|Series||The Tales Of Dimwood Forest|
|Media type||(Hardcover) (Paperback)|
|Followed by||Poppy and Rye|
Poppy is a 1995 children's novel written by Avi. The novel was the first published of what became Avi's Poppy Stories series (at one time promoted by the publisher as "Tales From Dimwood Forest"). Within the narrative sequence of the series, it is the second book. The complete series is composed of Poppy, Poppy and Rye, Ragweed, Ereth's Birthday, Poppy's Return, and Poppy and Ereth.
In Dimwood Forest, a family of mice inhabit an abandoned farmhouse called Gray House. Poppy, a young deer mouse, dances with Ragweed, a golden mouse, on Bannock's Hill. However, Mr. Ocax, a Great Horned Owl who acts as a tyrannical ruler over the family, tries to catch both of the mice while they are distracted. Ragweed is caught; however, Poppy manages to escape with a mark on her nose caused by the owl's talons.
When Poppy returns, she learns that the family of mice must relocate to New House, where there is a more abundant food supply. However, the family is refused permission from Ocax to move to the area. His refusal makes Poppy curious, so she decides to travel to New House to verify Ocax's reasons. Ocax notices her departure and follows her. Poppy eventually stumbles upon Ereth, a porcupine, who protects Poppy when Ocax reveals himself. Ereth offers her continued protection from Ocax in exchange for the salt licker at New House.
Poppy is dropped off at the boundaries of New House and discovers that Ocax is afraid of a large artificial owl figure, which is why he refused the mice family permission to move. Poppy taunts Ocax about the figure but mistakenly reveals that it is fabricated. Ocax attacks Poppy, but is eventually defeated when Poppy stabs him with one of Ereth's quills. After learning of Ocax's death, the mice family move to New House, and Ereth receives the salt licker, which was knocked over by Ocax during the fight.
Poppy has been described by Kirkus Reviews as a "cute, but rather standard offering from Avi". The School Library Journal referred to it as a "fast-paced, allegorical animal story", noting "the underlying messages, to challenge unjust authority and to rely on logic and belief in oneself, are palatably blended with action and suspense."