Illustrated by Brian Floca
First* in the Tales of Dimwood Forest
Finished: Nov. 2, 2007
Reason for Reading: we enjoyed Ereth's Birthday so much we decided to start the series from the beginning.
First Published: 1995
Genre: children, animal fantasy
A thin crescent moon, high in the sky, shed faint white light over Dimwood Forest.
Comments: The mice who live in Old Gray House are ruled over by the evil great horned owl, Mr. Ocax. When Ocax denies permission for the mice to move to a new area with more food Poppy, whom Ocax has blamed for his refusal, decides to take the long voyage to the new area by herself. Thus begins a peril filled journey that will forever change Poppy's life. This book is top-notch animal fantasy. Compelling characters face danger, death and the unknown in doses that bring one to the edge-of-your-seat excitement. The tension is very intense but is offset by frequent doses of laugh-out-loud humour. I love this book. My 7yo was beside himself at various points in the plot, cheering and yelling words of caution to Poppy. This book is most certainly a big hit for both old and young.
*A note about the reading order. Poppy is the first book written in this series but not the first book that is promoted by the publishers. Ragweed is labeled the first in the series but is actually a prequel and the third book published. Since I first read this series as it was being written I am now re-reading the remaining books in as published order, which I think gives a better flow to the character development. Ereth's Birthday is fourth in the series but also a stand-alone. I recommend the books be read in published order.