Pilu of the Woods

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

A lovely book. The art style was very cute, and the color palette was refreshing. Story can be improved a little (by focusing on the origin of little monsters and the promise Willow gave to her mother).
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I loved the art. It was very cute and fit with the story very well. The characters were well developed and original. My only issue was with the story which felt forced, like the author was fitting too much in a short space. Everything happened too fast.
Nevertheless I loved how the art accentuated the story
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Pilu of the Woods is a magical story that explores family and grief. The art is saturated with color and texture and adorable on top of being perfect for the tone of the story. Pilu is a sympathetic character who I followed with love while wishing her all the best. The story deals with grief gracefully, sensitively, and in a way that's understandable to younger audiences. It also offers light and hope in the face of darkness. I would love to read more by Mai K. Nguyen.
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This is a nice book.

First of all, as soon as I opened it up, I was floored. The art is absolutely stunning, I love everything about it. The roundness of the characters, the colours, everything works.

And okay, this isn’t the most complex story I’ve ever read, but it takes an interesting approach to serious topics. And in the end it left me feeling happy, not only for the characters but also for the fact that I got to be there with them for the ride.

Rating: 4 stars

“We gotta be careful not to hurt the things around us because nothing’s really gone forever… not words, not things, not people, everything leaves a little mark.”
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This is a sweet children’s book and I loved the social emotional aspect. I will definitely share this title with students and other educators.
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I thought this was a beautiful graphic novel with stunning art and a gorgeous story. I truly don't know what more to say
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Overall a very good message about not trying to close off from your feelings because then they explode. However, I'm not wild about personifying emotions as 'monsters.' Enjoyed the art overall but found some panels to be confusingly drawn or extraneous.
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This story by Mai is very heartwarming and cute! The art is wonderful and full of beautiful colors. It has strong messages in it as well. Although the story is supposed to be for children, I enjoyed it a lot. A highly recommended read.
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This was such a sweet read. The artwork was amazing, the plot was heartwarming, and the characters were surprisingly well developed for such a quick read. There is not much that can be said without spoiling the story, but I will say that I quickly grew attached to Willow and her little monsters. Growing up is a struggle, but it is part of all of us and once we accept the crazy range of emotions that we experience, we are better able to manage them and accept them as part of being human.
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An enjoyable graphic novel that deals with nature, loss, and emotions that we don't necessarily mean to have but do any ways. Willow, after a fight with her sister runs into the woods where she meets a forest spirit Pilu. She's determined to help the spirit get home, but the two of them talk about emotions and "little monsters" that Willow thinks aren't real but end up being real in the end. This book is great at exploring the woods, about showing and educating the reader of different plants in a way that doesn't feel like learning. They talk about being angry, lonely, and other bad emotions, explaining it in a way that makes sense, making it into something real so that it's something you can face. 

The artwork was also beautifully done. And I love that the end of book has it's own nature journal for readers. It was a real joy to read.
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Oh my God! This book! So deep and emotional!


I would love to thank Mai K. Nguyen, Oni Press and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

I totally recommend this graphic novel book!
The illustrations are perfect and the story is very heartwarming!
We see the story of Willow, a girl who struggles with her emotions (we can actually see them as little black monsters, which is really accurate and cool!) and she is running away from home after she's got into a fight with her big sister.

She's going into the woods where she finds Pilu, a lost tree spirit girl and they become good friends. Willow wants to help Pilu find her way home.

Along the way they encounter a few problems, but they manage to escape, while Willow learns how to befriend her emotions and we learn more about her.

The end is very satisfying and I loved it! I recommend this book for every person, no matter how old are you!
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Blogger at Momotips 

Thanks to Netgalley and Oni Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.

Pilu of the Woods it’s a lovely comic created for children with a message in it. It talks about friendship and feelings, how to behave in difficult moments and what losing a person means, even more when you are just a child. The drawings are beautiful, and I particularly enjoyed the pastel colors. The story is really nice, and I loved how nature is presented. In this story Pilu is only one of the main characters, and her first meeting with Willow make both understand their mistakes. It is a wonderful story for children, who would easily relate to what happened in the story.
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This doesn't hit the emotional note it's trying to reach. But the illustrations are beautiful and it's always lovely to see children in nature in stories. Kids have been checking it out--in fact one just did minutes ago!
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Loved it! Beautiful illustration style and a lovely story - a really stunning magical graphic novel.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this
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There’s nothing I don’t love about Pilu of the Woods. First, Mai K Nguyen’s art is completely adorable and a joy to look at. I took my time reading this book because I wanted to appreciate the artistry that went into it and if you consider yourself a lover of visual arts, this one’s for you.

Willow, our main character, often keeps her emotions bottled up. When she gets into an argument with her sister one day, Willow runs away from home and into the forest where she meets Pilu, a young, distraught tree spirit. Willow and the tree spirit have quite a few things in common: they both ran away from home after fighting with their family. Hearing Pilu’s story helps Willow reflect on her personal situation. As she comforts Pilu, Willow simultaneously sees her own struggles and actions in a new light.

“…but are you gonna just hide here until the bad things go away… all alone?”

