Poppy's Return (Poppy Stories Series)

( 3 )

Overview

There's trouble at Gray House, the girlhood home that Poppy left long ago. Poppy's family has called her back to save them all—mother, father, sisters and brothers, and dozens and dozens of deer mouse cousins. Poppy invites her rebellious son, Junior, to join her on the long trip across Dimwood Forest, hoping the journey will bring them closer together.

But with Junior's skunk pal, Mephitis, and Ereth, the cantankerous porcupine, in tow—sugared...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$6.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (76) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $3.66   
  • Used (62) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

There's trouble at Gray House, the girlhood home that Poppy left long ago. Poppy's family has called her back to save them all—mother, father, sisters and brothers, and dozens and dozens of deer mouse cousins. Poppy invites her rebellious son, Junior, to join her on the long trip across Dimwood Forest, hoping the journey will bring them closer together.

But with Junior's skunk pal, Mephitis, and Ereth, the cantankerous porcupine, in tow—sugared slug soup!—Poppy and Junior may be in for unexpected adventure.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Avi's latest addition to his animal adventure series is a thinly-disguised fable about human relationships. Poppy, the heroine of earlier stories, is a mouse beyond prejudice. Her best friend, after all, is a rather smelly, profane porcupine. But when her posturing adolescent son, Ragweed, Junior, makes best friends with an even smellier skunk, Poppy finds her limits strained. Enter Lilly—Poppy's straight-laced sister—with a summons home. What to do but drag a protesting Junior and his skunk buddy along on the journey out of Dimwood Forest? The challenges of the journey and the homecoming stretch Poppy. They also make for a neat truce between mother and son. Of course, bulldozers, ornery Papa Lungwort presiding from his boot throne, and "doing the stinky red" play their parts as well. Kids will probably gloss over all the touchy-feely stuff and go for the action. 2005, HarperCollins, and Ages 8 to 12.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Poppy is back in Avi's fifth book (HarperCollins, 2005) in the popular The Poppy Series. Now middle-aged, Poppy and Rye are dealing with a rebellions teenaged son. Summoned home to Gray House, Poppy decides the journey might be a bonding experience, so she invites Junior along. His skunk friend, Mephitis, comes with them and, though uninvited, Ereth the porcupine tags along as well. The visit is enlightening. Junior is surprised to hear of his mother's adventurous past, and Poppy's current independence is challenged by the needs of her extended family. The family problems Poppy is asked to solve are too large for one deer mouse. Still, an accident resolves everything, perhaps a little too easily, and all ends well. Narrator John McDonough brings the characters to life, showing obvious enjoyment in the dialogue, especially Ereth's expressions. He makes this an auditory treat by letting the author's words, rather than excessive theatrics, carry the story. Although the plot is rather adult, younger listeners will be caught up in Junior's delightful rebelliousness and Ereth's colorful language, and fans of the previous books will probably find this an acceptable addition to the series.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Avi's intrepid deer mouse sets out for a visit home in this fifth Dimwood Forest adventure, taking along her mutinously adolescent son Ragweed Junior in hopes of promoting some bonding. The ominous news that a bulldozer (owned by the "Derrida Deconstruction Company,") has been parked next to Gray House, the ramshackle farmhouse where Poppy's pompous father and his multitudinous descendants still live, prompts the trip. Thanks to her previous exploits, Poppy arrives to a hero's welcome, but barely has time to do more than organize a frantic evacuation before, in a slapstick climax, Junior, his (literally) unsavory buddy Mephitis the skunk and trash-mouthed Ereth the porcupine manage to start up the 'dozer and convert the house into a pile of kindling-which is to say, a mouse condo. The plot, though, takes second fiddle to the author's proposition that parents too can be "Sick," (i.e., cool) and teens, despite unappealing personal habits, not quite as hopeless as they might seem. Well, it's a worthy thought, and, well supplied with Floca's ground-level vignettes, agreeably presented. (Fiction. 10-12)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060000141
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Series: Poppy Stories Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 139,101
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.18 (h) x 0.53 (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..

