Poppy and Ereth (Poppy Stories Series)

( 38 )

Overview

Has Ereth lost Poppy forever?

Poppy, a deer mouse, has spent the long winter curled up inside her tree snag home in Dimwood Forest. When the ground thaws and life returns to the woods, Poppy sets out in search of excitement. Suddenly, swooped up by Luci the bat, Poppy is flying high over the forest. Meanwhile, Poppy’s best friend, Ereth the grumbling porcupine, who was with Poppy when she vanished, is convinced that she has died. He sets out to give her the best funeral ever. ...

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Overview

Has Ereth lost Poppy forever?

Poppy, a deer mouse, has spent the long winter curled up inside her tree snag home in Dimwood Forest. When the ground thaws and life returns to the woods, Poppy sets out in search of excitement. Suddenly, swooped up by Luci the bat, Poppy is flying high over the forest. Meanwhile, Poppy’s best friend, Ereth the grumbling porcupine, who was with Poppy when she vanished, is convinced that she has died. He sets out to give her the best funeral ever. Can Poppy find her way out of the bats’ cave to set Ereth straight and return home after the adventure of a lifetime?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
This latest tale in the Poppy series begins as Poppy's husband Rye dies after a bout with pneumonia. Poppy is so sad that she turns away from her friend Ereth. Ereth is determined to help his friend work through her grief, but she does not contact him, and eventually he becomes convinced Poppy has died as well. He breaks the news to her family and begins to plan a wonderful memorial service. Meanwhile, Poppy is actually alive and well, but she is off on an adventure with Luci the bat. Poppy's grandson, Spruce, remembers that Poppy taught him long ago that "a mouse has to do what a mouse has to do." This convinces him that she is not dead. Spruce heads out to search for Poppy, who finds herself in a cave of bats—not the best place for a mouse. Will Spruce convince the family to search for Poppy, and can Poppy convince Luci to help her? The story covers serious issues with sensitivity. Readers familiar with the other books in the series will particularly enjoy the story, but the novel stands on its own as well. Floca's drawings capture the heart and personality of the characters, especially Poppy and Ereth. Reviewer: Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—In this lovely and fitting conclusion to a popular series, Poppy's husband, Rye, dies, and the grieving deer mouse refuses to see anyone. Then Ereth needs her help, and in the process of saving the porcupine, she is thrown into the air and flown to a cave by a young bat. Thinking she is dead, Ereth plans her funeral. Meanwhile, a fire breaks out in Dimwood Forest. Seen through animals' points of view, the story takes readers through Poppy's adventures, including being aided by her former enemy, Bounder the fox, as she tries to get home to warn the others of the danger. Ereth stays true to his character—pompous and curmudgeonly—yet devastated when he thinks he's lost Poppy, while she remains the eternal optimist and, in the end, is able to move on with her life. This heartwarming fantasy is filled with fast-moving action and danger, and has themes of friendship and loss. Fans of the series will be completely satisfied.—Kira Moody, Hunter Public Library, West Valley City, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Avi bills this as the final episode in the series and burns down Dimwood Forest to underscore the claim-but since all but one of the characters survive at the end, there's no reason to believe him. When the elderly Poppy is carried away by a young bat, her gruff friend, Ereth the porcupine, thinks her dead and organizes a funeral. While she's making friends with the bats in their distant cave and then trying to find her way back home, a lightning strike touches off a blaze in dry Dimwood. Cutting back and forth in short chapters from Poppy to the grieving Ereth to runty but intrepid Spruce, one of Poppy's many grandchildren, the author weaves several plotlines together in time for the smoky, exciting climax. There are no villains here to crank up the melodrama, but several cliffhangers, quick pacing and a lively cast more than compensate. Several figures from previous adventures pass in review, either in flesh or in Poppy and Ereth's memories, but that's not enough to create any convincing sense of closure. There's life in the old series yet. (Fantasy. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061119712
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Series: Poppy Stories Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 117,609
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi

Avi is the author of more than sixty books, including Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a Newbery Medal winner, and Crispin: At the Edge of the World. His other acclaimed titles include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth, both Newbery Honor Books, and most recently The Seer of Shadows. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Brian Floca's illustrations have appeared in several books by Avi, including the six volumes of the Poppy stories and the graphic novel City of Light, City of Dark. For younger readers, he is the author and illustrator of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo II as well as the highly praised books Lightship, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and ALA Notable Book; The Racecar Alphabet, also an ALA Notable Book; and Five Trucks.

