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Hope for the Flowers

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,197 Ratings  ·  506 Reviews
This classic story is celebrating its 40th anniversary beginning in September of 2012. "Hope for the Flowers" is an inspiring allegory about the realization of one's true destiny as told through the lives of caterpillars Stripe and Yellow, who struggle to "climb to the top" before understanding that they are meant to fly.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Paulist Press (first published September 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 09, 2009 Pinky rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: David, Brian, Mark, other misanthropes
Recommended to Pinky by: an ex
A girlfriend gave me this book once.

At the time, I was living on an island of about two hundred people, teaching English. A foolish, miserable task--the kind of "good-for-you" intervention bound up in so many good intentions that the inevitable crass exploitation and inadequate resourcing and nonexistent long-term vision and full-on horseshit stupidity seem, in hindsight, a necessary cosmic counter-balancing. Ostensibly, I was teaching English and helping the other English teachers improve curr
Sep 18, 2007 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: fricken-awesome
this book is written like a childrens book, but for adults. Very reminicent of Esops fables....

I first read it back in high school, a friend saw me looking it over, and then went back and bought it for me. Its very touching....

Its about one catapillar who, unlike the others, isnt happy just eating leaves and climbing the catapillar-pillar. He stops to wonder "why".... he questions everything around him.

Its a little about love, and growing into your own skin, its about doing what has to be done,
Oct 18, 2007 Tom rated it really liked it
Hope for the Flowers presents a wonderful, charming tale of two caterpillars (Stripe and Yellow) trying to get to the top.

Beguiled at first by a misguided attempt to climb on the heads of their fellow caterpillars (who have commingled into an enormous "caterpillar pillar" that ascends into the sky), Yellow and Stripe eventually abandon the pillar for the simple lives of eating and rolling around on the ground. But Stripe can't contain his curiosity about the pillar, and abandons Yellow to try th
Merlyna Lim
Aug 25, 2007 Merlyna Lim rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: favorites
Simple but grand. Sweet but really touching. Makes you smile, laugh, and cry. I would recommend every adult I know to read this book. Just read it and you'll understand why I love this book so much.

I actually re-drew all pictures in the book and turned them into various big posters for a story-telling at one Summer School for teenagers in my neighborhood, back in Bandung, Indonesia. You wouldn't believe me, but as I were telling the story, that such simple story, almost all kids were burst in t
May 12, 2016 Mahsa rated it really liked it
A different sort of book for everyone,
Except for those
who have given up completely...
(And even they might secretly enjoy it.)

این کتاب رو پیشنهاد میدم به اونهایی که امیدشون رو از دست دادن... و به اونهایی که با واژه "تردید" آشنا هستن و در راهی که پیش گرفتن چشمهاشون رو نبستن.
که حس میکنن وسط روزمرههای زندگیشون گم شدن، که ترسیدن از آینده، که هرگز راه جدیدی رو امتحان نکردن و کمکم نگاهشون به زندگی داره رنگها رو گم میکنه و سیاه و سفید میشه...
نمیگم این کتاب ناجی خواهد بود؛ اما لذت خواهید برد... با دو ک
Aug 03, 2008 booklady rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone any age
I have loved this book ever since high school when a very special friend shared it with me. It’s been a long time since I read it, but it never fails to charm.

Recently I went on a hunt for it in this jungle house of books, but without success. I know I have a ratty old paperback copy somewhere but I can’t find it. So I checked it out from the library and read it again with profound enjoyment and peace.

It’s that kind of book—a peaceful book. It’s a book which reminds us that we are all so much mo
Maria Ella
This allegory is totally amazing! Good thing there's a free blog containing this short story. For those who wanted a free read, you may refer to this link.

Review and Reflections:

I was spending my idle time in my office desk. Thinking of something short yet worthwhile to read. I've read some articles about CJ on Trial Drama, Lady Gaga Concert, and Jessica Sanchez's potential to win this season's AI. When I went to this site and a friend rated this five stars, I searched for the free text of this
Arash Esmaeili
داستانی که به ظاهر برای بچه ها نوشته شده،ولی مفهومش رو خیلی از آدم بزرگ ها هم تو زندگیشون درک نکردن!
"من یک پروانه دیدم،
زندگی مفهوم بیشتری میتواند داشته باشد."
Jared Vincent Lacaran
Mar 07, 2015 Jared Vincent Lacaran rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood
I've first read this book when I was like ten. It's been how many years now, and I still think that it's fantastic.

This books is about the journey of two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, and the obstacles and problems that they faced before they both became butterflies.

The story is simple, but beautiful and realistic. It's about learning to give up and let go. How each ending offers a new beginning. It's about taking risks. And the desire to see something more.

