Poppy (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #1)
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Poppy (Dimwood Forest #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  4,261 ratings  ·  373 reviews
At the very edge of Dimwood Forest stood an old charred oak where, silhouetted by the moon, a great horned owl sat waiting. The owl's name was Mr. Ocax, and he looked like death himself. With his piercing gaze, he surveyed the lands he called his own, watching for the creatures he considered his subjects. Not one of them ever dared to cross his path . . . until the terribl...more
Unknown Binding, 163 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Scholastic (first published January 1st 1995)
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Nov 26, 2011 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone =)
I usually love owls, they are majestic and brave and wise.....I can't really say the same for the antagonist in this lovely tale. Mr. Ocax is a great-horned owl that I can't really say I like. He is a marvelous antagonist. Not my favorite, but still one of the best I've encountered in my many years of reading.

Poppy is a very brave heroine. She is small, scared and mistaught all her life. She loves deeply and grieves extensively for her boyfriend Ragweed who was sadly eaten by Mr. Ocax on the ni...more
Erica - Bonner Springs Library
Oct 11, 2010 Erica - Bonner Springs Library rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: late grade school kids
What a wonderful story. I picked this up to do a book talk for third grader's at my library. I was concerned about finishing it in a few days but I had no problems because I didn't want to put this book down. My husband laughed when I said I was going to sit down and read for just 7 or 8 minutes. :)

A wonderful story of bravery and courage. Poppy and her family live near a forest and Mr. Ocax, the horned owl rules the forest. Poppy's boyfriend, Ragweed, becomes Mr. Ocax's dinner after he and Pop...more
Really, there are too many damn kid's stories about mice. What is the attraction? The Tale of Desperaux, the Ralph Mouse Cleary series, about a billion picture books. And now this series too. I guess mice are cute when they aren't pooing in your silverware drawer or chewing through your favorite sweaters. I don't really get the attraction. I only read this book because it was Avi; I had no interest in yet another mouse story. These books multiply as if they were rodents themselves. That's not re...more
Zach read this in class, liked it so much, checked it out from the library and read it again. A story of being strong even when you are afraid, and not letting the powerful control you when they rule with cruelty.
Kathy Roderer
This book is the first book by Avi that I have read. It caught my eye, because of the owl on the cover. My class recently dissected owl pellets and learned a bit about owls, so I thought this may be a fine read aloud for my third grade class. Poppy, the main character, is actually a mouse. The owl in the story, Mr. Ocax, is the bully and antagonist. Due to disobeying her father's strict rules, Poppy's best friend, Ragweed, is attacked and eaten by Mr.Ocax early in the story and Poppy just misses...more
Kelly Rae
The second book in the Dimwood Forest Series (Ragweed is the first) this story follows a desperate Poppy trying to save her family and mouse community. After the ruler Mr. Ocax (owl) refuses to allow the overpopulated deer mice community to divide, Poppy is desperate to find out why. Mr. Ocax says it is because she and Ragweed traveled to the top of the hill without his permission.

Poppy followed Ragweed to the hill where he wanted to ask her to marry him because it was the most romantic place in...more
Feb 17, 2013 Irene rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older Elementary Grades, Maybe Grades 2 or 3 through 5
Recommended to Irene by: Isabelle's 1st Grade Teacher
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lars Guthrie
My favorite Avi so far? 'The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.' But I'll give this talking mouse tale and the others in the series some credit for striking a spark with some kids with whom I've worked, and for the striking illustrations by Brian Floca (including a map). (I love books--like the 'Guardians of Ga'hoole' where maps are important.) For my money, though, it's not up there with 'Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,' or 'Stuart Little,' or 'The Cricket in Times Square,' or 'Dragon Rider...more
Stephanie Jobe
I got this book at a book fair when I was in elementary or middle school. At that point I was already a Redwall fanatic, thus the lure of a story about a brave mouse was irresistible. Poppy comes from a family of deer mice led by her father, but he is really nothing more than a puppet for the owl, Mr. Ocax. Poppy’s story is filled with love and loss. She shows great courage as she faces the owl who almost killed her and the dangerous porcupine. She travels far all to protect her family. This is...more
From the reviews I had read I thought this would be a great read aloud for my eldest (age 7). However, I wish I had seen a review that warned me of the opening chapter. Within the first few pages a character dear to the heroine of the story dies. You know right off the villain Mr. Ocox (an owl) is terrible, but I was a bit shocked at the death of a mouse right away. The first chapter was very sad so we read on a couple chapters so not to end on such a sad note right before bed. The good news is...more
Another from the Battle of the Books that sounded good.