Biography

Born in Manhattan in 1937, Avi Wortis grew up in Brooklyn in a family of artists and writers. Despite his bright and inquisitive nature, he did poorly in school. After several academic failures, he was diagnosed with a writing impairment called dysgraphia which caused him to reverse letters and misspell words. The few writing and spelling skills he possessed he had gleaned from his favorite hobby, reading -- a pursuit enthusiastically encouraged in his household.

Following junior high school, Avi was assigned to a wonderful tutor whose taught him basic skills and encouraged in him a real desire to write. "Perhaps it was stubbornness," he recalled in an essay appearing on the Educational Paperback Association's website, "but from that time forward I wanted to write in some way, some form. It was the one thing everybody said I could not do."

Avi finally learned to write, and well! He attended Antioch University, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received a master's degree in library science from Columbia in 1964. He worked as a librarian for the New York Public Library's theater collection and for Trenton State College, and taught college courses in children's literature, while continuing to write -- mostly plays -- on the side. In the 1970s, with two sons of his own, he began to craft stories for children. "[My] two boys loved to hear stories," he recalled. "We played a game in which they would give me a subject ('a glass of water') and I would have to make up the story right then. Out of that game came my first children's book, Things That Sometimes Happen." A collection of "Very Short Stories for Little Listeners," Avi's winning debut received very positive reviews. "Sounding very much like the stories that children would make up themselves," raved Kirkus Reviews, "these are daffy and nonsensical, starting and ending in odd places and going sort of nowhere in the middle. The result, however, is inevitably a sly grin."

Avi has gone on to write dozens of books for kids of all ages. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992) were named Newbery Honor Books, and in 2003, he won the prestigious Newbery Medal for his 14th-century adventure tale, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. His books range from mysteries and adventure stories to historical novels and coming-of-age tales; and although there is often a strong moral core to his work, he leavens his message with appealing warmth and humor. Perhaps his philosophy is summed up best in this quote from his author profile on Scholastic's website: "I want my readers to feel, to think, sometimes to laugh. But most of all I want them to enjoy a good read."

Good To Know

In a Q&A with his publisher, Avi named Robert Louis Stevenson as one of his greatest inspirations, noting that "he epitomizes a kind of storytelling that I dearly love and still read because it is true, it has validity, and beyond all, it is an adventure."

When he's not writing, Avi enjoys photography as one of his favorite hobbies.

Avi got his unique nickname from his twin sister, Emily..

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    1. Also Known As:
      Avi Wortis (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 23, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Poppy and Ereth

Chapter One

The Hard Winter

It was a hard winter in Dimwood Forest. Tem-peratures were low, snows deep, nights long, and the winds sharp. Most forest animals remained tucked away in their underground homes, burrows, and caves, sleeping or eating the food they had stored the summer before. It was that way, too, with Poppy and Rye, who kept close and warm deep down among the roots of their old snag, a tall, broken tree stump.

Poppy, an elderly deer mouse, had curled herself up into a plump ball of tan fur, her tail wrapped about so that it touched the tip of her pink nose. She was chatting with her husband, Rye, about some of the events of the past year: their good life together; guiding and watching their children grow and begin families of their own; her visit to her old home, Gray House; renewing acquaintances with relatives; and happy times with Ereth the porcupine.

As she talked, Rye, a golden mouse, was lying on his back, eyes closed, paws beneath his head, tail occasionally twitching. He was listening to Poppy even as he was contemplating a new poem, something about the cold winter and the past summer.

"It's no good," Rye said quite suddenly while coming to his feet.

"What's no good?" asked Poppy, thinking he was referring to her talk about the family picnic last autumn.

"If I'm going to write anything decent about winter," Rye declared, "I need to get out there and experience it."

"It's awfully cold," Poppy reminded him, perfectly aware that such practical notions would make no difference to Rye, not when he was thinking about a poem. "I think there's a storm."

"Won't be a moment," said Rye, and he headed for the steps that led to ground level. When he reached the snag's open entryway, however, the storm's bitter cold struck with such force that it momentarily took his breath away. Not to be deterred, Rye pushed through the snow that had drifted in, and stepped outside.

It was difficult to see anything. The snow, bright and whirling, made the land indistinguishable from the sky. Even the forest trees appeared to be trembling shadows. As for sound, the only thing Rye could hear was the yowl of the wind.

"Wonderful . . . ," he murmured, even as he shivered and stepped forward, sinking deeply into a soft, powdery drift.

He brushed the flakes from his eyelashes, and they danced before his eyes like tiny, sparkling diamonds.

"Beautiful," he murmured.

Rye began to burrow forward with his front paws. As he tunneled into the snow, the sounds of the wind faded. The light turned a dull gray. The cold softened. It was as if he were in a cocoon made of winter.

