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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Pilu of the Woods

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐

"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."


Pilu of the Woods is a fantasy standalone MG graphic novel by Mai K. Nguyen.

Am I going to overanalyze a graphic novel that is not aimed towards my age demographic, 100%.

I get what kind of message this was trying to send, but for me, it was not a message that I could connect with personally. The story focuses heavily on the human psyche and how one deals with their emotions. In order to convey that message, the author decided to create what they called 'little monsters'. This is where my rating drops a bit.

While it might make more sense for younger ages to see these kinds of emotions metamorphosed, I felt like it took away the fact that they have to hold responsibility for their actions. I get that people oftentimes repress their emotions and build them up internally to the point where they ultimately blow up and say things they don't mean, but is up to them to learn how to express their emotions healthily.

While it didn't necessarily work for me, this kind of story may work best for people of the same age as our MC Willow, as they might be feeling the same kind of emotions but don't know how to deal with it.

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