It's the story of a brave little mouse's adventures outwitting the local owl despot.

Does anyone know why so many authors tell children's stories with critters instead of people? It's a cuddly-looking trap. At one extreme you have the full-on fantasy of Winnie-the-Pooh which includes stuffed animals talking and eating and living in their own little houses and it makes no sense but it doesn't have to because everyone recognizes that there...more
Marika Gillis
This is a cute story about a deer mouse who, with a little help from a cranky porcupine, saves her family from the clutches of a great horned owl who has been deceiving and bullying the mouse family for years. The animals in this book are amazing characters, so well-developed and engaging. I want to find a way to use this book with my third graders next year, and I will definitely read this one with my kids one day!
Michael M
I thought that this book was a realy good book. I liked how the book had all these chalenges that a normal person would think easy like when Poppy crosses the stream. I also liked how Ereth would call Poppy names like Plopy and Flopy and that cracked me up. I liked this book alot and I thought this book would be great for anyone who likes books that you can never put down and are very exciting.
Oct 07, 2008 Sheri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teachers of elementary grades
Recommended to Sheri by: Second grade teacher
I read this for 5 years straight as a read aloud to my third grade class and they loved the story. They even checked it out and read it again themselves. Great book with animals and a great story of courage of Poppy.
This was better than I expected. Poppy is very reminiscent of Mrs. Frisby. Recommended for students who like talking animal stories, but aren't quite ready for Redwall or Watership Down.
Apr 05, 2014 Brit added it
Category: Modern fantasy
Author: Avi
Illustrator: Brian Floca
Title: Poppy (Dimwood Forest #1)
Publication date: 1995
Brief annotation: Poppy the deer mouse and her family must brave the journey to move to a field of corn that will keep them well fed, even at the cost of being eaten by the owl Mr. Ocax.
Themes: Fantasy, talking animals, animals, bravery, journey, food chains
Ways to use the book with children: Highlight how to be brave in the face of great danger, problem-solving skills, some children...more
Roslyn Daly
This extraordinary story about the adventures of a little mouse will keep readers sitting on the edge of their seats! Even though they are animals they take on real human emotions and traits: they tell lies and manipulate one another; they are vain and pompous; they are fearful and also brave.
After reading this book aloud to my 3rd graders, I hope that they will come to understand how important it is for even the smallest and weakest of us to stand up for what we believe in. Bullies cannot be...more
Listened to the audiobook version of this in the car, and the boys LOVED it! They listened avidly and lived Poppy's disasters and triumphs right along with her. They were especially fond of Ereth and all his crazy sayings - he had them giggling whenever he talked. Definitely a good family story. Thanks to Shannon for the recommendation which motivated me to get my rear end in gear and procure this story in a more timely manner.

The boys couldn't wait to start the next book in the Series and are...more
hey maddie do you remember this one too
Aug 12, 2014 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Sarah by: my mother (4th grade teacher)
Shelves: books-i-loved
I thought this book was extremely clever. The reading level is manageable for a younger child, but the ideas are grandiose enough for anyone - even up to a high school level. The shifting perspectives between villain and heroine increase the tension. The hero, though meek, becomes mighty. The status quo is questioned, and the consequences for failure are very real. Unlike other children's books I've read, the stakes are very high; the book not only mentions death but describes it in gruesome det...more
Poppy knows that she and Ragweed shouldn’t have ventured out onto the hill. After all, Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over not only the mice but all the creatures of Dimwood Forest, has forbidden them from being there. But she didn’t expect Mr. Ocax to exact such terrible punishment. He swoops down, captures Rawgeed, and carries him off into the night!