The illustrations are really wonder
May 24, 2008 Shannon rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: flower children, cheesy people
Recommended to Shannon by: goodwill
Shelves: own, graphic-novels
This allegory coudln't be more unsubtle. Unless at the end the author was like "and like, the caterpillars, are actually like, PEOPLE. And the strive to the top is like, our struggle in life. And like, being a butterfly is..." etc. The illustrations were cutesie pie though. This is such a hippie book I don't even know what else to say. It's hard to hate on such cheesy idealism.... I felt like I should be more impressed by the cute, universal message, than I was. Maybe it'd help if I was less cyn ...more
Hanieh N
Nov 16, 2013 Hanieh N rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hanieh by: Yasamin Rezaei
شاید باید خوندنِ شُ دفعه یِ پیش ول میکردم، که این جمله رو امروز ببینم:
«آن چه به نظر میرسد این است که تو میمیری؛ امّا آن چه واقعی ست، این است که تو باز هم زندگی خواهی کرد. زندگی عوض میشه؛ امّا از بین نمیره..»

یا آغاز..."

.پ.ن: قبل تر هم پگاه و معصومه پیشنهاد داده بودن ش
Feb 09, 2009 Yen rated it it was amazing
This book is really nice.. My prof assigned me this in english lesson..I don't know how to report this bcoz I want the whole class to love and appreciate it the way I read and understand but didn't find the words to say.. It's just one of the inspiring book iv'e read..

Lessons I learned is that to be able to achieve your goals and to be happy.. you just have to be yourself and not to step on someone..because true happiness is that to be kind to everyone.. It's always happening nowadays especiaal
Mary Kate
Sep 02, 2015 Mary Kate added it
Shelves: favorites
Oh this book was just wonderful!!!!! :D
Thank you, Jerrel for letting me know about this book! This was terrific!! This was such a unique yet inspirational book! This relates to life and shows the journey we all travel. The question, "There has to be more to life?" Is what is focused on! We try to find joy in being at the top yet we never truly see that God has placed true importance in us- and in Jesus we can become new!! Now this book is not considered Christian yet this is a book that should b
Feb 23, 2008 Elyse rated it it was amazing
My father actually gave me this book so it has special connotations for me through sentimentality. The simple story is spectacular and sweet; touching on concepts such as isolation, peer pressure, independence, fear of change, prejudice and many more...yes this little book really does all that. I've read it at least four times to my daughter and every time she can apply its simple storyline to what ever happens to be going on in her ever changing, ever growing life
Mar 10, 2008 Hayley rated it it was amazing
This is a children's book that is clearly from the time of hippies. It is new agey and goofy, but I still love it. I found it at the house of a girl I take care of, and was surprised by it when I read it to her. It touched me and hit me in a place that I didn't realize existed. I enjoyed it and I think others would, too (just don't take it too seriously, it is what it is). I also would like to say that I absolutely love the name of this book.
May 11, 2007 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This book is deceptively simple. It's for anyone in a relationship, anyone who wonders "is there more to life?", anyone who is trying to personally grow and to find themselves. Does that leave anyone out? It's sort of like a therapy fable. It took about 30 minutes to read, and it's the kind of book that you keep in your bedstand to pull out whenever you need to remind yourself that growth hurts and change can be very scary.
Jul 13, 2008 Spudsie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone seeking inspiration or struggling to figure out what's at the top
Wow. I had almost forgotten about this book. I was trying to find room in my (seriously overcrowded) bookshelves for a book I had just finished reading and ran into this one tucked away—waiting patiently to be rediscovered.

The book itself is a beautifully written and delightfully illustrated allegory of a caterpillar named Spike and his companion Yellow. It tells of Spike’s struggle to find…..well……happiness. Or perhaps more accurately (as I’m learning), to choose happiness.

Since the book is on
Mar 23, 2008 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
My boyfriend gave me an old copy of this book that he was about to throw out. I kept it, but didn't read it. It was obvious from the pictures and the title that it was a "Flower Child" book, and I figured I'd read it eventually.

Now I have read it. The timing on reading this book is so strange because at this moment in my life I am EXACTLY like "Stripe", one of the caterpillers in this story. I know something in my life needs to change, and I'm making my way down the huge caterpiller pile to fin
Oct 24, 2007 Baiocco rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: quote unquote Visual Learners
Shelves: comics
where did this book come from? One day I sat down for a hearty bowel movement and flipped through Sports Illustrated, and the next day...This little yellow bit of sunshine. Two culprits: my ex-roomate--a substitute gradeschool teacher at the time, and arts and crafts guru; my ex-girlfriend--comic artist savant and soon-to-be librarian.

Evidence mounted on both sides.

