Cornbread & Poppy for the Win (Cornbread and Poppy) (Paperback)

Cornbread & Poppy for the Win (Cornbread and Poppy) By Matthew Cordell Cover Image
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This book in Caldecott medalist Matthew Cordell's bestselling early reader series tells a story about championship-level teamwork.

Poppy LOVES shiny new racing gear. Cornbread does not. Poppy ADORES top secret master plans. Cornbread does not. Poppy IS super competitive. Cornbread…is not. But Cornbread and Poppy are the best of friends, so when Poppy is determined to win the Small Rodents Competitive Cycling Championship Classic Cornbread agrees to train by her side. Cornbread has fun just spending time with his friend, but Poppy’s goal is scoring the Winner’s Cup. Is a finish line all these mice will discover at the end of their race?

Celebrating both partnership and the value of what makes us individuals, young readers will find this classic odd couple irresistible as they encounter relatable issues with humor and heart.

Cornbread & Poppy (2022), was an Indiebound bestseller and the recipient of more than a dozen best books of the year citations.

Publishing simultaneously in hardcover and paperback.

Don't miss the other books in the series:
Cornbread & Poppy
Cornbread & Poppy at the Carnival
Cornbread & Poppy at the Museum 

About the Author

Matthew Cordell is the creator of numerous picture books including Wolf in the Snow, which was awarded the 2018 Caldecott Medal, EvergreenHopeWish; DreamHello, Neighbor! The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers; and Bear Island, as well as the Cornbread & Poppy series. He has also illustrated works of poetry, novels, and picture books such as Bob, Not Bob! by Audrey Vernick and Liz Garton Scanlon and Leaps and Bounce and Rooting for You!  by Susan Hood. Matthew lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children.

Praise For…

Praise for the Cornbread & Poppy series:
An IndieBound Bestseller 
A 2022 Kirkus Best Children's Book
A Horn Book 2022 Summer Reading List pick
An Amazon Best Books of the Year for Ages 6-8 for 2022 
A Junior Library Guild pick
A Chicago Public Library Best Fiction for Younger Readers for 2022 pick
An ABA’s 2022 Best Book For Young Readers Catalog pick
A Tiny Beans Best New Chapter Books for Kids of 2022
A Connecticut Nutmeg Award nominee
A Cybils Award finalist
A Nerdy Book Club Best of 2022 pick 
A School Library Journal Early Chapter Book List pick 
A 2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center Children’s Choices list pick 
A Good Housekeeping Best Kids' Books of 2022 pick
A 2023 Bank St College Best Books pick
An International Youth Library White Raven

* "The lively ink-and-watercolor illustrations deftly create settings and clearly reveal characters’ emotions. A rewarding choice for young readers."—Booklist, starred review

* "Cornbread and Poppy are endearing characters, poised to join the ranks of other memorable early reader sets of best friends old and new, including James Marshall's George and Martha."—BookPage, starred review

* “Cordell’s pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are textured and appealing, supporting the texts and illuminating vocabulary that might be out of sight-word range for new readers building fluency."—Horn Book, starred review

* "Cordell’s trademark loose artwork, rendered in pen and ink with watercolor, is energetic and wonderfully captures gray Cornbread’s and tan Poppy’s activities, easy camaraderie, and expressive faces.... Delightful."—Kirkus, starred review

* "Cordell’s loose, Steig-like ink line makes emotions easy to read as the duo’s interplay builds.... Their well-built adventure…offers exertion, discouragement, and a wonderfully improbable change of fortune."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"No need to visit a museum to find an exhibit of best friendship; see it on display right here."


“Brimming with imagination, energy, and wit. Just right for young readers.”

"[C]harming [illustrations] lend a feeling of coziness to this tale of friends who are different…easy to follow for those transitioning to early chapter books…A perfect choice for fans of Jacqueline ­Davies’s 'Sydney and Taylor' series, and other dynamic duos."—School Library Journal

“Cordell’s scratchy illustrations seem like descendants of Edward Gorey…. A twee answer to “Frog and Toad” that will serve readers of early chapter books.”—School Library Journal

“Into the society of [Frog and Toad and George and Martha] we can now welcome two mice…. [Beginning] with an Aesop-like predicament…Mr. Cordell’s humorous [drawings] keep things buoyant as Cornbread and Poppy bundle up and venture off."—The Wall Street Journal

“Frog and Toad vibes are strong in this new early reader series about two mice who are best friends...Illustrated in muted pastels that reflect the season, the three short chapters pack in a lot of adventure…”—Parents

"Pair of Mice Find Friendship Very Nice"
 —The Florida-Times Union

“This sweet friendship book by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell reminds me of books I loved reading with my kids when they were younger.”—Book Riot

“…perfect for young readers ready to move beyond picture books. It captures the importance of individuality and of stepping out of your comfort zone...Even adults will enjoy reading along…”
 —Book Trib

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316508773
ISBN-10: 0316508772
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 80
Language: English
Series: Cornbread and Poppy