Poppy (Poppy Stories Series)

Poppy (Poppy Stories Series)


$7.19 $7.99 Save 10% Current price is $7.19, Original price is $7.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 25


Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner * ALA Notable Book * ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice * School Library Journal Best Book

“This exciting story is richly visual. The underlying messages, to challenge unjust authority and to rely on logic and belief in oneself, are palatably blended with action and suspense.” — School Library Journal

In the second book in the Tales of Dimwood Forest by Newbery Medal-winning author Avi, a tiny deer mouse named Poppy dares to stand up to a tyrannical owl.  The story is accompanied by inviting illustrations from Caldecott Medal-winning artist Brian Floca.

Poppy knew she was taking a risk following her beloved Ragweed to Bannock Hill, but a night of dancing with the handsome golden mouse was just too tempting. So when Ragweed is scooped up by the sinister owl, Mr. Ocax, who rules over Dimwood forest, she’s devastated. Her whole life she was warned of Mr. Ocax’s evil ways…how could she have been so foolish to put herself and Ragweed at risk?

To make matters worse, when Poppy attempts to move with her family to a different part of the woods where the food supply is richer, Mr. Ocax refuses to let them go. Despite what she’s been led to believe for years, Mr. Ocax is not as strong as he wants the mice to think he is. Armed with the bravery, gumption, and wit of a hero, Poppy embarks on a dangerous quest—joined by the irascible but lovable porcupine, Ereth—to defeat Mr. Ocax and lead her family to a better home.

A perennially popular story of courage and determination, Poppy is a fixture on state award lists and in classrooms across the country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380727698
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/15/2006
Series: Poppy Stories Series , #2
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 63,119
Product dimensions: 0.00(w) x 0.00(h) x (d)
Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Avi is the award-winning author of more than seventy-five books for young readers, ranging from animal fantasy to gripping historical fiction, picture books to young adult novels. Crispin: The Cross of Lead won the Newbery Medal, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth were awarded Newbery Honors. He is also the author of the popular Poppy series. Avi lives outside Denver, Colorado. You can visit him online at www.avi-writer.com.

Brian Floca's illustrations have appeared in several books by Avi, including the six volumes of the Poppy stories and the graphic novel City of Light, City of Dark. For younger readers, he is the author and illustrator of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo II as well as the highly praised books Lightship, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and ALA Notable Book; The Racecar Alphabet, also an ALA Notable Book; and Five Trucks.

Date of Birth:

December 23, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mr. Ocax

A thin crescent moon, high in the sky, shed faint white light over Dimwood Forest. Stars glowed. Breezes full of ripe summer fragrance floated over nearby meadow and hill. Dimwood it self, veiled in darkness, lay utterly still.

At the very edge of this forest stood an old charred oak on which sat a great horned owl. The owl's name was Mr. Ocax, and he looked like death himself.

Mr. Ocax's eyes-flat upon his face were round and yellow with large ebony pupils that enabled him to see as few other creatures could. Moon light even faint moonlight-was as good as day light for him.

With his piercing gaze, Mr. Ocax surveyed the lands he called his own, watching for the comings and goings of the creatures he considered his subjects-and his dinners. ~e looked at Glitter Creek, home to the fish he found so appetizing, the Tar Road, across which tasty rabbits were known to hop; Jayswood, where meaty chipmunks some times skittered before dawn. By swiveling his head he searched the Marsh for a savory frog, then New Field, where, usually, he could count on a delicious vole or two. He looked at Gray House, where Farmer Lamout used to live, then upon the Old Orchard. He even looked, nervously, toward New House. But nowhere did he see a thing to eat. Profoundly annoyed, Mr. Ocax was beginning to think he would have no dinner that night.

But finally, there near the top of Bannock Hill, where the ponderosa pines had all been cut, where only a few struggling saplings and bushes grew- he saw movement. Just the glimmer of food was enough to cause his owl's heart to pound, his curved black beak to clack, his feathered horns to stand uptall.

Mr. Ocax shifted his head from right to left, for ward and back. When he did so, he beheld . . . two mice! Of all the creatures the owl hunted, he enjoyed mice the most. They were the best eating, to be sure, but better still, they were the most fearful, and Mr. Ocax found deep satisfaction in having others afraid of him. And here, after a wait of nearly the whole night, were two savory subjects to terrify before he ate them.

