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Hope for the Flowers [With Recorded by Trina Paulus] Paperback – October 1, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 1, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 UpAThe ageless, timeless story of caterpillars, Strip and Yellow, unfolds as the author, Trina Paulus, reads it with as much enthusiasm as she had when it was originally published 25 years ago. It is a very simple story of life, death, goals, alternatives, anxiety, hope, and becoming which can be used by students on many levels, with each person gleaning an appropriate moral. Paulus' speech is gentle, and her belief in the story is shown in her very expressive voice. She enunciates very clearly, has good pacing, and changes tone and speech for the different characters. Short, pleasant musical interludes provide appropriate breaks between each chapter and set the mood for upcoming events. On Side 2 Paulus discusses the background for the story from the events in her life and the importance of various symbols used in the plot. Purchase for anyone who has challenges to overcomeAthis story could have as much of an audience as Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A wonderful new myth book. -- Woman's Day

I read it with deep appreciation for its message and for Trina Paulus' skill in communicating in words and pictures. -- Coretta Scott King --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; Pap/Cas edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809182491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809182497
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,238,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi! I'm Trina Paulus, the Author/Illustrator of Hope For The Flowers. I'm also a number of other things, mother, sculptor, and a lifelong member of The Grail - an International Women's Movement which is committed to spiritual search, social transformation, global solidarity, ecological sustainability, and the release of women's creative energy throughout the world. I am vice President for both the Cornucopia Network of New Jersey and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Basalt Colorado as well as on the National Advisory Board of Sustainable Settings in Carbondale Colorado.



Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reviewing Hope for the Flowers is like trying to review a butterfly. Impossible. Granted, one can list features & salient points, but no collection of words can pass on the joyful experience of watching a butterfly alight upon a buttercup on a warm spring afternoon.
No better description than the one on the cover: "a tale--partly about life, partly about revolution and lots about hope for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)".
Once again I find myself at a place in life where the struggle to climb to the top of the heap overwhelms me on a daily basis. Once again, I needed to take this book off the shelf (I have several copies--any time I see one at a garage sale or used book store, I buy it--ready to give away), blow away the dust, and inhale the refreshing message of liberation.
Hope for the Flowers does more to puncture bourgeois denial than any Marxist treatise ever could. It cuts to the radical more deeply than the Anarchists can approach. This blessed fable challenges us to embrace the truly important and to become who we really are, instead of pursuing the carrots dangled in front of us by our Corporate Masters.
Five stars for wonder. Five stars for beauty. Five stars for importance. If you haven't read this book lately, chances are you need it in your life today.
(If you'd like to dialogue about this review, please click the "about me" link above & drop me email. Thanks!)
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Format: Hardcover
One of my sons school counselors read this book at a tea. I went with my sons girlfriend who didn't have a mother. The book touched me... and her. Since that time, I have given this book to anyone who needed to believe in themselves. I still believe it always touches me more than the person I give the book too... because it always makes me remember there is hope... for whatever you want in life. My favorite "personal quote" to my children..."Live each day as a wonderful new adventure in your life... YOU write the story!" This book gives you the guidlines of writing your own story, or how to live the mistake of allowing others to write it for you. A great gift of inspiration!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hope for the Flowers is an amazing story with multiple levels of meaning.

Simply put, it's a love story between two caterpillars who become butterflies.

But the story is complex. There's a tower reaching so high its top cannot be seen.
The tower is made entirely of caterpillars. They step on each other selfishly to reach an unknown destination. Some die in the struggle. To keep going, each caterpillar must become hardened to the others, avoiding even eye contact with those he/she steps on. But two caterpillars connect.

They drop out of the race. They fall in love and live in intimacy. But still they think there must be more to life.

Curious again about the top, the male caterpillar decides to rejoin the climb. The woman caterpillar is also curious, but knows that climbing isn't the way. While he climbs, she wanders... until she encounters a wise older caterpillar spinning a cocoon. He explains the transformation from being a caterpillar to being a butterfly. She is afraid to give up what she knows, but she risks it.

Meanwhile, the man, Stripe, is ruthlessly working for success in the "caterpillar pillar."
Just when Stripe reaches the top, he meets his old lover, Yellow, who has now transformed into a gorgeous butterfly with the freedom to fly. Their reunion bursts with a painful love.

Without giving away the end (actually the whole second half), I'd just like to point out some of the other levels of meaning:
Psychologically, the work is brilliant in its knowledge of the interplay of reason and feelings.
Sociologically, its insights penetrate many aspects of human interaction.
Theologically, it cuts to the heart of major world religions.

I first read this in the Philippines years ago.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a book of such hope and love and comfort. I just finished reading it for perhaps the tenth time and am now jotting down the names of people to whom I want to give it as a Christmas gift. I have given away so many copies already.
This lovely and insightful story is one that readers can turn to in times of confusion, sorrow, or fear....any time that they need comfort, courage, and inspiration or when one is searching for answers in life's turmoil. It is about what can happen if we just persevere and be the best that we can possibly be; about balance in our lives; about what is important and what is not.
This is a book for all ages because the messages in it can be interpreted at all levels of understanding. I am not usually one who is fond of a lot of symbolism in books, but in this one, the symbolism worked for me.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book I read over and over, usually in the company of great girlfriends. Each time, I'm newly inspired by how it provides insight to my life at that very moment. A group of us read this at a women's retreat as a bedtime story over five years ago. Since then, we all gush with stories every time we see or hear about it. It has inspired us to go for our dreams, choose love over the pull for money -- it even inspired a dear friend to have the butterfly on the cover tatooed into a bracelet around her ankle for daily inspiration. If you need some reassurance that going after love and friendship is the real purpose for life, this is the book to read.
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