This allegory about the power of kindness is a strong one!
This allegory about the power of kindness over selfishness and anger is a strong one, and the interesting illustrations play an important part of the story.
We begin with a background of grey tower blocks right next to a brightly coloured house with a big pink flower growing in front. A little girl and her brother walking to school see the flower, and the little girl talks to it each day, telling it how beautiful it is and that she loves it. But when the old man who lives in the house see her, he shouts at her and tells her never to come near the flower again.
Frightened, the two children walk to school a different way. When the flower droops and refuses to cheer up, the old man tries everything to help, shouting at his gardener (female!) that she must be doing something wrong. He even talks to the flower, but only about himself and how important a man he is.
At this time in the story, we begin to see the old man on one side of the double page and the children and their mum having a happy family life in the tower block on the other half. The juxtaposition of the two is very telling as to their respective lives, and when the gardener explains to the old man that the little girl used to tale to the flower, he is puzzled. He talks to the flower too, so what is the difference? He must go to the school and find the little girl. She explains how she talked to the flower, and he must learn to use the language of love too.
The double page spread at the end shows the flower in full bloom, along with a big party with the old man and lots of neighbours. The moral is a good one, and easily digested, and children will love seeing the little girl right and the angry old man wrong. ES
- Read: Hurrah! Bloom is one of the Guardian’s best books of the month!
- Read: Bloom is top summer reading in The Sunday Times!
- Read an interview with author Anne Booth
- Watch: Spread kindness with flower pressing
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