At the end of the day it didn't matter, because sometimes I want to commit suicide. Flat out. End it all and go elsewhereplace. Thi
Amrita Desmet
Apr 25, 2016 Amrita Desmet rated it really liked it
Shelves: grade-8, fast-reads
This book is a comic or children's book but for adults and it's super nice! Although the story was easy to read and quite simple, the message behind it was powerful. What the author tried to get across was meaningful and deep so I really enjoyed this little book :)
Sumit Singla
Aug 22, 2014 Sumit Singla rated it it was amazing
One part Jonathan Livingston Seagull and another part The Little Prince, this is a short, sweet fable with an important message. It doesn't preach and you are free to read it like a children's story or to draw meaning from it.

The story is about two caterpillars Stripe and Yellow, who are trying to climb up the 'caterpillar pillar', which is well... as the name suggests, a pillar of caterpillars. All the caterpillars are trying to crawl over each other and get to the top.

So, do our protagonists j
K.D. Absolutely
May 04, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok
Recommended to K.D. by: My religion teacher in college
This was a required reading in my Religion 101 class in college in the early 80’s. I remember the plot – a caterpillar who went on top of other caterpillar trying to reach a certain height. I think it is a story of becoming somebody among the many who do not have dreams. It is very much the same message as Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The only difference is that these are caterpillars metamorphosing into nice butterflies while Jonathan is a seagull who learned how to be different by flying.
Tammy Williams
Mar 06, 2009 Tammy Williams rated it really liked it
Found it through a sympathy card; subject: death.
"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked pensively.
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
"You mean to die?" asked Yellow, remebering the three who fell out of the sky.
"Yes and No," he answered. "What looks like you will die but what's really you will still live. Life is changed, not taken away. Isn't that different from those who die without ever becoming butterflies?"
Beautiful and mesmerising allegorical tale that one can read from cover to cover. Its genuinely beautiful and it makes you think about your own life in so many ways :) One can smile, feel sad and thrilled, all in a matter of a few minutes. One thing is for sure, you will not put the book down until you have read it fully. Its like no other!
May 23, 2008 Tortla rated it liked it
This was not a very subtle hippie-allegory. The drawings were rather cute, though. And it was amusing. I'm not entirely sure if the amusing-ness was intentional...I think it was sometimes, but at other times it was unintentionally funny, which is kind of funnier than intentional funny. I don't recommend it to children, though.
Adam Sprague
Feb 27, 2009 Adam Sprague rated it liked it
I thought the book was pretty cute..I enjoyed the metaphor on life of followling suit and climbing for what everyone else is without thinking for yourself. It's a kids book with an adult story...everyone can benefit from reading this. At the same time, it wasn't that overwhelmingly good, but I def. enjoyed it.
Feb 22, 2008 Fruitz rated it it was amazing
i love butteflies and reading this reader friendly story (simple language plus the aid of the picture) made me appreciate all the more butterflies.

this also is a constant reminder to me that beautiful things are not always to be sought after, sometimes we just have to wait.
Jul 04, 2016 Niloufar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-همه جور چیز تازه پیدا می شد. سبزه، خاک، حفره ها و حشرات کوچک، هریک او را به خود مجذوب نمودند. اما هیچ یک او را متقاعد نساختند.
-«من هم این کار را دوست دارم.»
اما این به معنی دست کشیدن از بالا رفتن بود، تصمیمی که اتخاذ آن آسان نبود.
-او احساس حماقت و دستپاچگی هم می کرد زیرا هیچ وقت نتوانسته بود دلایلش را طوری در قالب کلمات بریزد که منطق راه راه بپذیرد.
-آن چه به نظر می رسد این است که تو می میری اما آن چه واقعی است این است که تو باز هم زندگی خواهی کرد.
-این خودش یک دل گرمی است بر این که در مسیر صحیح
Maria Eleynita
A cute illustrated book about 2 catterpillars, Yellow and Stripe. I love the drawings. A story about dreams and destiny. Cute! I finished reading this in a bookstore while waiting for Mom. haha!!
Feb 13, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I've been lucky enough to find two copies of this book at thrift stores - one I read and then passed on to my cousin. Today, I found a copy so I once again have my own copy.
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Trina Paulus is the author of Hope for the Flowers, a novel "for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read). She describes herself as an "advocate of organic farming, composting, holistic health and spiritual search." Paulus lives in Montclair, New Jersey and acts as the vice-president of the Cornucopia Network of New Jersey. Paulus' archives of 25 years of the New Jersey environmenta ...more
More about Trina Paulus...

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“How does one become a butterfly? They have to want to learn to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” 188 likes
“‎"Tell me, sir, what is a butterfly?"
"It's what you are meant to become. It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven. It drinks only nectar from the flowers and carries the seeds of love from one flower to another. Without butterflies, the world would soon have few flowers.”
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