There is a long back story as to how I came across this very special book but I won’t bore you with all of the gritty details. To summarize quickly, I met my dad’s biological aunt when I was about 7 years old. She was a very musical, very thoughtful and inspirational woman. I only had the privilege of knowing her for 2 years before she passed away from ovarian cancer. One of the very last times I saw her, she gifted me with this very special book, Hope for the Flowers. Unfortunately, in the last near-20 years, my copy disappeared forever. Not too long ago I came upon the Hope for the Flowers Facebook page and rediscovered the story. Butterflies were in my tummy, as only a 9 year old girl I recognized how special this story would always be.
I sent a message to their facebook page and I told of how much the story meant to me as a child. I was graciously sent a new copy, signed by author Trina Paulus for my three precious girls to grow up with and enjoy. They also sent a copy to share with all of you! I have been waiting so long to post this review, I have been very excited to share this book with all of you. It definitely has sentimental value to me, but even more importantly, it is a genuine, heartfelt story with a truly solid, necessary message of hope. Normally I summarize my reviews at the end of my post after an organized set of facts, pros, and cons. For this one, I want to start by saying that your library is not complete unless this book is on your shelf, whether you have no kids, 2 babies, or a quiver full of grand kids. At the bottom of this page is a rafflecopter widget where you can enter to win your own copy! There also is a code for all of you lovely TMD readers to mention during your purchase – which I highly recommend that you take advantage of.
Hope for the Flowers recently reprinted the story with the original delightful artwork, a 40th anniversary edition. That’s right mamas! This story has held strong for 40 years. It was first released in September of 1972. This is how Hope came to be: (taken from hopefortheflowers.com)
“It all started many years ago while sharing comfort with a friend who just experienced the death of someone close. What does one say? How can we dare imagine that life can go on – we have no proof? The amazing transformation of a caterpillar, a lowly worm, into a glorious flying creature is also hard to believe. But because we have actually seen a butterfly we can hope for other transformations invisible to the eye. In face of loss beyond words I would draw a card with a caterpillar, a cocoon and a butterfly illustrating a favorite text, “Life is changed, not taken away.” The next push came with the sixties. The air was full of the call for revolution, many were for tearing down the whole old order hoping for some sort of magical Phoenix to emerge from the ashes. I wanted change. I wanted a more just and beautiful world too, but I could not believe that destroying all that came before would produce a Phoenix or a butterfly. There’s more, much more to the story of how Hope For the Flowers came to be – but somehow two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, crawled out of a little yellow book as butterflies. For 4 decades, they have been flying around the world carrying hope for the flowers and for millions of people. So here we are, let the 40th Anniversary celebration on the Web begin! Enjoy and cry a bit at the beauty and pain of relishing and protecting the “more of life!”
Isn’t that just lovely? Let me share with you a little summary of the story without spoiling it for you. It all begins with a cute little fuzzy caterpillar who hatches from his egg on a leaf and meets the world for the first time.
It follows his journey all through his first days.. until he discovers something very very curious. Many other caterpillars have also discovered it, and they all want to find out more, but the path they have chosen to get there is not making sense. The black and white caterpillar, Stripe, by a twist of fate meets Yellow. Their relationship becomes very special, a love you will connect with deep in your soul. Stripe and Yellow experience love, loss, joy, frustration, depression, confusion, excitement, discovery, and so many more life illustrations as they crawl and climb together. At one point, Stripe and Yellow decide to take separate paths that they have struggled internally about and it is very difficult for them both. They are both searching hard for the meaning of life, one goes through darkness, the other through light, until the mysterious discovery finally sparkles with clarity.
There are so many examples to use in this story to share with your children to illustrate different things we go through in our lives. This book has actually been used for counseling, bookmaking, and even suicide prevention. It is a remarkable story that everyone could find a piece of to relate to. I know you will love it as much as I do. We have been reading it before bed each night with our daughters, and although it is 144 pages long, we make it through at least twice each week as it is a current favorite. It has already made an impact on my oldest. This book isn’t just a la-dee-dah kids story. This book has substance for everyone. Substance that I want to pass on to my children. It is filled with quotes about life that will stick with you for years to come, in a gently spoken voice. It reminds me of the wise words my Nana used to share with me when she was still on this earth. It will encourage you to be persistant, to keep moving forward, to overcome against all odds, and to know that there is still Hope.
Pick up your own copy here: http://hopefortheflowers.com/books.html (or win one below, sweetly signed by author Trina Paulus!) and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org after placing your order and mention The Mommy Dialogues for a 10% off price adjustment.
In Hope Always,
* I was not paid for this review, and it is completely of my own opinion, although I was given a copy to review. If I didn’t like it, you would know! (This one I LOVE.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway