Poppy and Ereth by Avi
Poppy and Ereth by Avi, Illus. by Brian Floca. Pub. HarperCollins, 2009
Poppy was the start of the series written in 1995 and I still regard it as one of the best read-a-loud stories for Junior Primary school students along with Ereth’s Birthday.
In this novel the aging Poppy suffers a shock loss and starts to contemplate the rest of her life and decides to take the advice of her first love Ragweed, now deceased who said “a mouse has to do what a mouse has to do”. This homespun philosophy is what gives Avi’s stories their teeth.
Ereth, the porupine and self acclaimed best friend of Poppy, is his irascible self, who wonders why he is lonely and decides he needs a change of image.
Fate takes a hand in the story and Ragweed’s earring is the cause of it all. Dimwood forest is threatened. Will all the animals survive and how will Avi end it all? Well in my opinion Avi does it well with Bilbo’s fate in Lord of the Rings springing to mind.
Avi has written a very accessible story for children, short chapters, paragraphs and sentences. Easy to read-a-loud and adventure enough to keep children interested.
Brian Floca’s illustrations are again a feature especially of Bounder the Fox.
This is not the best book in the series but it is a satisfying ending. Suitable Junior primary school.