Groundwood. Feb. 2024. 216p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781773068626.
Gr 4-7–Poppy and her canine companion discover nature in a powerful statement on slowing down and opening up. Poppy’s mother has been struggling with the death of Gran—her mother and Poppy’s grandmother. Befriended by Rob who is a nature-lover, Poppy and her pup spend time each day uncovering the restorative power of the outdoors, which eventually also helps Poppy’s mother on her road to recovery after she relents to Poppy’s request to get outside. A story of relationships and connection, there are person-to-person and person-to-nature explorations that deepen the meaning of the story, no matter how readers engage with the book. The sparse dialogue is enhanced by the well-paced panel progression throughout, which gives space for understanding how animals and nature are transforming Poppy. Without cluttering the pages, Kurimoto intentionally chooses to allow readers to engage with the story at their own pace alongside the characters. In fact, there are plenty of pages without any dialogue or narration at all, permitting readers’ eyes to languidly peruse. Flora, fauna, and an occasional busted vehicle behind a gate can be found and savored within each frame. The overall effect is a quiet graphic novel with a muted palette and a loud message.
VERDICT This meditative experience is a necessary addition for celebrating the outdoors and providing another avenue for SEL for all ages.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing