, in this version a small girl named Ava asks a poppy growing in a field in front of her house to be her friend. The poppy does not respond, of course, but red-haired Ava continues to visit "her" red poppy. She is "always there" for her friend, which she protects from cold wind, drought and heavy rain. But (surprise!), the poppy nevertheless loses its petals, shrivels up and dies. The grieving Ava buries the pod and surrounds its grave with a memorial circle of stones. As snow falls, Ava continues to mourn her flower friend, but she realizes that it could not have survived the cold. In spring she is delighted to find a "tender little plant" reaching up to the sky. The images are large, mainly red and green, and Ava's mouth is a single line that curves up and down, depending on her feelings. To Be Like the Sun, by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (2008), covers much the same territory with far greater art. Bury this one. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735840577
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 320,828
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcus Pfister is the author of the phenomenally successful Rainbow Fish series, as well as many other books for children. He has worked as a graphic artist, a sculptor, a painter, and a photographer as well as a children's book creator. Pfister lives with his family in Berne, Switzerland.

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