Pilu of the Woods

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Pub Date 16 Apr 2019 | Archive Date 27 Mar 2019

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Description

For fans of Hilda and the Troll comes PILU OF THE WOODS, a heartwarming and bittersweet story of friendship, loss, exploring complex emotions and finding your way home from debut creator Mai K. Nguyen. 

Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods. There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends.

But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet—which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger… and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.

For fans of Hilda and the Troll comes PILU OF THE WOODS, a heartwarming and bittersweet story of friendship, loss, exploring complex emotions and finding your way home from debut creator Mai K...


A Note From the Publisher

BONUS CONTENT: This final edition includes blank journal pages in the back to encourage readers to keep their own notes about nature and their feelings.

This title will be published simultaneously in hardcover and paperback.

BONUS CONTENT: This final edition includes blank journal pages in the back to encourage readers to keep their own notes about nature and their feelings.

This title will be published simultaneously...


Advance Praise

"Pilu of the Woods is a heartwarming tale full of natural wonder, with wise and lovely messages about coping with grief, facing your feelings, and learning to forgive yourself." - Katie O'Neill, Eisner Award-winning author of The Tea Dragon Society


"An incredible and imaginative story of life and loss. Readers will miss Pilu when the story ends, but she will resonate long after." –– Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery award-winning author of Hello, Universe


"In PILU OF THE WOODS, Mai K. Nguyen's stunning visuals bring an emotional narrative to life. Pick it up for the beauty, stay for the feels!" –– Gloria Chao, author of AMERICAN PANDA

"Pilu of the Woods is a heartwarming tale full of natural wonder, with wise and lovely messages about coping with grief, facing your feelings, and learning to forgive yourself." - Katie O'Neill...


Marketing Plan

Junior Library Guild selected title

ALA Midwinter promotion

National media coverage

Trade publication advertising

Online consumer advertising

Targeted blogger outreach

ARC Mailing campaign

Junior Library Guild selected title

ALA Midwinter promotion

National media coverage

Trade publication advertising

Online consumer advertising

Targeted blogger outreach

ARC Mailing campaign


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781620105511
PRICE CA$23.49 (CAD)

Available on NetGalley

Download (PDF)

Average rating from 235 members


Featured Reviews

I loed reading this beautiful graphic novel. The drawings are beautiful and the story is really nice and works well. I love how nature is present and also the personification of bad feelings with monsters. Kids can easily relate to that and the story works like a tale wonderfully.

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Simply my new favorite graphic novel. This book is beautiful. The illustrations are great and the color pallete goes amazing with the story.
The story makes you think about how you live your life, what matter to you and the importance you give to things that affect you. It teaches us that our inner demons won’t go away, they are a part of you, but what we can do is learn how to cope with them.

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Absolutely visually breathtaking and a testament to positive psychology principles. There are truly two wolves living inside all of us and the wolf that survives is the one that you feed.

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I am 41 years old and I am not to proud to say I cried reading this booking more than once ! This is a beautiful book both the artwork and the story. It follows willow who after arguing with her sister runs into the woods and meets Pilu, she tries to help Pilu find her way home after she has argued with her mother. The pair on their journey home learn together, dealing with emotions, loss and how to be 'strong'. This is such a wonderful book for loss and coping with loss I wouldn't just st recommend it for children I think adults should read this too. I cannot emphasise enough how beautiful and wonderful this is. Thank you to the author for a wobderful piece of art and storytelling.


I was given a free e-book by netgalley and the publisher for an honest review.

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This book gripped my heart from the very first page. Having emotions depicted by tiny angry monsters is such a neat idea to represent the bottled up feelings of Willow. A girl who has just lost her mother and is trying to be strong by ignoring her feelings. After exploding at her bossy sister and running into the woods she finds a lost forest spirit named Pilu. These characters are sweet and filled with depth. I adored the art and it imparted the important message to the reader seamlessly. I highly recommend this touching tale.

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This book is amazing! A beautiful tale of friendship and feelings. Willow loves the woods and studies them with the help of her professor father. After a fight with her sister, Willow runs away to the woods and meets Pilu. Pilu, a tree spirit, is lost and needs help finding her home. Through the process of helping Pilu, Willow learns about her own feelings and learns how hurtful she can be to other people. I've already added this to our next library order and look forward to recommending it to our middle school students!

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"You know maybe, it's okay to cry sometimes."

WOW. I'm so glad that I discovered this gem on NetGalley!

First of all, I love the art so much! I couldn't stop geeking out about it on every page! I love the colors, which kinda has a watercolor feel to it and the super cute doodly and cartoony illustrations! SO GOOD!

The story is as lovely as the art. The protagonist, Willow, ran away to the woods after having a fight with her older sister. In the forest, she met a tree spirit, Pilu, who also ran away from her home.

