Poppy and Ereth
illus. by Brian Floca
HarperCollins, 2009
teaching guide
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Poppy and Ereth

Poppy, a deer mouse, and Ereth, a grumbling porcupine, have been the best of friends for as long as the animals of Dimwood Forest can remember. An unstoppable pair ever since they defeated the tyrannical owl, Mr. Ocax, Poppy and Ereth have enjoyed many happy adventures together. But when a swirl of bitter winter storms buries Dimwood Forest in snow and Poppy's husband, Rye, dies suddenly, all Poppy wants is some privacy. “Dancing doorknobs,” Ereth mutters to no one in particular, “how can she not want to see me?” As he waddles back to his log, Ereth fears he may have lost his dear friend forever.

But Ereth has not lost Poppy, at least not yet. As the ground begins to thaw, life returns to Dimwood Forest and Poppy ventures out in search of excitement. Suddenly, swooped up by Luci the bat, Poppy is flying high over the forest and unexpectedly embarks on her greatest adventure. Meanwhile, Ereth, left to his own devices, manages to convince himself that Poppy has died and, as only the old porcupine can do, sets about to give her the best memorial service the forest has ever known.

The last episode of the Poppy stories, Poppy and Ereth is a rousing adventure befitting one of the great heroines of children's literature as well as a final, heartwarming celebration of the life, love, and friendship of two most unlikely companions.

Behind the Book

Avi writes:

The Poppy series books took nine years to write. I really loved the characters, Poppy, Ereth, Rye, and Lungwort, to name some who reappear in the stories.  I liked being with them. Enjoyed finding out what they were doing. Every time we got together—which is to say when I was writing these books—it was like a family reunion: lots of people you know, and love, enjoying being together. Still, I felt that six books were enough. I didn’t want to bore anyone or overstay my welcome. Poppy and Ereth is where this long story ends—but it can always go on—in the minds of my readers.

Review

School Library Journal:

“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.”

 

Listen to Avi read from Poppy and Ereth.

   
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