Theule and Palacios bring a seeming wallflower to the fore.
Poppy Ann Fields likes bugs more than most other humans. With bugs, she can sit and quietly observe their amazing tiny worlds. At parties with people, Poppy prefers to blend in with her surroundings, hiding away and avoiding others and going about in her own pensive way—until a dragonfly alights on Grandma Phyllis’ 100th birthday cake. Poppy claps her hands in joy to see another arthropod friend, but her cheerful applause gets the attention of Uncle Dan, and soon the whole clan who have gathered to celebrate are looking at her. Poppy freezes but chooses to focus on the dragonfly, now sitting softly in her hand. In this moment Grandma Phyllis helps Poppy to see that she is no wallflower but instead truly a wildflower. Theule’s gentle storytelling reveals that what others may consider weaknesses, like Poppy’s quiet and keen observation, may actually be our greatest strengths. Palacios’ cheery illustrations are bright and playful but softly textured, a perfect match for our protagonist’s bright-eyed yet introverted curiosity. Poppy’s dark hair and medium-brown complexion make her ethnicity somewhat vague, and her extended family appears to be quite diverse.
A quiet, contemplative story that reminds readers to pause and enjoy the view. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)