Poppleton and Friends - book 2
Poppleton Everyday - book 3
Poppleton in Spring - book 5
Poppleton in Fall - book 6
Poppleton Has Fun - book 7
Poppleton in Winter - book 8
by Cynthia Rylant
illustrated by Mark Teague
children's books, 1997-2001
library books sixteen through twenty-two
If you want to have some reading fun, I heartily recommend this series of children's books by Cynthia Rylant featuring Poppleton the pig who
used to be a city pig. He did city things. He took taxis. He jogged in the park. He went to museums.
Then one day Poppleton got tired of city life. He moved to a small house in a small town.
I would love a spot just like this in my own house.
After he settles into his new house he meets the neighbors who become friends and are featured in later books. He spends every single Monday at the library reading, and he helps a sick friend swallow a pill.
Each of the following books also has three chapters; three glimpses into the life of Poppleton. In Poppleton and Friends, he tries to eat grapefruit because a 'man on TV said grapefruit made people live longer.' He hates it but he perseveres until his lips 'turned outside-in' and his eyes filled with tears. Finally his friend Hudson appears with his uncle, 'a very, very, very old mouse.' The secret to Uncle Bill's one hundred year old life? 'Friends.' Isn't that a lovely message?
There's a very funny chapter in Poppleton Everyday when his friend Fillmore takes him sailing. Poppleton didn't know what to do, and Fillmore tells him to 'just sit back and relax.' When the boat leans to one side, Poppleton says,
"I am not relaxed, Fillmore!"When the boat bounces on the waves, he again cries out,
"I AM NOT RELAXED!"And when it flips over,
"DEFINITELY NOT RELAXED!"When the trip is over, and Fillmore asks,
"Wasn't that fun?"Poppleton replies,
"Well, not all of it."Fillmore proceeds to tell him that the leaning and the bouncing and the flipping over were all fun. And Poppleton says,
I laughed right out loud when I read this.
In the spring, Poppleton does some spring cleaning, and ends up with even more stuff. In the fall, he meets some geese who are flying over and feeds them cookies. In Poppleton Has Fun, he goes to the movies alone, and misses the companionship of a comforting friend. And in the winter, he learns a new use for icicles.
The theme of friendship carries through each book.
I love 'homey' children's books. The world of the Grimm brothers is not for me, and as much as I've read that fairy tales are a good way for children to deal with frightening things, I didn't like them as a child, and I didn't read them to my own kids. I prefer kindly stories, with gentle lessons. And these Poppleton books suit me perfectly. I just loved them.
I got all these books through my library's Interlibrary Loan system. Each book came from a different library in my state, at no cost. What a gift to readers.