The Rainbow Tulip

Overview

Stella loves her family and her Mexican heritage, but she doesn't always like being different from the other kids at school. Now her class is going to dance around the Maypole at the school's May parade, and Stella wants her tulip costume to be special, even if she won't look like the other girls at school. Sometimes being different can be exciting. This touching story that celebrates diversity is based on author Pat Mora's mother's childhood and is brought to life by Elizabeth ...

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Overview

Stella loves her family and her Mexican heritage, but she doesn't always like being different from the other kids at school. Now her class is going to dance around the Maypole at the school's May parade, and Stella wants her tulip costume to be special, even if she won't look like the other girls at school. Sometimes being different can be exciting. This touching story that celebrates diversity is based on author Pat Mora's mother's childhood and is brought to life by Elizabeth Sayles's evocative paintings.

Illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles.

A Mexican-American first-grader experiences the difficulties and pleasures of being different when she wears a tulip costume with all the colors of the rainbow for the school May Day parade.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
She's Stella in first grade, Estelita at home--an appealing Mexican heroine. This is a gentle story, nice for reading at bedtime. And awfully necessary, it seems to me. Stella is an immigrant child, whose mother speaks no English and cannot visit with the other mothers, which Stella regrets. Many immigrant children sit in today's classrooms. Wouldn't it smooth relationships if American kids realized how tough it is to have a totally different heritage? And if you were an immigrant child yourself, how comforting it would be to hear Estelita's story. Mora weaves many Spanish phrases into her text as she focuses on the May festival for which Stella's aunt sews her a multi-colored, tulip-petal skirt. (Stella's hunger for color has led to this request, as her own mother wears long, plain, dark dresses). Her friends are regulation pink or blue or yellow tulips, and so Stella stands out yet again. Luckily, her teacher praises her for being "a rainbow tulip." And her mother understands how hard it is to be different, a condition both "sweet and sour," like their favorite lime sherbet. The sensitive, muted watercolor illustrations suit the story's mood, while the charming facial expressions help the characters come alive in this timely book. 1999, Viking, Ages 4 to 8, $15.99. Reviewer: Joan Carris—Children's Literature
Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Mora succeeds in creating a quiet story to which children will respond. Stella loves her mother very much, but sometimes she is just a little embarrassed that she can't speak English and doesn't dress like the other mothers. Despite her awareness that her Hispanic family is different from the other families in her neighborhood, Stella fits in well and enjoys school. Her excitement over the May parade mirrors that of the other girls in her class. They will all be tulips, and Stella has definite ideas about her costume: it must include all of the spring colors. But when the big day arrives and Stella sees the other girls, each dressed in one color, she feels that she's made a mistake. However, her perfect execution of the Maypole dance, her teacher's approval, and, above all, her mother's quiet love result in a memorable day for Stella. Based on a story from the author's mother's childhood, and perfectly extended by soft, warm pastel drawings framed in white, this tale of family love and support crosses cultural boundaries and may remind youngsters of times when their families made all the difference. Pair this with Mary Hoffman's Amazing Grace Dial, 1991, another story of an irrepressible child supported by a loving family.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Set in El Paso, Texas, in the 1920s, this moving family memoir focuses on Mora's mother as a child, who participated in her own way in a May Day parade. Stella (Estelita at home) and her two younger brothers "speak English outside of the house and Spanish inside the house." Stella wants to wear red and other colors that "sing and dance" when she grows up, and not the quiet colors—black, brown, gray—that her mother, who speaks no English, wears. There are other contrasts as well; outside their home, Stella and her brothers "shout and run," while at home they read quietly and eat lime sherbet. When the girls at school are to dress as tulips, with petal skirts, for the May Day parade, Stella decides that her petals will be of several colors. With warmth and directness, Mora celebrates diversity, but provides a balanced view of assimilation as well. Sayles's softly colored illustrations, by turns wistful and vibrant, capture the times and the tone as a young child finds her place in her parents' new country. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142500095
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/24/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 366,004
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.03 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.08 (d)

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