“Even something very small can make a BIG difference”
The theme of Poppy and the Blooms, the latest picture book by Fiona Woodcock, will appeal to little children who so often feel powerless in a grown up world. Four flower friends prove that with some determination and teamwork you can make a difference, whatever your size.
I really loved Fiona Woodcock’s cover illustration – the subtle colours and soft lines are a pleasant change in a market full of bright and bold illustration. The characters themselves at first seem very traditional with their big petal dresses and huge hats – until you notice that the flower girls are all sitting on skateboards!
One day, Poppy wakes up with a strange feeling in her tummy. We aren’t quite sure why, but this feeling seems to compel her to take her friends to the city, where they discover the last park is being closed down. As the friends dash around trying to find the park, they encourage each other to keep going when things get tough.
The girls explore together, skateboarding and parachuting round the city and discovering that little pockets of beautiful flowers are growing in hidden, secret places. As they travel, Poppy and her friends shed their seeds and by the end of the story they look back and see the results of their magic.
While there are a few unanswered questions (Is the dilapidated park going to be restored? How does Poppy always know where to go?) there are so many positives about the book – especially as role models for girls.
The flower characters are beautiful and wear fabulous dresses and accessories – but these don’t hold them back on their physical and exciting adventures. When things get tough or scary, the girls show their fear or fatigue, but face the challenges with determination, grit and humour.
Poppy and the Blooms is a different sort of picture book for anyone who wants to make a mark on their world.
Fiona Woodcock is the author and illustrator. Her website is coming soon at http://www.fionawoodcock.com