The Boy Who Grew Flowers

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4to 11" - 13" tall; 32 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Children who struggle to fit in at school will find a hero in the star of this debut children's book. Rink Bowagon has an unusual quirk: his body sprouts flowers at the first sign of a full moon. "Shy and quiet and different," Rink is shunned by the other kids, who are afraid too of his oddball family, which includes rattlesnake tamers and shape-shifters. One day a new girl appears at school. With her "easy manner [and] luminous smile," Angelina Quiz fits right in, even though her right leg is shorter than her left. Rick finds her "forthright and honest, yet always kind," and Angelina is intrigued too ("She marveled at how his absence could take the shine off such a pretty, sunny day"). A friendship blossoms when Rink makes Angelina a pair of special snakeskin shoes that allow her to dance. Adams's incandescent illustrations, painted on textured boards in deep blues and green integrate flowers and full moons scattered across the pages, and the characters' faces look almost beatific. The story's latter half focuses on the growing connection between Rink and Angelina. If the narrative doesn't follow through on its early promise of helping young readers understand the beauty of being different, it will remind them of the power of kindness. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Rink Bowagon grows flowers out of his head. Rink's uncle tames rattlesnakes and his brothers and sisters are shape shifters. His Mom clips the beautiful flowers from his head and he attends school in town. However, rumors of his eccentric family keep Rink distanced from others. He becomes enamored with the new girl, Angelina, whose one leg is a good inch shorter than the other and listens with sensitivity as she puts off those that would like her to attend the school dance. "I wouldn't be much of a dancing partner." Rink jumps into action and designs a beautiful pair of shoes, one sole one inch thicker than the other. He presents these to Angelina, who responds by asking Rink to be her partner. The text shows enormous respect for the emotional intelligence of young children. Not a page can be turned without leaving open questions in the reader's mind, and therefore begs for multiple readings. The author never divulges why Angelina does not want to go to the dance. Nor does she tell the reader how it feels to be the characters, or state that Rink is kind or make comment on his relationships. These are all topics that lead to wonderful group discussions. The large color illustrations, done in acrylics, have a softness, as if there is a thin veil over a situation that needs to be explored. This is a book that not only supports a theme about individual differences, but can become the theme in an early childhood curriculum. 2005, Barefoot Books, Ages 4 to 9.
—Elizabeth Allen
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Everyone in Rink Bowagon's family is a little different. His uncle trains rattlesnakes and his siblings and cousins are all shape-shifters. The boy has a special quirkiness all his own. On nights when there is a full moon, he sprouts beautiful, perfect, fragrant flowers from his body. At school, he is quiet and shy, and the other children keep their distance from him. One day, Angelina joins his class and all of the students vie for her attention. She has her own gift and recognizes what a special boy Rink really is. Together, their story is one that celebrates individuality and self-acceptance. The illustrations are done in acrylics on board and the way the texture of the wood shows through gives the lovely paintings a folksy quality. The luminous scenes and soulful relationship between Rink and Angelina make this story a joy to read.-Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841486864
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2009

    Exquisite story, my children love it!

    This story is beautiful, lyrical, and unusual. The illustrations are special. Our children love it. It celebrates being slightly different from the crowd. The central character, a quiet boy, grows flowers from his body during the full moon. He meets a charming girl who has one leg slightly shorter than the other. They discover themselves and each other and go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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