Published by Little Steps Publishing, 2020.
Poppy Goes Wild is a delightful illustrated chapter book for younger readers. Its themes of conservation, mindfulness and finding peace in nature will resonate with many readers. Poppy is on a mission to save her grandad’s farm by returning the countryside to a time when flower meadows grew wild and native animals flourished. There’s a lot of work to do because, for many years, the farm has increasingly been run with little regard for nature – hedgerows have been ripped up, rivers straightened and every available field ploughed for crops.
Over the course of many months, Poppy and Grandad work hard to re-establish habitats for wildlife. They turn the farm’s largest field back into a hay meadow full of wildflowers, weave branches into a holt for otters, clear rubbish from the river, and create a safe crossing for hedgehogs across a busy local road. I really enjoyed how at its core the story had this intergenerational relationship between Poppy and her grandad.
The joyful illustrations capture the beauty and colour of the natural world, as well as Poppy’s excitement and enthusiasm. The endpapers are stunning too – a fabulously detailed map of the farm and all the different habitats that Poppy and her grandad create in the story.
Poppy has an infectious joie-de-vivre – racing to be up with the first crow of the cockerel, careering wildly across fields at the wheel of her grandad’s old tractor, and flinging herself head-first into raft-sailing on the river.
Above all, Poppy Goes Wild is a celebration of British wildlife: hares, skylarks, otters and kingfishers, the brilliant blue of the cornflower and the vibrant red of the poppy. It’s a reminder that we should do all we can to protect the natural world and take time to enjoy it too.
Suitable for children aged 6+
Thank you to Little Steps Publishing for sending me this book to review. I reviewed it as part of the Poppy Goes Wild blog tour where Nick talked to me about the process behind his writing journey for the book. Click here to read more.