The perils of imagination reach their peak when a little girl unleashes an extraordinary ability.
The daughter of two sane, sedate, dull-as-dishwater parents, pale-skinned, red-haired Poppy Pickle cultivates a magnificent imagination that goes unappreciated. Sent to clean her room, Poppy instead discovers that she now has the ability to bring whatever she imagines to life. From a monocled mammoth and a “philosophical beaver” to an “uptight garden gnome,” Poppy allows her thoughts to go wild. Too wild, as it happens. All methods of dispersing the loony troupe prove ineffective, until Poppy imagines something simple: a door. Her parents, aghast at the wreckage left behind in her room, don’t believe a word of Poppy’s explanation. That is, until that monocled mammoth makes a significant reappearance. Poppy’s desperation to hide her horde is a bit inexplicable, as she’s clearly in more trouble without them than with them. That quibble aside, Yarlett renders Poppy as an irrepressible and irresistible ball of energy. There’s little difficulty believing she’d conjure up a ghost octopus (or “ghostopus”) given half the chance. The art, akin to that of Oliver Jeffers, is filled with tiny details that also add to the fun, and the creatures’ dialogue, spoken in bubbles, will elicit chuckles.
Moral of the story: an excess of imagination may get you into trouble, but it’s clearly worth it. (Picture book. 4-6)