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The Boy Who Grew Flowers Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd (1 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841484970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841484976
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 1 x 27.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 842,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'The Boy Who Grew Flowers, illustrated by Steve Adams, is that rare thing, a substantial story delivered through a full-colour picture book. Rink keeps himself to himself, aware that his unorthodox home life and flower-growing set him apart from his peers. But when Angelina arrives, she expects her peers to accept her differences and disability. The linguistic ability of the story-telling combines with lush illustrations in a delightful, unusual book.' --The Bookseller

The most original new fairytale of the bunch is The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jen Wojtowicz. Rink Bowagon (see, that's original) lives on Lonesome Mountain and sprouts flowers whenever there's a full moon. A nice girl called Angelina Quiz takes a fancy to him at school, and he makes her a pair of snakeskin slippers. Romance, and a lot of plant life, blossoms. It's lovely, but text-heavy, so you have to be a reader to enjoy this one, I'd say. --Nicola Smyth, Independant on Sunday

'A beautiful romantic fairytale for a modern audience... wonderfully illustrated, a warm story for readers looking for a little magic in their everyday lives' --The Green Parent

About the Author

Jen is an artist who also happens to write. She currently teaches artists who also happen to have disabilities. She was inspired to write this story because of her brother, who has autism. Jen lives in upstate New York with her son Marcel and shih tzu, Michie. The Boy Who Grew Flowers is her first book, which has been adapted into a play by Kazzum, in England. You can learn more about Jen at www.jennysdresserdrawer.com. Steve is an award-winning illustrator based in Montreal. After finishing his studies of graphic design in 1994, he traveled to Europe for an advanced training course in design. Upon his return, Steve began collaborating with various publications including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and American Lawyer. Since 1999 Steve has shared his passion for illustration and graphic design by teaching at a Montreal college. The Boy Who Grew Flowers (2005) is his first project with Barefoot Books.

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First Sentence
Rink Bowagon was a boy from the deep country. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Barefoot Books always produce top quality books in terms of artwork and presentation and their ethos, to produce thoughtful, thought provoking and 'moral' books for children, but which are still fun and magical is laudable. This book ticks all those boxes in some ways.

The illustrations are exquisite, paintings full of detail and colour and striking images. The story is about a young boy who comes from an unusual family, isolated at school he meets a new girl called Angelina. A girl who is also different, but popular, and their friendship develops. It is heavy on the message of acceptance and inclusion and of the fact that the things that make us individuals can be either a cause for bullying in a damaged community, or love and celebration in an accepting community. It is a nice message, but one which for me, was not particularly well told.

It was too wordy for my three year old, who listened quietly, and who seemed to get the general gist, when we discussed it, but who told me flatly that it was a 'grown up's book' and that he had no desire to hear it again. My ten year old enjoyed it, but zipped through it in seconds and hasn't returned to it, and I find it hard to think where it would be most suitably pitched. It either needed simpler words and to make more of the quirkiness of the story, or be more sophisticated. As it was I found it a fairly unsatisfactory half and half.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Dawson VINE VOICE on 19 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book tells a simple story of a gentle outcast and the friendship he develops with the most popular girl at school. The illustrations are pretty and the story is a sweet one with a laudable message about accepting those who are different. However the story is so gentle as to be completely lacking in conflict or tension, and ultimately lacking in any of the elements that might make it truly memorable. The best children's books - even picture books for young children - will appeal to adults as well. For me, this is a book that may well appeal to children but does not stand up as one of the greats. However, it is perfectly appealing, a bit quirky, visually appealing, and may well be worth checking out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kat on 19 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
a wonderful story, beautifully illustrated, a true gem to have in your book-pile, my daughter will ask to read it over and over again, and i consider it one of the most beautiful and magical stories i've ever read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Cowan VINE VOICE on 24 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Boy Who Grew Flowers is undoubtedly a beautifully illustrated book and the story itself is an intriguingly sweet conception.

As a teacher I can see how this book would be an excellent tool to use in an educational setting, e.g. in PSHE lessons to encourage discussion about difference, particularly with KS2 children. The story covers difference which is both accepted and rejected, hidden and unhidden and highlights how they are not so dissimilar after all. There is also the emphasis that difference should be embraced and celebrated. The message the book offers is certainly as beautiful as its illustrations.

Personally however, the book did not appeal so much. The problem lies, I think, in the fact that it has too much text to make a successful picture book and not enough text to make a successful fairy tale in its own right. That is, the story felt a little rushed and could have been fleshed out in much more detail. Despite this, the story was intriguing and it is a book I'll come back to again.

In sum (and perhaps as a side note), the story very much reminded me of this quote:
'We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.' - Author Unknown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By leftfooter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to say this is quite the oddest book I have read in a long time. However, my 5-year-old daughter absolutely loves it, and has demanded it for bedtime story many days in a row. Obviously, children have an ability to accept the bizarre which exceeds that of most adults!

The illustrations are absolutely beautiful - they look like paint on wood, in a colourful and simple style, with lots of little details for children to pick up on.

The text is good, but perhaps less impressive than the pictures. Reading it out loud is a little uncomfortable for an Englishman, as it is written in a slightly American style (phrases like 'the folks who lived there' and 'his mama' ring less true from English lips). But the story is propelled well, and there is a hint of melancholy that runs through the book until it resolves to its happy ending. There is much that is not said, but merely hinted at, which makes reading the book a more satisfying experience and one that rewards children for repeated reading.

This is a simple romance of boy meets girl, overcoming differences, shyness and disability until love conquers all.

I think this is a book that will really stick in the memory of its readers for many years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By robotfish TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Well, I got this to give my niece, but first road-tested it on a pair of macho Ben 10 loving boys aged 4 and 6.

Unusually they actually loved it. The story is a whimsical tale of a boy who grows flowers on his head when there is a full moon. I thought the story was well written, beautifully illustrated and just the right length for a bedtime book.

However it was hard to think what the target audience would be. Now I know. If my boys liked it I'm pretty sure most kids of that age would.
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