Willow is having a hard time processing anger and sadness after losing her mom, and it's even more daunting because her emotions take the form of little monsters that she doesn't quite understand. She meets Pilu, a forest spirit who is going through troubles of her own, and whom Willow is determined to help to distract from her monsters. This is a great story about the importance of addressing your feelings and what it really means to be strong. Recommended By Brianna B., Powells.com
A beautiful story that illustrates the importance of allowing oneself to deal with emotions in a healthy, constructive way. Pilu of the Woods touches on friendship, grief, and growth simultaneously and uses these themes to create a kind and powerful story perfect for readers young and old. Recommended By Haley B., Powells.com
A gorgeous first graphic novel by Mai K. Nguyen, published by Oni Press, a local graphic novel publisher. Pilu of the Woods explores how to process feelings (which manifest for Willow in the form of little monsters) that can grow and take over if we don’t confront them. Recommended By Kim T., Powells.com
Pilu of the Woods is a beautiful and important graphic novel for all ages because it addresses how to process feelings that can grow and take over if we don’t confront them. A gorgeous debut. Recommended By Kim T., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"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)
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.
"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
"A heartwarming and beautifully executed parallel between the natural cycles of nature and the emotional journey of navigating friend and family relationships, Pilu of the Woods feels very special." Natalie Riess, author of SPACE BATTLE LUNCHTIME
"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
"In Pilu of the Woods, Nguyen has crafted a sweet, gentle, beautifully-illustrated fable about childhood loss, and the friends who help us find ways to grow, even through the hardest times." Melanie Gillman (Steven Universe)
About the Author
Mai K. Nguyen is a comics maker, illustrator, and ice-cream enthusiast living in Northern California. She has previously self-published two short stories, Coral and the King and Little Ghost. When she's not doodling, she's hustling as a visual designer in San Francisco, watching too many true-crime documentaries, or dreaming about all the other comics she wants to make. Not unlike Willow, she loves feeling small amongst redwood trees and inhaling the salty-grassy smell of coastal bluffs.