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Book Review: A Tribute to Tulipia

A Tribute to Tulipia. Chiara Talluto. Self-Published, December 2, 2018, Paperback and E-book, 28 pages.

Reviewed by Bibi Belford

Tulipia is an orphaned tulip with extraordinary powers who lives in a harsh environment oddly called “Oasis.” Adding to her difficulties are her beauty, height, and intelligence, which breed jealousy in the surrounding foliage. Rather than be daunted by her lack of friends and unforgiving environment, Tulipia continues to bloom, confident that someday her goodness will triumph.

When a prowling wolf threatens, Tulipia comes to the rescue, using her powers to influence her neighbors, who in turn save a defenseless bunny. The bunny repays Tulipia by counseling the rest of the foliage to respect and honor her. Tulipia lives on, through winter and a changing environment, until one day another flower, named Rishonich, is planted nearby. They propagate and raise their sprout, Nevanobry, to live honorably and survive in the Oasis. 

Books that help children cope with being ostracized and bullied will always find a place on the parental bookshelf. Talluto wrote this allegory for adults and children, but her use of challenging vocabulary may prevent younger readers from obtaining the full meaning and message of the story on their own. Fortunately, she includes a list of vocabulary words for further study and page of names with their meanings.

Talluto was inspired to write this short work after spotting a lone tulip amid overgrown brush on a forest trail. The imagery and symbolism of a single flower in an austere environment are indeed compelling, and the photographs of nature that illustrate the cover and each page are effective companions to the text. 

The author could easily adapt the story into a picture book for younger readers by scaling down the vocabulary and limiting the story to Tulipia and the foliage, wolf, and bunny. For now, adults and children can follow the exploits of some very smart flowers in this entertaining story.


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