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Pilu of the Woods

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  4,822 ratings  ·  1,049 reviews
A heartwarming story of friendship, loss, and finding your way home from debut author/illustrator Mai K. Nguyen!

Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods.

There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree sp
Paperback, 151 pages
Published April 17th 2019 by Oni Press
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,822 ratings  ·  1,049 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so precious. MY HEART.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

My thoughts in a nutshell
It was cute! Perfect middle-grade book with a valuable lesson.

The story is about…
Skip over this point if you don't like the sneak peek.
A little girl, Willow, who is dealing with grief. The other kids in the school are bullying her because she likes books and nature. One day she has an awful fight with her sister and Willow runs away into the woods, where she meets the forest spirits who also runs away from home. They get to know each other and find out what will they
destiny ♡ howling libraries
Pilu of the Woods is an MG fantasy graphic novel about a little girl named Willow who gets in a fight with her big sister and goes running off into the woods, where she meets Pilu, a forest spirit. As they adventure together, Willow is forced to come to terms with her "monsters"—the emotions that cause her to lash out at her loved ones or to think poorly of herself—and she must learn how to take care of those feelings and deal with them in a healthy way, without hurting her family.

I don't know
Kayla Dawn
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
So freaking adorable 😭
Hannah Greendale
Beautiful illustrations, but a mess of ideas and subplots.
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Beautiful illustrations! And a great story about regulating your emotions, I think lots of middle grade readers will relate to this book a lot.
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Thank you Netgalley and Oni Press for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review

Pilu of the Woods is possibly one of the cutest MG graphic novels i have ever read. I don’t think I’ve ever cried while reading a graphic novel before this one. The story was about love, loss and grief, and it was perfect. It really touched my heart and I had some tears spilling by the end of it. The illustrations were gorgeous and I’m definitely going to pick up whatever Mai K. Nguyen writes from now on.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A gorgeous graphic novel about grief, friendship, and those finnicky things called emotions.

I think this is a great story about grief and losing a loved one for children. It may feel a little heavy-handed for adults, but for its intended target audience, I think it works perfectly. Gorgeous to look at, rich with metaphor and fantasy-like imagery that will ignite young imaginations, Pilu of the Woods is the kind of book that readers will treasure.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-2018, 2018
A heartwarming tale about friendship and how to deal with your feelings. This was obviously targeted for middle school age children, but there's enough there to like about it for all ages. The art is fantastic. It reads like a picture book in graphic novel form.

Willow has a fight with her sister and runs off into the woods. There she runs into a tree nymph that also has run away after a fight with her mother. As Willow helps her find her way home, they become friends while learning how to proce
I received an ARC of Pilu of the Woods from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

5 wonderful stars

I don't know how to describe this graphic novel... it is just something else.
The art is stunning and the color scheme and the way it changes throughout the story as the emotions change is really clever.
I found this graphic novel to be a masterpiece.
We follow a young girl (Willow) dealing with the grief of losing her mother, one day after arguing with her sister she runs into the woods near h
Giselle Bradley
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
I sobbed through this whole book. Pure perfection in story and art.
emily ☂︎
Feb 13, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022
just so lovely and delightful and kind
Dessa Mae
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"You know maybe, it's okay to cry sometimes."

WOW. I'm so glad that I discovered this gem on NetGalley!

First of all, I love the art so much! I couldn't stop geeking out about it on every page! I love the colors, which kinda has a watercolor feel to it and the super cute doodly and cartoony illustrations! SO GOOD!

The story is as lovely as the art. The protagonist, Willow, ran away to the woods after having a fight with her older sister. In the forest, she met a tree spirit, Pilu, who also ran
Reading_ Tamishly
Dec 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel is so damn precious. Just read it. All your life's regrets will come pouring out and you will absolutely feel like becoming a better person to yourself and to those close to you. The story is just fantastic. I love how character driven the story is. The illustrations and the colours are a joy. Experience this!

Trigger warning for loss of a loved one and handling grief.
Rod Brown
May 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love the art, especially that adorable dog!

But the story is a little girl's downbeat slog through a forest with a spiritless tree spirit as she comes to terms with loss and grief. Dull and predictable.
Lashaan Balasingam
A truly adorable and heartwarming story with cute artwork exploring a child's inner demons as he learns to embrace his emotions and share his journey towards forgiveness and love with a lost friend.

Yours truly,

Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer
Official blog: https://bookidote.com/
La Coccinelle
I really didn't like this one at all. The drawings weren't my thing, the story was both depressing and confusing, and the book was riddled with typos and odd style choices.

