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Poppy (Tales from Dimwood Forest) Paperback – April 12, 2005

136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newbery Honor author Avi (Tom, Babette and Simon, reviewed June 12) turns out another winner with this fanciful tale featuring a cast of woodland creatures. As ruler of Dimwood Forest, Ocax the hoot owl has promised to protect the mice occupying an abandoned farmhouse as long as they ask permission before "moving about." Poppy, a timid dormouse, is a loyal, obedient subject-until she sees Ocax devour her fiance and hears the owl deny her father's request to seek new living quarters. To prove that the intimidating ruler is really a phony, Poppy embarks on a dangerous and eye-opening quest, which ends with her one-on-one battle with Ocax. While the themes about tyranny and heroism are timeless, Avi leavens his treatment with such 20th-century touches as Poppy's jive-talking boyfriend and Poppy's own romantic vision of herself as Ginger Rogers. An engaging blend of romance, suspense and parody, this fantasy is well-nigh irresistible. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 9-11.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5?A fast-paced, allegorical animal story. Mr. Ocax is a great horned owl who rules the mice who live around Dimwood Forest, preying on their fears by promising protection from the dreaded porcupine in exchange for unconditional obedience. Challenging his despotic authority is the smart-talking, earring-sporting golden mouse Ragweed, whose refusal to obey turns him into a meal for the owl. His timid sweetheart Poppy returns home, where she learns that a delegation must go to request permission from Mr. Ocax to relocate half of the mouse family as they have outgrown their present quarters. When he refuses, Poppy, inspired by Ragweed's independent thinking, decides to undertake the scouting journey to the proposed new home anyway, encountering along the way an irreverent porcupine who explains that he and his ilk are no threat to mice. Armed with Ragweed's earring, a quill sword, and the awareness of the owl's deception, she plans to expose Ocax as a cowardly bully. She finds herself in a fierce battle with him, resulting in his death and allowing for the mice's liberation. This exciting story is richly visual, subtly humorous, and skillfully laden with natural-history lessons. The anthropomorphism is believable and the characters are memorable. The underlying messages, to challenge unjust authority and to rely on logic and belief in oneself, are palatably blended with action and suspense. Black-and-white illustrations are in keeping with the changing moods and forest locale. A thoroughly enjoyable book.?Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Tales from Dimwood Forest
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380727692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380727698
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
You are going to LOVE this book! It all happened when my teacher began to read it and it caught my eye and I started listening. Now I'm hooked! It is beautifully written by Avi. It is about a little mouse who adventures out into Dimwood forest. It held me in suspense. That's why it is a really good book. My favorite character is Poppy because she loves to dance like me! Its great for fourth graders, I know this because I am one! Happy reading!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sara B. Richardson on March 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Do you want to read an adventurous, dangerous story that will keep you on your toes? Well, Poppy, by Avi is the the book for you! This story is about a family of mice that live near a forest. The main character is an adventurous mouse named Poppy. She has a BIG job to do! You see, her family is running out of food and Poppy must ask Mr. Ocax (the vicious, ruling owl of the forest) for permission to move. This turns into a harder job than she ever thought it would be. She has many dangerous adventures along the way.

All of us here liked this story because it has lots of adventure! There are some talking animals, dangerous predators, and even some fighting scenes!

This story would be perfect for people that have read other books in this series by Avi. This is only one of many awesome books! We hope you get the chance to check them out!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is rare to find a book in which the talking animals act just exactly as you would expect talking animals TO act. In this book a small mouse sets out on a very believable mouse quest. She wishes to find a larger food source for her family while avoiding being eaten by owls, foxes, etc. The setting and main character are not all that different from, "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH". In both cases a small female mouse must fight to save other mice. It's a simple book containing a very good sense of what courage is. There's a lovely section in which Poppy tries to decide whether to carry on her quest or turn back, and her decision to carry on doesn't spring from some fiery belief, but the quiet acknowledgement that it is the right thing to do. The illustrations, by the way, are charming. Poppy is delightfully rendered as a small and charming creature. The map at the front is also very helpful in letting the reader get their bearings. All in all, a great book by Avi.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on January 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Atop Bannock Hill, is a large, dilapidated old place known as Gray House. To the average person's eye, Gray House looks like a place that no one has set foot in for years. But looks can be deceiving. For within the four walls of the large home lives a family of deer mice, who lives their lives in fright of Mr. Ocax, a large horned owl who rules the land of Dimwood Forest. Mr. Ocax refuses to let any member of the deer mice family wander throughout the woods without his permission. But when Poppy, and her boyfriend Ragweed decide to go for a walk on a romantic night, all that changes. Ragweed does not make the trip back home with Poppy, and Poppy must tell her family why: the two of them did not ask Mr. Ocax's permission to wander through Dimwood Forest. And so begins a series of unfortunate events, in which Mr. Ocax refuses to allow Poppy's family to move to a place called New House, leaving Poppy's large, extended family in a deadly predicament. Now, the brave Poppy has decided that it is up to her to make her way to New House, and discover a way to defeat Mr. Ocax, in an attempt to save her family.

I have read many books narrated by animals, but POPPY has quickly become one of my absolute favorites. AVI is an amazingly talented writer, who has made the lives of a family of mice - and the various other animals they encounter - one of the most interesting adventure stories in children's literature. Poppy is an adorable, heroic character, whose brave way of thinking, and hard-headed nature make her an admirable mouse to read about, and learn from. POPPY is the ideal book for readers who are too young for REDWALL and too old for THE CAT IN THE HAT. A remarkable, richly visual, enchanting tale of a heroic mouse, and the owl who rules above her.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book to be read aloud...the action is fast paced, and there are enough "cliffs" to be able to ask questions and do a little forshadowing.
Poppy, one of the world's smallest mammals, has one of the biggest hearts full of courage. Do youself a favor read this book and share this book with your children, you'll love every minute of it(both the book and the time with your child)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Poppy? I know it sounds like a weird name for a book but its actually pretty cool. Poppy is written by AVI, he has written very many books that relate to poppy including Poppy and Rye, Ereth's Birthday, Poppy's Return, and Ragweed.

The whole story is about a little mouse that lives in the country in a forest where this owl is the ruler. Poppy doesn't like the owl because he scares her and she wants to find her family a new place to live. She is trying to find a new place she runs into some problems. Like in the very beginning Poppy and her boyfriend, Ragweed, are playing in the field without permission, and Ragweed gets killed by the owl, Mr. Ocax.

Mr. Ocax claims to be the king of the forest so if anyone wants to do anything in the forest they have to ask Mr. Ocax first. Poppy fells very specious around Mr. Ocax because she believes that he will kill everyone that lives in the forest sooner or later. So she wants to find a new place to live in a nearby corn field and fast! Another problem she runs into is a porcupine, Ereth. Ereth is not very friendly and he doesn't really like anyone in the forest. So if anyone runs into him that's bad news for them.

Poppy is a pretty good book if you like animal fantasies its also a good book if you like action with a lot of ups and downs in it, then this book is for you. Also if you want to read about an exciting adventure about a little mouse fighting through a difficult journeys.

One thing I wish that they would have emphasized more on was how long they had been living in the forest. Also, how old they were just a little bit more background information on each character. Like how old they were and if they had ever moved before.
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