One of the two, a deer mouse, crouched cautiously beneath a length of rotten bark. The other, a golden mouse, stood in the open on his hind legs, his short tail sticking straight out behind for

Ragweed laughed. "Dude, you must think I'm as dull as a dormouse. You just want to get some of this nut."

I don't want any of your precious nut," Poppy insisted. "I want to give you my answer. And I want to dance! Isn't that the reason we came up the hill? Only it's not safe out there."

"Oh, tell me about it."

"You heard my father's warnings," Poppy went on. "It's Mr. Ocax. He might be watching and listening."

"Get off," Ragweed sneered. "Your pop talks about that Ocax dude just to scare you and keep you under control."

"Ragweed," Poppy cried, "that's ridiculous. Mr. Ocax does rule Dimwood. So we have to ask his permission to be here. And you know perfectly well we never did."

"Dude, I'm not going to spend my life asking an old owl's okay every time I want to have fun. Know what I'm saying? This is our moment, girl, right? And now that I've dug this nut up, I'm going to enjoy it. Besides," he said, "it's too dark for an old owl to see me.""POPPY," Mr. Ocax scoffed under his breath. "Ragweed What stupid names mice have. Now, if only that deer mouse will move just a little farther out from under cover, I'll be able to snare both mice at once."

The mere thought of such a double catch made Mr. Ocax hiss with pleasure. Then he clacked his beak, spread his wings, and rose into the night air. Up he circled, his fluted flight feathers beating the air silently.

High above Bannock Hill, he looked down. The golden mouse the one eating the nut-was still in the open. So brazen. So foolish. Nevertheless, Mr. Ocax decided to hold back another moment to see if the deer mouse might budge.

"RAGWEED," Poppy pleaded, "please get under here."

"Girl," Ragweed said, "do you know what your problem is? You let your tail lead the way."

Poppy, hurt and wanting to show she was not a coward, poked her nose and whiskers out from under the bark. "Ragweed," she persisted even as she began to creep into the open, "being careless is stupid."

Her friend took another scrape of the nut and sighed with pleasure. "Poppy," he said, "you may be my best girl, but admit it, you don't know how to live like I do."

Poppy took two more steps beyond the bark.

Just then, Mr. Ocax pulled his wings close to his body and plunged.- In an instant he was right above and behind the two mice. Once there, he threw out his wings-to brake his speed; pulled back his head-to protect his eyes; and thrust his claws forward and wide like grappling hooks-to pounce.

It was Poppy who saw him. "Ragweed!" she shrieked in terror as she hurled herself back undercover. "It's Ocax!"

But the owl was already upon them. Down came his right claw. It scratched the tip of Poppy's nose. Down came his left claw. It was more successful, clamping around Ragweed's head and neck like a vise of needles, killing him instantly. The next moment the owl soared back into the air. A lifeless Ragweed earring glittering in the moonlight- hung from a claw. As for the hazelnut, it fell to the earth like a cold stone.

Powerful but leisurely strokes brought Mr. Ocax back to his watching tree. Once there, he shifted the dead Ragweed from talon to beak in one gulp. The mouse disappeared down his throat, earring and all.

His hunger momentarily satisfied, Mr. Ocax tilted back his head and let forth a long, low cry of triumph. "Whooo-whooo!"

Poppy did not hear the call. In her terror she had fainted. Now she lay unconscious beneath the length of rotten bark.