Pilu of the Woods, despite the title and the cover illustration, is actually about a girl named Willow who lives with her father and older sister, Linnea. She had a mother once, but she's dead now, and Willow is always getting in trouble because she doesn't know how to deal with her feelings. She bottles them up (literally) un
Dana Cristiana
Oh my God! This book! So deep and emotional!


I would love to thank Mai K. Nguyen, Oni Press and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

I totally recommend this graphic novel book!
The illustrations are perfect and the story is very heartwarming!
We see the story of Willow, a girl who struggles with her emotions (we can actually see them as little black monsters, which is really accurate and cool!) and she is running away from home after she's got into a fight with her
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
I received this an ARC copy from Netgalley.
I gave this a 4.5 out of five stars.

I really enjoyed the story and the art of this. It shows the loss of a parent and the hardships with it and being lonely. This is a middle grade graphic novel. Made me feel sad. I liked this and would continue with it if there was another to come out. I recommend this to people of all ages.
Samidha; समिधा
I teared up more times than I can count while reading this. It’s such a wholesome and emotional book, filled with such raw and pure scenes. Adding to that, the art work is stunning and reminds me so much of Katie O’Neil and her work.

Loved this one so much!
james ☆
Jun 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-ebooks
this book was beautiful in more ways than one.

the art style was absolutely precious, and i'm in actual love with the character design. but the story itself was also impactful, important, and emotional. so glad goodreads recommended this to me.
A heartfelt book that'll make you cry a little. Pilu of the Woods is a book about grief and friendship, which I know many people would love this graphic novel! ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Willow is feeling lost, figuratively and literally. She's just run away from her sister and her home to the woods where she once spent time with her mom. Her mom who's lost forever.


In the woods she meets Pilu, a tree spirit who is lost as well. Willow and Pilu's lives parallel each others in some ways. Willow and Pilu are both angry at their circumstances and don't know a way out their own turbulent anger. As Pilu starts talking about how she feels invisible and how she isn't sure she wants to g
This book offered exactly the quiet comfort nature does. It's one of the most beautiful (middlegrade) graphic novels I've ever read, because of its calm way of discussing some very heavy topics, like the loss of a parent, and feeling lonely and unwanted.

The art style is so beautiful, and I absolutely loved the soft, muted colours. This really matched and enhanced the story itself, just like the art work should in a graphic novel.

This is Nguyen's debut, and I'm very much looking forward to any gr
Danika at The Lesbrary
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a super cute book dealing with grief and anger, and how to healthily process those emotions. Mostly, I just adored the art. It's adorable, and all of the depictions of nature were beautiful.

I couldn't tell if this one is LGBTQ? (view spoiler)
Ximena Ruiz
Jun 27, 2022 rated it liked it
I wonder why nowadays all graphic novels are queer as fuck🤔
3.5 stars. A slightly confusing start to Willow’s story, which comes together as Willow must help Pilu, a tree spirit return to her home in the woods. Both Willow and Pilu have similar feelings, and learn from each other how to deal with their anger and upset.
I liked the artwork and the use of a restricted palette of colours. The storytelling needed a little firming up, but I liked how Willow had a better handle on her anger and sadness by the story’s end.
Jun 24, 2021 rated it really liked it

This is part of my 365 Kids Books challenge. For an explanation see my review for 101 Amazing Facts about Australia You can see all the books on their own shelf. Thanks to the marvelous people @chpublib and @ocplibraries who are keeping me supplied.I

Stupid life and having to do stuff has gotten in my way just lately, much of it the extra work needed to get everything cleared away in order to take a vacation. Meanwhile...

This is how stressed and emotionally mixed-up kids help each other through d
Sara the Librarian
This was a wonderful little fable that perfectly blends fantasy with real world problems in a way that resonates with grownups (me) and kiddos (my son). Mai K. Nguyen has an adorable, very playful hand as an illustrator and as a writer she's got a great handle on the intense, constantly shifting emotions of her two main characters; a young girl named Willow who is dealing with a difficult family situation and the tree spirit she encounters while hiking in the woods. Both girls are fighting with ...more
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pilu of the Woods was an absolute delight. The art hooked me from the very first page and the story was really gripping. I loved seeing Willow learn more about her feelings through her journey through the woods with her new friend, Pilu. This was a fantastic read from start to finish. I can't wait to read more books by Mai K. Nguyen.

C/W:(view spoiler)
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Mai is a Vietnamese-Japanese American comics creator, illustrator, and ice-cream enthusiast living in Northern California.

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