Watching Willow and Pilu’s friendship develop in a short amount of time was so precious to me. I love how they connected with each other, and encouraged one another, all while having fun as kids exploring the forest.

I recommend Pilu of the Woods to readers of all ages. It’s a great reminder that it’s okay not to be okay, that just because we can’t see something, it doesn’t mean it’s not important. Willow struggled with what she called ‘angry little monsters’ in her head, and how she sometimes lets them take over and cause her to lash out at those she loves.

“They keep growing and growing while you’re not looking… they can make your mind all hot and foggy. And then… before you know it… the little monsters aren’t so little anymore. And the only way to make them go away is to say the worst things you never wanted to say.”

This wonderful story reminded me that everything leaves a mark: our words, our actions, our memories, and how we have to be careful not to let them hurt those around us. With Pilu’s help, Willow starts to realize that ignoring those ‘monsters’ isn’t the best way to deal with them and she has to face them head on… and listen.

We all need friends who help us be a bit braver and who’ll tell us it’s okay to cry sometimes, while holding our hand as we find our way back home. Pilu of the Woods is one of the most heartfelt and vulnerable stories I’ve ever read, and one I’m bound to read over and over again.
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I thought this was a cute graphic novel! I loved the art style, and the story was so sweet and had a beautiful meaning behind it. I loved the characters and I thought their story was amazing! I liked the idea behind Willow learning to control her feelings, and learning to handle them in a more positive way! She learns to deal with her monsters (emotions), after a big fight with her sister. This fight allowed her to meet Pilu, a forest spirit. I loved it and I loved their friendship. This novel may be middle grade. but it's definitely for everyone, and anymore can read it and learn from it as well.
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This graphic novel follows Willow who runs into the woods after a fight with her big sister, there she finds Pilu a tree spirit who has ran away from home and is now lost. Willow promises to help Pilu find her way back to her family and along the way Willow comes face to face with her inner feelings and must decide whether she will embrace them or run from them. This graphic novel does a beautiful job of portraying loss, grief and loneliness and I love the characters and the friendship that blooms between Willow and Pilu is so precious. The artwork in this is also gorgeous.

I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.
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I was utterly 3nchanted by the cover of this book, so I was already inclined to enjoy it going in. I needed it to be a good story. And it was. It's predictable, sure. But I liked the message. That the answer to anger and fear isn't to repress your emotions but  to acknowledge them, to evaluate and address, not to cover up. And even if the  actual plot leaves you cold, the art is so appealing I think I'd be entertained just flipping through it.
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I screamed with happiness when I saw that Pilu of the Woods had finally been listed on NetGalley.

& for all the wrong reasons.

Well, a lot of right reasons but one big wrong one.

Pillu is a very naughty word in Finnish and its one of the few words my FinFriends have taught me. So even though I knew this middle grade graphic novel would not be one of a naughty nature I still knew I needed to read it.

The right reasons for reading it were the art, the dog, and the leaves!

Yes as always here I go judging a graphic novel by its cover. Fight me. It usually works well.

It did this time too – spoilers: I rated it 5 stars.

This story follows Willow and Chicory the dog as they stomp off into the woods after a disagreement with their sister. Whilst simmering away in their negative feelings they hear someone else crying.

Luckily Chico is very good at breaking the ice and helping Willow and Pilu to become friends.

Pilu is sad after a fall out with her mother, and family, too and ended up getting lost in the woods.

Luckily Willow loves the woods and knows where Pilu lives – thanks to exploring them a lot with her mother. She also loves Pilu’s hair! That has leaves!

Guiding Pilu through the woods the two discuss their sad feelings and figuring out the best way to approach and deal with them.

Willow personifies and bottles up her “monsters” (bad feelings) causing them to engulf her and altering how she handles tough situations.

Her description (and visualisation) of negative feelings is very handy for the readers this story is aimed at, but also for older readers. It makes us reconnect with our feelings and be aware that bottling up bad things isn’t healthy or handy for us. The bottle is likely to get too full and burst! Englufing our lives and making things difficult.

Pilu is super helpful in guiding Willow on how she could approach her monsters better, learn to live with and listen to them, as what she is currently doing isn’t working.

As Pilu gets closer to home she has doubts about returning, concerned that her family might not even care she’s gone given her family is so large.

But Willow is able to share some sound advice to her which she’s learnt from her wise Mother. Willow reflecting on Pilu and her family also makes her come to terms with being a better sister.

Working together the three really help cheer each other up, come to terms with their mistakes, and become good friends.

I’d love to see the two in another story as I could definitely see these three (hi I didn’t forget the lovely Chico)  becoming part of a series for young readers and tackling real life issues in realistic ways with a little bit of magic.

Below is how Willow visualises her little monsters: [images]

This is a graphic novel that I truly adored and love to own and reread whenever I’m down as a nice reminder to tackle my little monsters when I have the strength.

I also think the art talks for itself – its beautiful! Very approachable for its target audience.

content warning for grief, parents death, and bullying.
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A middle grade graphic novel with a beautiful story and equally beautiful illustrations. I liked it so much.
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