Read More Show Less
    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's Return


By Michael Avi

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Michael Avi
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060000139

Chapter One

Poppy and Rye Visit Ereth

"Sugared slug soup," said Ereth the porcupine without looking up from the lump of salt over which he was slobbering. "I don't believe it."

"I'm afraid it's true," said the deer mouse Poppy to her old friend. "It's very upsetting. The kind of thing that makes me wonder if I've been a bad parent."

Poppy and her husband, Rye, a golden mouse, had gone over to Ereth's smelly hollow log for a talk. The closest of friends, they lived deep within Dimwood Forest, where the tall trees reached into the sweet air and carpeted the earth below with soft shadows.

"Now Poppy," said Rye, "the rest of our children are doing fine."

Poppy sighed. "I suppose one failure out of a litter of eleven isn't bad," she said. Her round, white belly had grown plump of late. Though her eyes were usually bright and her whiskers full, now those eyes appeared rather dull and full of worry, while her whiskers were somewhat limp.

"You made your first mistake by naming him Ragweed Junior," Ereth grumbled between licks of salt. "Most juniors," he said, "resent the name. Or should."

"I wish he did resent it," said Poppy. "Junior's problem is that he loves being a new Ragweed."

"Gangrenous gym shorts," said Ereth. "Was there ever a mouse -- dead or alive -- who caused more fuss than the first Ragweed?"

"I'm afraid," said Rye, "Junior wants to be what he thinks Ragweed was. It's all those stories he's heard about my brother."

"Though of course," Poppy said, "Junior never knew Ragweed. All he knows is that Ragweed was unusual." She reached out, took Rye's paw, and squeezed it with affection. "It was Ragweed who brought us together. And if it hadn't been for him," she reminded Ereth, "I doubt you and I would have met."

"I suppose," said Ereth. He put his salt lump down reluctantly. "Just what the flea fudge has Junior done?"

"He used to be a cheerful, chatty, wonderfully open young mouse," said Poppy. "Nowadays it's a constant frown."

"If I say yes," Rye went on, pulling at his long whiskers, "he says no. If I say no, he says yes. When he says anything more than that, it's mostly 'Leave me alone.' "

"He has become rather rude," said Poppy.

"Almost impossible to get him out of bed before noon," added Rye.

"I doubt," said Poppy, "that he washes his face more than once a week, even though he's constantly being reminded." Her own ears were large and dark, with a nose, toes, and tail that were pink and clean.

"And now he's completely changed his looks," said Rye, whose fur was dark orange.

"Looks!" barked Ereth. "How can a mouse change his looks?"

"You see," said Rye, with a shake of his head and a whisk of his tail, "Junior's best friend is a skunk."

The salt fell from Ereth's paws. "A skunk?"

"His name is Mephitis," Poppy explained. "We don't know much about him. Or his family. I'm afraid the problem is that he's not a very good influence. Ereth, you need to see Junior for yourself."

"Oh, toe jam on a toothpick," said Ereth. "He can't be that bad."

"The point is," said Poppy, "Junior has become a teenager."

"A teenager!" cried the porcupine. "Why the weasel wonk did you let that happen?"

"He did it on his own," said Rye, his small ears cocked forward.

"Then I'd better go unbuckle his buttons," said Ereth. With a rattle of his quills, he heaved himself up. "Where is he?"

"Probably down among the snag roots," said Rye. "He's taken to liking darkness, too."

"Just watch me, putt pockets," said Ereth. "I'll straighten him out flatter than a six-lane highway rolling through Death Valley. Be back soon. But don't touch that salt, or you'll get a quill up your snoot." Quills rattling, the porcupine clumped out of the old log and headed for the gray lifeless and topless tree in which Poppy and her family made their home.

"Good luck," Rye called after him.

"I do hope it was all right to tell Ereth about Junior," said Poppy.

"Nothing else has worked," said Rye.

"But . . . what do you think he'll do?" "I'm not sure, but I guess we'll find out pretty soon."

Continues...


Excerpted from Poppy's Return by Michael Avi Copyright © 2006 by Michael Avi. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2006

    LOVE THIS MOUSE!

    I read Poppy, Poppy's Return, and Ragweed back to back! This little mouse is as brave as any animal. Kids of all ages will love this fast-paced, adventure.

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

    Posted February 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)