Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Poppy and Ereth
Books finished months and months apart from each other can sometimes be brought together by their publishing schedules and so now, hot on the heels of Moonshot, comes Poppy and Ereth, by Avi, released today.
The Poppy Stories series concludes with this book, which is a bittersweet thing for me. The series has kept me working with Avi, which has been a pleasure and privilege. It has meant the chance to return to characters and settings I enjoy, and to illustrate stories that I always find engaging and rewarding. And, it has kept some variety alive and kicking in my portfolio; I love pen and ink and watercolor, but it’s pleasing, also, sometimes to settle in with a pencil and follow the details. (In a folder somewhere I have the drawings I did for editor Richard Jackson when we were talking about whether the illustrations for the first Poppy should be done in pen-and-ink or pencil. I tried both, and the pencil just felt a better fit for the tone and setting of the story. I couldn’t have imagined that that decision would stay with me the way it has.)
Now a small caveat: the drawings here hit some bumps on the way to the printer. The map in the beginning of the book does not look as it should. The cover art was altered, so that Ereth’s teeth, which should be orange — strange as it might seem, porcupines have lurid, unattractive, and very orange teeth — are now pearly white. None of this made me feel very good. E-mails were exchanged. Future printings and editions will fix these and other small problems, which I do appreciate. Meanwhile, I don't steer you away from this edition. You might even consider first edition Poppy and Ereths to be collector’s items. They might make a pretty good investment. Eh? Maybe? Check with your financial advisor before making bulk purchases.
So, Poppy and Ereth, out today. It has tooth enamel issues but is a good story and a fitting conclusion to a series that means a lot to me. I hope you’ll pick it up and that you enjoy the book!
ADDENDUM: To see the original cover art — and Ereth in all his orange-toothed glory — click here.