The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow (Hardcover)

The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow By Elaine Dimopoulos, Doug Salati (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Elaine Dimopoulos, Doug Salati (Illustrator)
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Butternut and the meadow creatures return in this middle-grade adventure sequel that will charm animal-loving fans of The Tale of Despereaux and Clarice the Brave. Illustrated by Caldecott winner Doug Salati.

After their remarkable rescue, the meadow creatures are back—now closer than ever and with beloved rabbit Butternut still captivating them all with her storytelling. But when a dazzling group of traveling turkeys shows up and persuades the meadow creatures to join them in putting on performance, Butternut is not sure she can find her place in all the excitement. She questions her storytelling abilities compared to this new crew.

When it turns out the turkeys—and the grand show—are not what they seem, Butternut's family and friends are suddenly in imminent danger. Butternut must figure out how to trust herself and find help. In the end, the hope is that friendship will win once more.

Beautiful and arresting black-and-white illustrations bring the animals to life in this nail-biting and heartwarming story about trust: trusting our instincts, trusting our creative talents, and trusting those who know and love us, even when it’s hard.

About the Author

Elaine Dimopoulos is the author of The Remarkable Rescue at Milkweed Meadow and Turn the Tide, a middle-grade novel-in-verse inspired by real-world environmental activism. She is also the author of Material Girls, a young adult dystopian novel. Elaine served as the Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence and has taught writing at Simmons University and GrubStreet. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

Caldecott medalist Doug Salati is the the author and illustrator of Hot Dog, which won the 2023 Caldecott Medal. He is also the illustrator of several books for children, including Pip and Zip and Lawrence in the Fall.

Praise For…

♦ Lovable lagomorph and remarkable raconteur Butternut details how the denizens of Milkweed Meadow narrowly missed a night of terror.
“I know you’re here for the story of the fearsome fire in the oak forest.” As in The Remarkable Rescue at Milkweed Meadow (2023), Butternut immediately hooks readers. She then weaves a spellbinding tale that includes animal characters as well as Thalia, the “little female human” who’s secretly friends with Butternut. An acting troupe of wild turkeys—led by the eloquent Monty, who speaks in a Shakespearean cadence—have come to invite the meadow animals to take part in their summer show. Unfortunately, Butternut’s the only auditioning rabbit from her colony not to be cast. While she deals with disappointment, other developments arise. Will the blue jays let the turkeys use their eggs as props in the show? Why is that young gobbler Franklin so bad-tempered? Should the local rabbits, birds, and frogs be concerned about a circling hawk and a hovering raccoon? Are humans trustworthy? Suspense builds to a narrowly averted crisis that’s much darker than in the previous tale, but all’s well that ends well. Dimopoulos is as gifted a storyteller as her endearing hero, and she deftly folds in alliteration, theater terms, nature facts, and sparkling humor. Butternut’s musings and observations are thought provoking and perceptive. Thalia appears light-skinned in Salati’s delightful spot art.
Whimsical, witty, wise. 

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Following the harrowing events of The Remarkable Rescue at Milkweed Meadow (2023), young bunny Butternut is a renowned storyteller and respected resident of the expanded natural community, but she’s also harboring a secret: a burgeoning friendship with the human girl from the nearby house. Though many rules have changed to accommodate interspecies relationships, contact with potentially dangerous humans is still forbidden. Life is further complicated when a theater troupe of traveling turkeys arrives, taps the residents of Milkweed Meadow to take part in the performance, and deems Butternut unworthy of the stage. Stripped of the spotlight, Butternut must contend with new jealousies while unraveling the mystery behind the turkeys’ intentions and stop their foul plot. It’s a joy to re-enter the rabbit warren and watch the brilliant Butternut manage insecurities and expectations while learning to listen to her intuition. New compelling characters are seamlessly integrated, and though there are dark implications of terrible danger,the dear friendships, familial bonds, and humorous asides lighten the proceedings. A stellar sequel that expertly expands the wonderful world of Milkweed Meadow.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781623544270
ISBN-10: 1623544270
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English