The owl did not mind. He had enjoyed the first mouse so much he decided to wait for the second. Indeed, Mr. Ocax was not entirely sorry that Poppy had escaped. She was terrified, and he enjoyed that. And for sure, he would get her soon. "Oh yes," he murmured to himself, "mice are the most fun to catch." Then Mr. Ocax did that rare thing for an owl: He smiled. Poppy. Copyright © by John Avi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Poppy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous24 More than 1 year ago
Have you been looking for a good short book to read well this is the book for you. It's about a little deer mouse named Poppy. Mr. Ocax, an owl was supposedly protecting Poppy and her family from porcupines Poppy's family wants to move to a new house. They went to Mr. Ocax to ask if they could move, but he said no. Well see Mr. Ocax is like in charge of them. Even that he said no, that didn't stop Poppy. Poppy goes on her way to find the new house, but on the way she meets some new friends and she finds out a lot along the way. It's a very good short book I give it five stars, because it has some humor and it has a good life lesson learned. I loved the writing in the book, and i like how the story fit together and how it grabbed me and pulled me into it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Poppy as a read aloud for my third grade students. The first chapter grabs the student's attention and they beg me to read more. Avi does a fantastic job of creating believable characters. My students love Ereth! I love the fact that this little mouse is the heroine despite overwhelming odds. Not only do my students love this story, I love to read it to them.
breathless More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a simple, funny story, Poppy is a great book. Best for readers of a young age, but also enjoyed by older readers, it is great for reading just for fun, but also for learning about life. Avi's destinctive style makes this book unforgettable and engaging.
Omrythea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A charming and delightful story.
alebarbu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poppy, a young deer mouse, and her large family are protected by Mr. Ocax, a great horned owl, from the cruel porcupines that would otherwise eat them. In exchange, they have to ask permission of Mr. Ocax to go beyond a certain distance from the abandoned house where they live. After Mr. Ocax refuses that a part of Poppy¿s family move to a new house, Poppy sets out on a dangerous adventure to discover what might be the real motive behind Mr. Ocax¿s refusal. Is he really protecting the mice? Poppy has to come face-to-face with the harsh truth, and confront Mr. Ocax by herself. This charming tale¿s fantasy elements are the fact that the animals talk, think like humans, and also do some activities like humans (the mice are homeschooled, and take tests). Beyond the fantasy aspect, it is a tale of courage, going beyond widely-held ideas, and using logic, which applies to real life. It is easy to relate to the character of Poppy, who is thinking more clearly than her headstrong father. Some parts are funny, and the language used amusing. Others are scary (for a mouse); yet, others are full of tenderness and poetry. The pencil drawings are really cute, and add to the wonderfulness of the story. Highly recommended for grades 3-6.
crawdad90 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was awsome, as are all of Avi's books.
nzfj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Library thing part C¿#2 of 2 FantasyAvi, and Brian Floca. Poppy. New York: Orchard, 1995. Print. Poppy, the second title in the Adventures of Poppy and Friends series follows Poppy from a romantic evening with Ragweed to a solo expedition through Dimwood Forest in search of New House and its surrounding fields of corn. Avi has created a believable mouse world. The setting in Dimwood region is drawn and illustrated on the first two pages. This excellent map of the region allows us to follow Poppy and gives the plot more credibility. Poppy¿s constant emotional flux reflects the fiber of nature. One minute she is ecstatic and wants to ballroom dance with Ragweed amid the country¿s panoramic beauty and the next minute a predator has appeared and the whole wheel of life and death in nature turns and leaves Poppy alone, grief stricken, and guilty. Mr. Ocax, the supposed mouse clan protector, has clawed Ragweed into his deadly razor beak, just moments before Ragweed could propose to Poppy. Mr. Ocax demands every mouse to ask his permission before they set foot out of Gray House yard. The penalty for not asking is instant death. Ragweed refused to play along with Mr. Ocax and his rule. He refused to follow blindly. He had a strong sense of independence and common sense. But we also see where Ragweed¿s rashness and overconfidence got the better of him on Bannock Hill. Poppy¿s strong sense of responsibility to her family and to the rest of the overpopulated mouse clan, spurs her on to vindicate Ragweed¿s reputation and to cross Dimwood Forest without Mr. Ocax permission. Poppy¿s bravery and stamina slowly become evident when she discovers New House and its corn fields with Mr. Porcupines help, in spite of Mr. Ocax threats and attacks. She fights the sinister Mr. Ocax with a quill for a sword and after a fantastic battle, she remains the victor. Mouse v.s. owl and Poppy v.s. self are conflicts that unfold an enthralling animal fantasy that intertwines porcupine knowledge, mouse ingenuity, courage, death, and survival. Avi¿s careful descriptions and clear cut details of each of the animals, adds to the suspenseful realistic awe of the forest creatures: owl¿s wings and flight patterns, pellets at the bottom of his perch, porcupine¿s diet, stinky den, protective quills and coat. The triumph of the littlest heroine in the midst of nature¿s most cunning predator is always exciting and a page turner. A must have book for grades 3-6 and middle school. I would highly recommend it for special education classes and intermediate ELL students.