Poppy rushes home, devastated. She begs her father, the mice’s delegate to speak with Mr. Ocax, to ask him to forgive her. He agrees, but only on the...more
This book was about a mouse named Poppy and her family of a lot of mouses, Poppy has to go find food for her family because their food was mysteriously disappearing. From there, it was up to Poppy to find food for her 60 brothers and sister mice. She decided to go to a nearby farm to find corn for her family, on the way there she endured a string of a few thunderstorms and she met a hungry owl named Mr. Ocox, will this be the end of Poppy and her family or will she make it to the farm for the f...more
My niece and nephew were not interested in having me read Poppy to them. Both of them are adverse to "killing," as my niece calls it, and there is a horrid death in the first chapter of this book, and another intense death in one of the final chapters. So, at the kids' request, I did not read this book to them.

I read it, however, and I thought it was really well done. It was exciting, intense, and inspiring. The language was not "dumbed down" for kids, nor was the seriousness of the situations f...more
Paola M
Sep 30, 2008 Paola M rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Paola M by: Paola Ortiz
Poppy By: AVI
Just realize what a great writer is AVI, he has such a powerful and creative imagination. Writing a fantasy book like Poppy is not easy, it might be a fiction book but at the same time you learn so much from it and from its characters, that it is extremely fun and attractive. The author describes so detailed the characters you can actually image them exactly as they are
(Ex: Poppy and ragweed.) All the book explains the big problem: MR OCAX so you are always in suspense. AVI in the...more
Anna rated this book with "four stars." It was easy to read aloud. The language has a flow as though written for reading aloud; each chapter leaves the reader hanging, making Anna beg for more.

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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2009 Erica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: late grade school kids
What a wonderful story. I picked this up to do a book talk for third grader's at my library. I was concerned about finishing it in a few days but I had no problems because I didn't want to put this book down. My husband laughed when I said I was going to sit down and read for just 7 or 8 minutes. :)

A wonderful story of bravery and courage. Poppy and her family live near a forest and Mr. Ocax, the horned owl rules the forest. Poppy's boyfriend, Ragweed, becomes Mr. Ocax's dinner after he and Pop...more
Wow! What a wonderful book. Because of the immaculate craftsmanship of its writing, Poppy by Avi and illustrated by Brian Floca, is a must-read for anyone of any age. Set in Dimwood forest, it tells a story of courage, opression, and cowardice. Poppy is a young deer mouse. From birth, she and her siblings have been taught to avoid porcupines at all costs. The tyrannical Mr. Ocax "protects" the mice from them, but in exchange, the mice must ask permission to move around Dimwood. When the mice ove...more
Jennifer Petro
Jun 07, 2012 Jennifer Petro rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pre-Redwall readers in grade school
Shelves: animals
Although I like YA fiction and fantasy, Poppy was a little too "young" for me, I think. It would be perfect for a grade schooler who likes animal fantasy stories. It's easy and breezy to read.

However, there is a dark thread running through the story of Poppy that contrasts starkly with its simple style. Avi's touch is super-light, and he almost seeks to draw attention away from it, but it's there: a character is killed by an owl right in the beginning. Not just any character, but Poppy's boyfrie...more
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Read this instead 1 10 Feb 28, 2013 09:08AM  
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  • There's an Owl in the Shower
  • Abel's Island
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  • Silverwing (Silverwing, #1)
  • Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #1)
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  • The World According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #1)
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use."
Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and The Crispin series. His work is very much desired by readers young and old.
More about Avi...
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Crispin #1) Nothing But the Truth The Seer of Shadows Midnight Magic

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