Poppy’s Best Paper by Susan Eaddy

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw Poppy’s Best Paper, I knew that my three girls would love it. This delightful picture book was written by Susan Eaddy and illustrated by Rosilande Bonnet.

Poppy is an enthusiastic little rabbit full of joie de vivre. Some might also call her “spirited”. Poppy wants to be a writer when she grows up, so when her class receives an assignment to write about what they want to be when they grow up, Poppy doesn’t spend a lot of time on her paper, but she is sure that she is going to be the one whose paper is read aloud by the teacher. When she isn’t picked, she huffs and doesn’t congratulate her best friend, whose paper was the one read aloud. When this scenario is repeated the next day, Poppy throws a tantrum and continues to misbehave at home. Can she pull herself and write the perfect paper?

My girls really enjoyed this book, and so did I. My second grader, in particular, found this book easy to relate to. She spent the school year writing various types of essays, and understood the importance of always doing your best. At the beginning of the book, Poppy procrastinates and rushes to finish her essays. One of the things that I always tell my daughters is that when it comes to schoolwork, being the fastest usually doesn’t make you the best. Poppy demonstrates this with her last paper when she takes her time and avoids calling her friend or repeatedly sharpening her pencil.

My younger girls are not writing papers in school yet, but they could appreciate the other big lesson in this book: the importance of making amends. Poppy behaves rudely in class, she is rude at home (the girls loved when Poppy called her brother “Scraggle Tail”), and worst of all, she is rude to her best friend. Poppy is truly sorry for her behavior, and this is reflected in her final essay. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s important to apologize.

The illustrations are adorable. Poppy is a cute little rabbit, and her best friend Lavender is a fox. One of my twins loves foxes, so she was very happy to see Lavender, even if she wasn’t the main character. The illustrations rendered in a fairly simple manner, but this fits well with the sweet story. There are a lot of details in the background, and my girls enjoyed pointing out the things they saw.

I would absolutely recommend Poppy’s Best Paper. This story has broad appeal- older preschoolers will enjoy it, but children in elementary school can relate to writing papers. There are lessons to be learned, and Poppy is a refreshing young heroine; I know my girls and I would love to see more of her adventures!

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