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Poppy and Ereth
illus. by Brian Floca
HarperCollins, 2009
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all of the Poppy books
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Poppy and Ereth
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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.

Story Behind the Story

There are six Poppy books, and they are six in number because I recalled reading the six Little House books (by Laura Ingalls Wilder ) to my older kids. Thus six seemed—at the time—the right number. That said, inventing a final story was not easy. I was determined to bring a sense of closure which would allow me to bring as many elements of the books into this last volume. It also needed to provide a satisfying ending to Poppy’s loyal readers.There are six Poppy books, and they are six in number because I recalled reading the six Little House books (by Laura Ingalls Wilder ) to my older kids. Thus six seemed—at the time—the right number. That said, inventing a final story was not easy. I was determined to bring a sense of closure which would allow me to bring as many elements of the books into this last volume. It also needed to provide a satisfying ending to Poppy’s loyal readers. read more

Review

“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.” (School Library Journal)

   
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