Title: Poppy and the Stranger
Author: Eli Jay
Publisher: Outskirts Press
One can never get away from his or her shadow unless there is no light. In Eli Jay’s children’s book, Poppy and the Stranger, the idea of overcoming the fear of your own shadow while it is dark is discussed.
This forty-four page paperback book is nine by nine inches and depicts a large green balloon on a dull green background inspecting its reflection in a green pond. Both story and artwork are done by Eli Jay. There are simplistic drawings on almost every right side of the page with wording against a white background on the left side of the page. Only one misspelling was noted for emphasis, which might confuse a beginner reader. There are some more challenging words for a young reader but the book is easily understood by all age groups, young and old. Some of the modest pictures may be scary for some young children as they are night time scenes and the balloon has frightened or worried facial expressions.
In the newest edition of Jay’s writings, Poppy is a green balloon that is floating around in the evening and notices a stranger below him. Although there is no bright moon in some of the pictures, there is a dull yellow light on the almost sperm looking object. No matter if Poppy floats up, down or sideways, the stranger follows, concerning the confused balloon.
Trying to get away from the stranger, Poppy flees to the barren forest and looks for Ollie the owl’s help. Ollie suggests Poppy ask Gamble the fox who the stranger is but the fox recommends Seymour the snake. Seymour proposes he sees Lyndon the bear in his red house as he is the wisest and smartest of them all. Scared Poppy visits the bear and has a chat with him by the fireplace, complete with cocoa. Lyndon advises him that everyone has their own shadow, especially at night, and not to be afraid as it is not a stranger. When Poppy leaves to go home, he becomes brave and gets so close to the shadow that it disappears and he is no longer afraid.
This story may be good for a young child who understands darkness and light and how shadows appear. Since this reader does not know the contents of the first book, if it was about shadows during daytime, this would be a good second book. However, due to some of the frightening looks on Poppy’s face, it may make one more scared of the dark at first.