Poppy And Rye
Ages 8 to 12
Unabridged Audiobook (CD)
Narrated by John McDonough
Recorded Books, 1998, 1-4025-5426-5
With her love, Ragweed, now gone, a grieving Poppy decides that she must take the news of his death to Ragweed’s parents. With Ereth, her prickly, difficult and constantly swearing porcupine friend in tow, Poppy sets off to find The Brook. It is not an easy place to find but finally, just when she is about to give up, she finds Ragweed’s family. It is of course a very sad time but for Poppy it is also a very exciting time for she has met someone, Rye, who makes her heart flutter and whom she cannot seem to get out of her mind.
In his turn Rye, who just happens to be Ragweed’s younger brother, thinks Poppy is the most delightful mouse he has ever met. Unfortunately a great deal stands in path of this love struck couple. A team of beavers has decided to dam The Brook and now everything is simply quite dreadful. Rye’s family is forced to move as the waters rise and everyone begins to wonder what the pushy and aggressive beavers are going to do next. When Rye is kidnapped Poppy is determined not to abandon the mouse she barely knows but whom has quite stolen her heart.
Avi has crafted a truly masterful tale in this third book in the Dimwood forest series. It is both a love story and an adventure tale complete with heroes, villains, cowards, and a curmudgeonly porcupine who tries very hard not to love anyone. Powerful and vibrant characters struggle with the many complications in life that are all too familiar to us: love, loss, grief, and fear. In the end they discover that they cannot give in to bullies and that they have to fight for what they believe in.
With wonderful energy and enthusiasm John McDonough makes the creatures in this story come to life. Though Poppy and Rye are clearly the main characters, McDonough gives Ereth such a vibrant personality that we cannot help falling for him and laughing at his appalling remarks. Stumping along saying things like “sticky roach toes” and “slug splat” Ereth is just the kind of friend we would all like to have at our sides when things go wrong.
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