Poppy Loves Devon – Gillian Young

Published By: Matador
Pages: 240
Released On: 24/05/2022

Poppy wants to befriend anything that moves, but she’s never successful. It seems all the other animals find her too big, loud and boisterous. Dad is convinced she needs a playmate, but Poppy’s unsure. She enjoys the fuss and attention from her family so much, she is not willing to share. The choice is taken away from her when one day a puppy comes along.

However, Poppy soon discovers the puppy is lost and alone. Her big heart and caring nature kicks in when she discovers a monster lurking in a nearby wood. Poppy must act fast to save the farm, her family – and the puppy. Meanwhile, a handsome border collie ticks all the boxes as the ’perfect’ dog – but is he?


Thanks to Matador and Literally PR for the gifted proof of this title in return for an honest review and a place on the book tour.

This is actually a sequel to “Poppy on Safari”. I hadn’t actually heard of it before and therefore hadn’t read it, but it doesn’t matter. This is a standalone book that is perfectly enjoyable on its own, but I think reading the whole series (and any future stories) would give you more feeling towards the characters, and you’d get more involved in the nuances of the story.

Yes this is clearly a children’s book, but at 29, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Adult books can be so miserable and serious and full of heartbreak (which I do also enjoy and will continue to read), but it’s nice now and again to get lost in a child’s (or in this case, dog’s) world of fun and laughter.

The book is so sweet. There’s an innocence and naivety about Poppy’s narration that you often forget she’s a dog and take her to be a young child and it’s so fresh and joyful.

There are some books that have an animal or a pet as the main narrator that are too inconsistent in their style and that ruins the flow, but the storytelling and narration is clear from the off and it doesn’t let up at any point.

I really liked the description of Poppy’s family. Obviously they’re told from her perspective, but you get a real feel for this normal, everyday family. The introduction of other dogs was a nice touch as you can see the real difference between the breeds which gives a nice balance to Poppy.

It is mostly a happy, jolly book, but there are a few moments of stress, sadness, fear, which I think is perfectly suited for a children’s book, it’s just about how you handle it, and I think Gillian has hit the right balance.

I’m not sure if it’s Gillian herself who has created the illustrations or if she’s had an artist do them, but they’re very cute. They’re simple, black and white illustrations at the start of chapters. They’re not imposing or intrusive in anyway, but they just give a little visual assistance for that chapter.

This book made me think of my own dog, a loving but insane Jack Russell/Dachshund mix. I often wonder what he’s thinking about or talking about – knowing him, it’s probably food. Or sleep.

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