I absolutely adore these two characters. Willow has these monsters that she keeps inside jars, afraid that they might cause chaos if she lets them out. She ignores the fact that they're a part of her. But as Pilu said, no one wants to be ignored, even her monsters... which is such a good metaphor to feelings. In the end, Willow learned that it's okay to accept them.

"I thought being strong meant not crying, or whining, or complaining, or being sad... but I was wrong..."

It resonated so much to me. I tend to ignore some feelings, such as sadness because I usually think that it's a negative thing to feel, but in reality, there's something good and cathartic about accepting it. OHH... yeah, this reminds me of the movie Inside Out!

Pilu is also a character whom I could identify with. She ran away from home because she felt very alone and invisible, but in reality, she's loved and cared for. I also feel that way at times! Surrounded by lots of people, I tend to feel alone and a complete stranger, but I realize that among these waves and waves of people, there are those who genuinely care for me and are ready to back me up anytime.

In conclusion, this is such an adorable and heartwarming graphic novel. It might be a children's book, but it made me reflect on some things in life and about myself. Huhu. The feels. I sincerely hope that lots of people would be able to read this book when it's released next year because it's such a special and beautiful book!

Thanks so much, NetGalley for this eARC!

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This is one of the sweetest and most beautiful graphic novels I have ever read. Initially drawn to the art this gave so much more, including lyrical prose. Ultimately this is a story of family, friendship and dealing with grief. While Willow and Pilu come from different worlds, they are such a sweet pair and I can't say no to a doggie sidekick! 

The art style itself is unique and while it will appeal to a younger reader as a woman in her mid-twenties I was enchanted by the illustration. Additionally, the use of colour to show the woods felt real to me. I read this at a point where I needed something to fall into and escape - something I was easily able to do. 

I will warn you going in that you might get a little emotional reading. I wanted to reach in and give Willow the biggest hug. The way that Nguyen has shown emotion and the complicated feelings that are being experienced from the perspective of a child is nothing short of incredible. 

It's no surprise that I gave this 5 stars. This really touched my heart, it's not a complicated story, however, it can speak volumes. I really hope that there is a follow-up because I can see the relationship and story really growing and evolving. This is a wonderful book, I can't stress enough how much I adore it. 

A huge thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for giving me a chance to read this in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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This is such a heart-warming and lovely book, it was an absolute joy to read.

I want to start by talking about the artwork, which is gorgeous. It's so detailed and imaginative, and the style and colouring still feels very gentle. I would even say the style and colouring is calming to look at.

The story itself is also excellent. It follows Willow, a young girl who misses her late mother greatly, and her adventure in helping Pilu, who is a lost tree spirit, to find her way home.
The way this story shows how bottling up emotions and not talking about them does more harm than good, is well conveyed. It shows how emotions we don't know how to handle can build up inside us like monsters, and in bursts of emotion we can say and do things we don't mean. It also shows that opening up about these emotions to ourselves and talking about them to those in our lives is healthy, and that it's okay to talk about these things. We all have our own monsters we have to face, we all get scared and angry or feel alone sometimes.

Willow's emotions largely stem from her grief at losing a parent which i feel is a topic well handled in this children's story, it does so without becoming too heavy for children to understand.
What i got from reading this, is that it's okay to be sad and reach out to others, and also that we shouldn't take the people we love for granted - or assume things about them without talking to them.

Overall, it was a great book that shows how to handle overwhelming negative emotions in a better way, while providing a great comic style and story i can easily see kids and adults alike enjoying. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

I received a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Incredibly touching. Unforgettable. I cannot wait to purchase my own copy when this title is released.

Such a beautiful and imaginative way to tackle grief. The characters will make you laugh and cry and the story will melt your heart. Not to mention the gorgeous illustrations!

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I wanted to hug Willow so badly when I was reading this book! Pilu of the Woods is a beautiful story about the dangers of bottling up your emotions, and how healing can mean facing the things you'd rather hide away. Gorgeously illustrated, this lush graphic novel is a great story about what it means to be strong.

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I'm not crying, you're crying.

Pilu of the Woods is a charming, full-colour graphic novel that tells the story of Willow, a sensitive young girl with a love of reading and nature.

When Willow loses her temper at her sister, Linnea, after she snapped back at a bully at school, we discover both sisters have been struggling since the death of their mother six months earlier. Their father, a professor, is often busy at work, leaving the girls to create their own support system.

Running away in a fit of anger into the woods, Willow meets Pilu, a magnolia tree spirit, who shares her fiery temper and underlying, deep-rooted feelings of hurt.

Pilu of the Woods is a sweet, beautifully illustrated book that balances numerous important messages for children and tweens. Focusing on topics from the importance of caring and being careful in nature (for our own safety, as well as that of the environment), to bullying, family dynamics, and grief.

Author Mai K. Nguyen does a great job of explaining emotional control, anger, and the impact bottling our emotions up can have. Willow describes her feelings of anger, frustration and hurt as 'little monsters', speaking of how it feels like they take over and can be set off by even the smallest of things. <i>Pilu of the Woods</i> would be a great book to help any child or tween dealing with emotional control, grief, or bullying on how to healthily release their emotions and embrace how they feel (for better or worse).

