The Problem with Poppy

By Emma Sandford and Olena Osadcha

The Story

Poppy the porcupine has always wanted to make a friend, but her defensive nature prevents her. When a young tiger cub stumbles upon her one day in the rainforest, she reacts badly and scares him away.

Determined to change her ways, she sets out to find him, but little does she know that the tiger cub is about to have a problem of his own. In the face of danger, will Poppy find a way to save the day?

The Problem with Poppy is a picture book aimed at children aged 4-8 and is the debut by British author Emma Sandford. Illustrated by Ukrainian artist Olena Osadcha.

The book is the first in a series called The Sumatran Trilogy. The second book, What’s Troubling Tawny?, will be published in December 2021 and the third book, Hooray for Heidi!, will be published in June 2022.

The publisher Full Media Ltd has partnered with Rainforest Trust UK and will be donating £1 per book sale to the charity, to help save the rainforests and the animals that live there.

“The Problem with Poppy by Emma Sandford is a perfect combination of fun and learning that any little kid will love.”

Jon Michael Miller


About the author

Emma Sandford is a children’s author and businesswoman based in Cheshire. For many years, she has wanted to write a children’s book that draws on her own experiences and helps young children overcome personal issues. One day, inspiration hit her: she realised that a porcupine has a very obvious defence mechanism where it shows its quills, stamps its feet and chatters with its teeth when feeling threatened. 

Unfortunately, due to traumatic events in her life, Emma has also been defensive in situations where she didn’t need to be, and was frightened to let people get close to her. The Problem With Poppy is a fun way of teaching kids that while everybody has a natural defence mechanism, there is a time and a place to use it. By the end of the story, Poppy has learnt this valuable lesson and she makes a lifelong friend in the process. 

Emma is planning on writing more books in the future that have similar important messages for youngsters. Watch this space!

 About the illustrator

Olena Osadcha is a digital artist / illustrator based in Kiev, Ukraine. She is passionate about design and has a particular interest and love for children’s book illustration. After a long search for the right ilustrator for the book, author Emma found Olena and was instantly drawn to her magical style of illustration. Despite the two women living over 1,500 miles apart, it’s clear they share the same vision of how the finished book should look.

Olena said this about working on The Problem With Poppy:

I’m very happy to be working with Emma on this project. I was very touched by the story, because for me friendship is very important … This story is very heartwarming and honest, and it is a pleasure to illustrate it and to tell the kids about the importance of friendship, that it does not matter what you look like, for a real friend your differences are not a problem. I also love the way Emma treats this project, I can see her care and love, she nurtures it like a cub.

About the publisher

Full Media Ltd are a Cheshire-based publishing company. Our children’s picture books include the award-winning titles Go To Sleep! by Marion Adams and Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones.

Most recently we published One Night in Beartown following a very successful Kickstarter campaign. We were then approached by Emma with her amazing story The Problem With Poppy.

We were blown away by its potential and agreed to publish it. Now we need your help to raise the necessary funds to bring the story to life and to raise awareness to kids around the world of the importance of being kind to others and to protect the rainforest.

Full Media Ltd are proud to be Corporate Supporters of Rainforest Trust UK and certified Conservation Heroes!

“We love the message of The Problem With Poppy – the story has so much heart. We hope the Kickstarter is successful and the book gets published, as the £1 donation per book sale will do a lot of good for endangered species and rainforest protection.”

Vicky Wallace

Fundraising Manager, Rainforest Trust UK