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About Brian Floca
Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (revised and expanded in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing); Lightship; The Racecar Alphabet; and Five Trucks. His most recent book is Keeping the City Going, a tribute to healthcare and other essential workers who stayed on the streets and on the job during the Covid-19 pandemic, published in April, 2021.
Brian has illustrated Avi's Poppy Stories series, including the series' newest addition, Ragweed & Poppy; Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring; Laura Amy Schlitz's Princess Cora and the Crocodile; and Hawk Rising, by Maria Gianferrari.
In addition to the Caldecott Medal, Brian's books have received four Robert F. Sibert Honor awards for distinguished informational books, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and have twice been selected for the annual New York Times Best Illustrated Books list.
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Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner * ALA Notable Book * ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice * School Library Journal Best Book
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.
“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
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.
The first book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca, is available as an ebook for the first time!
A mouse has to do what a mouse has to do. Ragweed is determined to see the world. He leaves his family and cozy country home and sets off by train for the big city. What wonders await him: music, excitement, new friends...and cunning, carnivorous cats!
Silversides is the purring president of F.E.A.R. (Felines Enraged About Rodents), a group dedicated to keeping cats on top, people in the middle, and mice on the bottom. Can Ragweed and his motley yet musical crew of city nice—Clutch, Dipstick, Lugnut, and Blinker—band together to fight their feline foe?
The fourth book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca, is available as an ebook for the first time!
Erethizon Dorsatum—better known as Ereth, the self-centered, foul-tempered old porcupine—is having a birthday. And he fully expects his best friend Poppy, a deer mouse, to help him celebrate in a grand manner.
But Poppy has gone off somewhere with her husband, Rye, and it appears she has forgotten all about it. "Belching Beavers," says Ereth, "I am not angry!" (Though, perhaps he is—and more than just a little.)
Ereth knows his special occasion deserves a special treat—even if he has to get it for himself. And what treat could be more special than tasty salt? But the nearest salt is located deep in the forest, in a cabin occupied by fur hunters, who have set out traps to capture the Dimwood Forest animals. In one of the traps, Ereth finds Leaper the Fox—who, with her dying breath, begs the prickly porcupine to take care of her three boisterous young kits, Tumble, Nimble, and Flip. "Jellied walrus warts!" Ereth exclaims, but reluctantly agrees.
Certainly this day is not going as he planned—and it's only just the beginning! Not only does Ereth suddenly have a rambunctious new family to take care of, but he's being stalked by Marty the Fisher, the one creature in Dimwood Forest who can do him harm. And Bounder, the father of the three little foxes, remembers all too well the nose full of quills he got a while back from the grumpy old animal who now fancies himself the leader of the den. He too sets out to show Ereth who's boss.
Throw in an unexpected snowstorm, and all in all, it adds up to one birthday Ereth the porcupine is never going to forget, not even if he lives to be a hundred and twenty-two!
The third book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca
Heartbroken over the death of her fiance, Ragweed, Poppy the deer mouse journeys west through the vast Dimwood Forest to bring the sad news to Ragweed's family. But Poppy and her prickly porcupine pal Ereth arrive only to discover that beavers have flooded the serene valley where Ragweed lived.
Together Poppy and Ragweed's brother Rye brave kidnapping, imprisonment, and a daring rescue to fight the beavers. At the same time, Rye—who has lived in Ragweed's shadow—fights to prove himself worthy of Poppy's love.
Brian Floca explores Apollo 11’s famed moon landing with this newly expanded edition of Moonshot!
Simply told, grandly shown, and now with eight additional pages of brand-new art and more in-depth information about the historic moon landing, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery—a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.
It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with descriptive details of the journey: the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
Come sit inside the caboose, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!
The fifth book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca, is available as an ebook for the first time!
There's trouble at Gray House, the girlhood home that Poppy left long ago. Poppy's family has called her back to save them all—mother, father, sisters and brothers, and dozens and dozens of deer mouse cousins.
Poppy invites her rebellious son, Junior, to join her on the long trip across Dimwood Forest, hoping the journey will bring them closer together.
But with Junior's skunk pal, Mephitis, and Ereth, the cantankerous porcupine, in tow—sugared slug soup!—Poppy and Junior may be in for unexpected adventure.
All year long Lily and Liam look forward to the holidays at their grandparents’ farm. It’s always the perfect trip: walking to the lilac library, trimming the tree, giving gifts. But this year, thanks to a white cow alone in the meadow, things will be different. This holiday, Lily and Liam will find out the meaning of a special gift.
This holiday classic from a beloved author rings in the season by celebrating the joys of family, community, and true giving.
The sixth book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca
Has Ereth lost Poppy forever?
Poppy, a deer mouse, has spent the long winter curled up inside her tree snag home in Dimwood Forest. When the ground thaws and life returns to the woods, Poppy sets out in search of excitement. Suddenly, swooped up by Luci the bat, Poppy is flying high over the forest.
Meanwhile Poppy’s best friend, Ereth the grumbling porcupine, who was with Poppy when she vanished, is convinced that she has died. He sets out to give her the best funeral ever. Can Poppy find her way out of the bats’ cave to set Ereth straight and return home after the adventure of a lifetime?
Marty McGuire would rather spend recess catching frogs in the pond than playing dress-up with the other girls in third grade. So when her teacher casts Marty as the princess in the class play, Marty's absolutely, positively sure that there's been a huge mistake. But after a special lesson in the art of improvisation, Marty comes up with her OWN plan to IMPROVE the play: Why use stuffed-animal frog onstage when a live one would be so much better? In the end, Marty's one-of-a-kind performance makes for an unforgettable show. Maybe Marty CAN live happily ever after, after all!
Marty McGuire's third-grade class has a special assignment: Save the Earth! Even more exciting, the best project wins a special award. Marty's pretty sure her classmates' ideas won't stand a chance against her plan to turn the garbage from the school cafeteria into fertilizer. All she needs is a little help from her teammate and best friend, Annie--and the worms in her grandma's garden.
But it turns out that worms are awfully SLOW eaters. And when the critters escape, the whole class starts grumbling. Can Marty save the Earth without losing her friends?
Once, lightships anchored on waters across America, on the oceans and in the Great Lakes, floating where lighthouses could not be built. Smaller than most ships, but more steadfast, too, they held their spots, through calm and storm, to guide sailors toward safe waters.
In these pages one lightship and her crew (and cat) again hold their place. The crew goes again from bow to stern, from keel to mast, to run their engines, shine their lights, and sound their horns.
They run the small ship that guides the large ships. They are the crew (and cat) that work to make the ocean safe, that hold their place, so other ships can sail.