Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus is a truly adult book deceptively packaged as a children’s book (in a positive way).
I read the book when I saw it from my sister’s cabinet at our old house. It really grabbed my attention that the bright yellow cover and text were hand drawn, with the witty line “for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)”. Well, I’m not a caterpillar. But I’m an adult so that made me eligible anyway, snicker.
Trina Paulus did the art and lettering from cover to cover, though I could tell that the author did not have much difficulty. The whole story is so simple you might ignore it by mistaking it as a ho-hum kiddie read. But it is in here that Trina Paulus hit home, it’s in the simplicity that lies the beauty of the story.
For the book background, the story was written during the 70’s which was a hippie era, or the age when the youth really rebelled against the establishment and experimented on a lot of stuff both good and bad. Anyway, to connect, the book was made at a time when people were disillusioned by the state of society and turned to drugs, sex, and music as a way to escape or assert their status in life.
The book, in a way, mirrors real life during those times. The title speaks for itself, it is about Hope. Beyond the counterculture period of the 60’s and 70’s, the story still holds true and is as applicable today.
The story starts with two caterpillars named Stripe and Yellow, who met each other at a time of disillusionment and a lingering powerful feeling that there ought to be more to life than what they do. The book tells of their journey, which led to separation, and leading to a false conclusion which purposely shows the current state of human affairs. However, as with all good books about Hope, of course it leads to a good ending, with a simple conclusion but huge moral about making changes into one’s life in order to rise, excel, and find true meaning.
The overt simplicity itself of the book could be a downside on attracting readership, since it is almost always mistaken for a simple children’s novel. Only well-read intellectuals, or referred readers would actually grab a copy of this. Well, it’s the loss of the common reader, not us informed bookworms.
The book is so simple and the story so short, you could actually finish reading within a few minutes. But the impact of the story to you is so huge in comparison to its simplicity. The story is inspirational in the sense that it could also make you ponder on where you are now in your life, and it silently prods you to not just aimlessly seek for the meaning of life, but for you to create your own answer, and fly away with it.
The author has a blog herself, you can also check it here.