Suddenly he halted. Embedded in the icy tunnel wall was a perfectly preserved green leaf.

"Oh my!" Rye whispered, gazing at the leaf with joy. "It's from last summer!" Rye remained looking at the leaf for a long while. Only when his toes started to become numb did he turn and scurry back down into the snag.

"I think I've got a good poem," he announced as he returned to Poppy. "I'm going to call it 'Ice Leaf.'" He threw himself down on his back and closed his eyes.

After a few moments he asked, "Do you have any more of your mix?"

"What mix?" said Poppy.

"That peppermint, elderberry, and honey mix. You know, for coughs."

Poppy's brow furrowed. "Why?"

"Slight tingle in the old throat," muttered Rye, as he concentrated on his poem.

That night a fierce new storm swept in. The wind roared. The temperature plummeted. The two mice snuggled together for warmth. From somewhere far-off they heard a fox baying and an owl hooting.

Next morning, when Rye woke, his throat was very sore. He was coughing, too, coughing badly.

Poppy and Ereth. Copyright © by James Avi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Must read

    The last book in the Poppy Series is a wonderful book for everyone. It's an adventure that everyone will enjoy.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Loved it!! Read this comment and review!

    This is definetly an all time favorite it was super good and had a great ending!! It was definelty my faavorite out of all the series. Reccomend it! Five star book!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Favorite of the series~!

    A must read book for people of all ages. :-)

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    amazing!

    this book is great! it has a lot of discription and is easy to read. i recomend it for anyone who loves action and intensity.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    With profuse sadness, I don't want to say goodbye to this series.

    Poppy and Ereth demonstrate once again Avi's writing genius in his genre. His personified world is humanized through his artfully delivered dialogue. Fantasy overlaps non-fiction with his quick facts about animals written into the story text. Avi is a superb storyteller who will open doors to a new world if you acquiesce.


    My students were saddened when they heard Poppy and Ereth, the latest book, would also be the final book in the delightfully sunny series by Avi. This last book centers around the relationship between Poppy, the deer mouse and Ereth the peevishly prickly porcupine. When Poppy takes an unexpected flight and can't be found, an unsettled air takes over Dimwood Forest and her friends. Most unusual is the bizarre behavior of Ereth, who assumes a smiling face of fright, atypical of him, in the hopes of becoming more sociable.


    Poppy and Ereth like others in the series, is uplifting and humorous with lessons of friendship, family, caring and love that will make you laugh, giggle and cry. With profuse sadness, I don't want to say goodbye to this series. Perhaps the introduction of a certain new character, with a certain new home leaves room for a new series to come. Whatever Avi writes next, I know it will surprise and satisfy his audience.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Re: Cupcake10

    The owls name is Mr. Ocax

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Marvelous ending

    This is a wonderful with quality printing a must read in the series

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    ?????

    who thinks it will be good?

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Avi brought the beloved Poppy series to a great end

    After Rye's untimely death Poppy seeks to see Ragweed's earring. She makes the dangerous trip over Glitter Creek When she hears Ereth crying for help she runs and helps the drowning Ereth out of Glitter Creek. Soon after Ereth's rescue he believes he sees her ghost. Then breaks the terrible news of Poppy's death by saving him to her family. Did Poppy really die?

    I really don't read books about mice or porcupines, but this was an interesting and good book. Avi brought the beloved Poppy series to a great end.

    There are creative settings and dangers ahead in Poppy and Ereth.

    All the characters are very likeable. My favorite characters in this book is probably Spruce one of Poppy's many grandchildren and Luci. Spruce is very adventurous like his Grandma . Luci is a young bat that mistakes Poppy for a moth (I think that was very creative of Avi.)

    It was a fun, nice, cute book.

    Poppy and Ereth was a very easy to understand and enjoyable with a satisfying ending.


    *Book provided by HarperCollins Children's First Look program

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Love it

    This book is great but you must read poppy first to under stand it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Re:rayray

    It is a good book but the first is best

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Noo

    I cant belvie this is the last book in the series. Im reading poppys retrn the 2nd last book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Love it

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Ghiicdse

    Cdnk

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Hjdhndd

    I am ok with these books
    Not the best
    *yolo*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Good **!

    Its a book about an old mouse named poppy that becomes young again once she goes on a walk that leads to an adventure!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Looks good

    I really love poppy and can't wait to read this one. : )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Poppy n Ertha

    Very good book for children for book reports

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Bad

    Worest poppy book book i ever read! Poppys a wimp

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Awesome

    I read poppy great! I read poppy and ereth awesome!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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