Caramel has enjoyed reading the adventures of animals living in and around Dimwood Forest. And he has already reviewed Ragweed, Poppy, Poppy and Rye, Ereth’s Birthday, and Poppy’s Return for the book bunnies blog. Today he reviews Poppy and Ereth, the last book in this series by Avi. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: Tell us a bit about this book Caramel.
Caramel: I hated the way it ended. I think Avi ruined everything!
S: Okay, that is a little strong, especially coming from you. I think you mean he did end the story in a very conclusive way, right?
C: I would say it a bit differently.
S: I know you did not like the end, but then again, if the author managed to get such a strong reaction from you, I am guessing that means he did a really good job creating this world and these characters that meant a lot to you.
C: Yes, that is correct. I still did not like what he did in the end.
S: Well, I have not yet read this one, so would you tell me not to?
C: I would. Do not read this book!
S: But I am a bit curious. The title makes me want to read it because I like Ereth and I am thinking this book will have more of his adventures with Poppy.
C: Well, they are both in the book, but they’re not together most of the time. Still yes, there are some adventures and I like Ereth, too.
S: So except for the very end where the author decided to finish things off with full certainty, is the story interesting?
C: Yes. Poppy gets caught and flown away by bats and has a lot of adventures. And Ereth thinks she is dead and plans a funeral for her.
S: I can see that being a good setup for both fun and adventure.
C: Yes, there is that in the book. But the end is sad, and there is some more sad stuff at the beginning too. I don’t know why Avi puts so many sad things into his books.
S: When you were reviewing Charlotte’s Web, you did say you don’t like sad books.
C: That’s true. I don’t like sad books, really.
S: So would you categorize this book as a sad book?
C: Yes. Both the beginning and the end have sad things happen, and all throughout, Ereth keeps talking about funerals and himself.
S: So you did not find it amusing or joyful as the other books in the series, then.
C: I like joyful. I did not think this was very joyful.
S: I think you just really did not like the fact that the author ended it so conclusively.
C: Yes. I wanted to know more about the creatures in Dimwood Forest, but now after what happens in the end-
S: Okay, let us not give things away that much. I think there might still be bunnies who will want to read the book for themselves. I think I will read it. I am curious to see how everything is tied up.
C: Well, as long as you are prepared for the sad parts, I can see you wanting to do that.
S: Yes, it would provide closure. That means a way of tying loose ends and letting go. This article talks about it in the context of relationships but it says it well:
a complete acceptance of what has happened and an honoring of the transition away from what’s finished to something new … in order to find different possibilities.
C: So are you trying to tell me that Avi wanted to write about something else? Some new characters and new places and new adventures?
S: Yes. And you as the reader can also move on and read about other characters and enjoy new and completely different adventures.
C: But I did not want to. I liked these characters and I liked Dimwood Forest.
S: I know. I suppose this is kind of like life. Sometimes we need to move on even when we don’t yet feel ready. So now you have finished reading all the Poppy books. Do you look over them and smile or do you have some lingering unhappiness about them?
C: Yes, I liked them. I liked Poppy and her family and Ereth, and all the other different characters in their lives. I think I have a smile on my face.
S: Yes, I love that smile on your face. Can you give me two more words, besides sad, that can describe this last book so we leave things on a happier note?
C: Adventurous, because Poppy again finds herself in a new adventure. And funny, because there is a point where Ereth is trying to smile. He is funny.
S: Okay, I am good with these three words. I think this will be the next book I read. In the meantime you can tell our readers to …
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!