Top positive review
A superb insertion into the Dimwood Forest series. Fits between #1 Ragweed, and the #2 Poppy.
Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2020
I have truly enjoyed the Dimwood Forest series of books for something like twenty years. I believe Poppy was the first book written and then other followed, with Ragweed written as a prequel. I have not traced down the exact publishing dates of all the books. I read all these books to my children and also each year I go into a third grade classroom and do read aloud time with the books. (Hopefully can do that again, if the pandemic allows)
Anyway, I was overjoyed when I learned a new book was available for the series. Avi has "written into the gap" between the book "Ragweed" which chronologically is book #1 and the book "Poppy" which used to be chronologically #2.
If you are new to these wonderful books, you are in for a delight. They are all well written, have engaging characters, exciting storylines, and teach some biology along the way (in a subtle manner).
In this new book "Ragweed and Poppy," Ragweed (who is a golden mouse) has just completed his adventure in the town of Amperville where he had traveled "a mouse has to do, what a mouse has to do." He encountered two cats and helped a bunch of mice to stand up for themselves and help each other. Clutch and Blinker as two of his new friends in Amperville. The book Ragweed ends with Ragweed boarding a train heading out of Amperville and toward Dimwood Forest.
In the book, "Poppy" Ragweed is already in Dimwood Forest and is in a relationship with Poppy (no more spoilers about what happened in "Poppy" but it is poignant.
The book Ragweed and Poppy fills in the gap between those two books. Now, I will try not to give any spoilers, for this new book really has some amazing twist, turns, and funny elements. Ragweed meets a variety of other creatures; a snake, a baby raccoon, a momma raccoon, and even some humans. While there are a rare sprinkling of humans in the other books (the trappers in "Ereth's Birthday," and Silverside's owner in "Ragweed" for example) here in "Ragweed and Poppy" humans play a much larger role than in any of the other books. There also is much more about Gray House than in previous books.
The story works really well and is emotive much like the other books. It fits very nicely into the series, and has cameo appearance of some of my favorite characters.
Very well written.
Beautiful illustrations, and perhaps more illustrations per book than the other works. Brian Floca is an outstanding illustrator. Great work there. Wow, just beautiful artwork.
Funny, action-filled, and nice plot.
Good characters, and excellent dialogue.
No mention of Mr. Ocax which I thought might have added a bit of foreshadowing for the other books, especially in light of Lungwort's relationship with Mr. Ocax. I kept waiting for that touch of connection. Yes, this is a very minor point.
My grade a solid A work. Thank you, Avi, and Brian! Well done.