With an underlying emphasis on the importance of kindness and compassion for ourselves as well as others, <i>Pilu of the Woods</i> is a beautiful book that I can't recommend enough.

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This was absolutely stunning. I read it at a time when I really needed to, too. It's a beautiful story about loss, love, and family, and I can't recommend it enough.

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This is a gorgeous and heartwarming story. Loss is hard, learning to live again after a loss is harder. Monsters are everywhere, how you deal with them is up to you, but that may have consequences for those you love. While intended for kids, between the beautiful illustrations and raw emotions here, Pilu of the Woods is a wholehearted read for all ages.

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If I was giving out awards, there is no doubt in my mind that Pilu of the Woods would be getting the ‘cutest graphic novel of the year’ award. It’s charming, sweet, and has the perfect balance of fantasy and wonder, while also exploring the expansive set of emotions that come with loss.
Pilu of the Woods is a fantasy about loss and friendship. The main character is named Willow, and early on in the story she meets and befriends and odd sort of girl named Pilu. Together they find their way through the forest.
I believe their journey through the forest is symbolic, as they’re both working through complex emotions during the course of the story. Willow is grieving, and has clearly hit the anger stage, while Pilu feels like she’s too easily lost in a crowd, and thus unloved. While their pain is very different, they can still find common ground to understand.
This story brought tears to my eyes at point, while at others I could do nothing but hope that they would find their way through this mess. It was sad, it was heartbreaking, but it was also beautiful and heartwarming. I can’t praise it enough.

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More than anything, I really just feel like I need to say that I LOVED THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL. Mental health isn't often addressed in such a gentle, easy to understand way, and Pilu did it in way that feels honest without being cliche or feeling like an afternoon special. The illustrations mirror the sentiments beautifully, and I felt like I was walking through the woods with an old friend. I will, without hesitation, be ordering Pilu of the Woods for our library. 5/5, will be reading again.

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This all-ages book has breathtaking, gorgeous artwork and a heartbreakingly beautiful story. It deals with family, friendship, love and loss. I especially liked the way the main characters feelings of sadness and anger are brought to life as monsters which she must run from or learn to accept as part of herself. I really enjoyed reading Pilu of the Woods and can't wait to see what the author does in future.

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I wasn't expecting to cry in a coffee shop today but alas, here I am. This book is a gift to unlocking our understanding of feelings and emotions for those young and old. It explains how ignoring our feelings doesn't make them go away in a way we can all benefit from. The illustrations add to the description of feelings and it is quite simply one of the better explanations I've seen and heard. At no point does this graphic novel talk down to the reader or expect too little of them. This easy-to-read story is one young readers can come back to time and again. I'm fully confident that everyone who reads this book will walk away better for it.

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This is one of the most adorable graphic novels meant for children that I have ever read. It is adorably illustrated and has a strong message of listening to your emotions at its hearts which makes it a worthwhile read for any child.

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Pilu of the Woods is a graphic novel that’s beautiful in every way possible. The story is one of redemption, of overcoming your inner demons and admitting that fear sometimes gets the better of us and we must learn to move past it to recognize what really matters. It’s a moral story through and through, representing the grief that many kids don’t know how to express. On another note, it’s an ode to being true to yourself and feeling okay with being different from other kids. Eccentric interests may not be understood by everyone but for every interest, there’s somebody else who’s equally infatuated. No one is alone - that’s the key element of the narrative.

The artwork is stunning, filled with rich, intricate details and wonderful stylistic choices. The natural scenes have a woodcut feel, and every leaf, blade of grass, and flower is painstakingly created. There’s a reverence for nature that shines through in the art and it amplifies the message of wonder for the natural world. Willow’s infatuation with nature becomes all the more apparent as she runs through the woods, discovering more and more intimate details of the forest. The real brilliance lies in the artist’s representation of grief monsters bottled up inside. They have a consistent presence, representing Willow’s mood in a fascinating way. This interpretation is a great way to teach kids about emotions they may be too young to understand. I just can’t say enough about how smart and beautiful this art is.

Pilu of the Woods is a great teaching moment for kids who are struggling with grief and need a way to understand what they’re feeing. It’s a good reminder of the beauty in the world for adults who may have forgotten. Above all, it’s a beautiful piece of art that deserves to be read and enjoyed.

This review will be published on 4/9/19: https://reviewsandrobots.com/2019/04/09/pilu-of-the-woods-book-review

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Pilu of the Woods is an educational book that should be read by every child at soon as they start reading and learning about life, nature and humans. This book teaches them about how and where mushrooms grow, about the beauty of the magnolia and the plants, their importance, but it also explains simple feelings and emotions like sadness, dissappoint, and love.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who wants to make a meaningful gift.

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