hiii123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is a sad book because some one dies
hortonhears on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful read-aloud that I shared with my 3rd grade class last year. The story line is engaging, the language exquisite and the possibilities for cross-curricular connections is endless.
rldougherty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a really exciting tale of a young deer mouse who faces the great horned owl, Mr. Ocax. The owl imagines himself the supreme ruler of Dimwood Forest, lording it over the mouse community. They, unfortunately, have outgrown the food supplies of their home and want to move half of their members to New House where the fields are supposed to be full of grain. Mr. Ocax refuses to let them move, citing Poppy's failure to obey his directives as his reason. Poppy undertakes a great journey through the dark forest to see if New House is really all that it's said to be, to find out why Mr. Ocax wants to keep the mice out, and to restore her reputation. Poppy learns to judge friends and enemies for herself rather than relying on the opinions of a tyrant. In the end, she discovers that she possesses all the strength and courage she needs to survive and help her community find a new home.
Necampos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a cute story about a mouse who wants revenge on the evil "King" Owl, Mr. Ocax. Mr. Ocox ate Poppy's boyfriend and Poppy eventually stands up to Mr. Ocax. We learn at the end that Mr. Ocax didn't even know what he had been talking about the whole time. It is good for children to see that even a tiny mouse can stand up and make a difference, so they can too.
justinscott66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beyond the fantasy and adventure of "Poppy," there are great sections that can be used to strengthen science curriculum (food chains), personal loss and character education. I personally enjoyed a part when Poppy decides to carry on the quest because it is the right thing to do when she could easily have turned back.
navelos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this as a bedtime story to my 8 year old and we really enjoyed it. Poppy is a very likable heroine and the story moves along quickly. The ending did seem a little abrupt though. We would've liked a more drawn out happy ending where Poppy was recognized for her struggles. I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get into this one. It's about a female mouse trying to outwit an owl.
bibliophile26 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A family of mice need to move because they do not have enough food; moving will put their lives in peril because of the owl who deems himself the lord of the forest. I had to read this for work (I'm a librarian and coach a book competition team); definitely not a favorite.
TwilightBlue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
{inside flap} It is scary to look Mr. Ocax in the eyes. Especially if you are a deer mouse and only six inches long (and three inches of that is your tail). Besides, if you are Poppy you would rather be dancing in the moonlight. Instead, you have to defend youself against the tyranny of Mr. Ocax, a great horned owl, who, compared to you, is huge.Mr. Ocax has declared himself king of Dimwood Forest, claiming that he alone protects the mice from porcupines. In order to expand beyond Gray House (where they have lived since the farmer left), the mouse family must ask Mr. Ocax's consent. e refuses, saying that Poppy and her boyfriend did not request permission for a little dancing on Bannock Hill. That moment begins all the trouble. Frightening trouble, as it turns out, for Poppy must come face-to-face with a dreaded porcupine and, equally alone, confront Mr. Ocax at his most feirce. It's then that Poppy learns there is no bully worse than a bully whose bluff is called. {Review} A good little story about courage. But I thought it had to much death in it. In the first pages a mouse gets eaten and it's not pretty. A little to much for some younger kids I think. But a nice little story none the less.
LAteacher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the edge of Dimwood Forest, there was an owl called, Mr. Ocax, waiting for predators to catch and eat. Mr. Ocax always lied to the mouse family that he was protecting them. It was actually him, who was eating the mices. Poppy, a little mouse in the family, has to fight for her best to prove that Mr. Ocax wasn't protecting them.
laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a mouse named Poppy who has to save his family from a humongous owl who is preventing them from moving to a place where they won't starve from lack of food.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
just an awesome book! i was in 6 grade and my teacher read this book aloud to the class. i feel ion love with this book and its charaters! its turly one of my favorites!! im in tenth grade now and still love it and think every one should read this!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago