A couple weeks ago Caramel reviewed Poppy, the book that launched Avi’s Dimwood Forest series. This week he is continuing the series, with a review of the next book in line: Poppy and Rye, written by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about Poppy and Rye.
Caramel: Poppy and Rye is a good book if you like mice. Especially if you like battles of mice against bad creatures, like beavers.
S: Well, I never thought about whether I’d like to read about mice battling beavers before. But you are right, this is a book about mice and their fight against a group of mean beavers.
C: And in the lead is a beaver named Caster P. Canad. He is the one who made a dam and it flooded the house that Ragweed’s family used to live.
S: Oh, so Ragweed’s family is in this book? That’s cool.
C: Yes, Rye is his brother, and he is in the title of the book. But this is after Ragweed … oops… I am trying not to give away what happened to Ragweed in Poppy.
S: Yes, but the events in this book happen after all that, right?
C: Yes. Why do you ask?
S: So I am guessing people who are thinking of reading this book should probably have already read Poppy and should already know what happened to Ragweed.
C: Yep, I guess so.
S: So do you think someone could read Poppy and Rye without having read Poppy?
C: They could, but it is probably not a good idea.
S: I agree, I think you would not have a good sense of who Poppy is otherwise. But keep in mind the very first book Ragweed was actually written after Poppy and Rye. So perhaps people do not need to really have read that one just yet.
C: Possibly. But I still think it is a good idea to start with Ragweed. And if you can read Ragweed and Poppy in between, before Poppy, then you can follow these mice all through their adventures in the right way.
S: That is how we are reading through this series, right?
S: Okay, so you already told us that there are some beavers who have basically destroyed the home of Ragweed’s family.
C: Yes, the beavers make a dam on the brook and then they flood the home of Clover and Valerian, who are Ragweed’s mom and dad. And the family has to move out.
S: So where does Poppy come into this story? Doesn’t she live far away from the Brook?
C: Yes, but she wants to tell Ragweed’s family the news about his … oh, sorry.. She wants to meet them, let me say.
S: Okay, yes, she goes through the whole forest to get to them, right? Who is with her?
C: A porcupine, a bad-mannered porcupine, a very annoyed porcupine. And his name is Ereth.
S: Some people really like Ereth. Did you like him, too?
C: Yeah, I especially love his grumpiness. He is funny! He always grumbles and says things to annoy Poppy.
S: Yes, but he also really really likes Poppy, right?
S: So what three words would you use to describe this book?
C: Funny, descriptive, adventurous.
S: Hmm, you have used two of those words before for the other books from the Dimwood Forest series, but “descriptive” is new. Why do you say that?
C: There is a lot of description in the story. The author describes Ereth and Rye and all the other characters. And the places they are in. The forest, the brook, the area near the dam, and the rock where Clover and Valerian and their litter of billions of mouse babies move into after their first home is flooded.
S: That is true. And so yes, I agree, your descriptive words are good choices for this book. Again. So let us wrap up this review. What would you tell our readers Caramel?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!