- Age Range: 6 - 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 2
- Lexile Measure: AD600L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 1 pages
- Publisher: Lee & Low Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158430037X
- ISBN-13: 978-1584300373
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#5,906,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2938 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Difficult Discussions > Death & Dying
- #3095 in Books > Children's Books > Geography & Cultures > Multicultural Stories > Native North & South Americans
- #6315 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Multigenerational
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The Blue Roses Paperback – April 1, 2002
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Since Rosalie's birth, her grandfather has cared for her while her mother works in a fish cannery. Their happiest times are spent in their garden among the flowers. There are several rose bushes of various colors, but the child is disappointed that there aren't any blue ones. When Rosalie is almost 10, her grandfather dies. She and her mother miss him terribly until Rosalie dreams of him in a magnificent garden with blue roses. On her next visit to his grave, she finds the tombstone wreathed with them. The message of death as a part of nature's cycle is somewhat heavy-handed, and the magical ending jars a bit. Trish Cooke's The Grandad Tree (Candlewick, 2000) and Adjoa J. Burrowes's Grandma's Purple Flowers (Lee & Low, 2000) also connect a grandparent's death to the natural world. What sets Boyden's work apart is her depiction of contemporary Native American culture, with Rosalie's family living in a small-town community. Their everyday life and loss connect them to universal experiences of growth and death that cross cultures. Cordova's paintings have a static quality that reinforces the reflective tone of the text. Although not a first purchase, the book would be suitable for one-on-one sharing with children who are mourning a grandparent or other relative.
Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5-8. This fine debut is a heartwarming story about a special bond a young Native American girl shares with her grandfather. Papa, as Rosalie calls him, is a wise man who teaches Rosalie about gardens and life. He shares tidbits of wisdom as they tend the garden together, calling seeds "tiny promises" and explaining when some newly planted peas die that, "Everything has its time to die. New or old, it doesn't matter." Even with Papa's wisdom firmly planted in Rosalie, she is devastated by his death, which occurs shortly before her tenth birthday. She cries often, seeks solace in her garden, where she can "still smell Papa," and plants rosebushes by Papa's grave. Cordova's pleasant childlike pictures provide a window for children to watch the blossoming of Rosalie's relationship with Papa and see Rosalie's grief as well as her growth, both physical and emotional. The garden scenes are particularly lovely, bursting with vibrant colors and patterns. Youngsters who have lost a loved one or who share a special relationship with an older adult will relate to this touching story, which clearly shows what healthy grieving is like. Lauren Peterson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Boyden's book, The Blue Roses, helps soften the blow and gives
youngsters faith that life goes on, sometimes in mysterious ways.
I sent copies of this book to my young nephews and nieces
(ages 5-8)after their favorite uncle died. If anyone has a
child who questions the death of a loved one, this book is the
answer. The story is beautifully written and the accompanying
artwork is a perfect match for this well-told tale.