by Diana Nadeau
illustrated by Lobsang Gyatso
2016 Khyentse Foundation
Akosha Grant Award
2018 Purple Dragonfly
Honorable Mention Award
Metog-ma's childhood has been infused with Tibet's rich heritage and colorful traditions, just like the canvases of her grandfather’s great Thangka paintings. For all of her young life, Metog-ma's grandfather, Po-la, has offered her his loving attention, silently preparing her to face the grave changes of the looming government takeover of 1959. It is only through her grandfather's kindness and wisdom that Metog-ma recognizes her inner strength which allows her to survive the loss of her world. Pola's Flower subtly and gently presents the experience of loss from a child’s perspective. It’s quiet message reaches hidden depths, giving children an age-appropriate and practical outlook on life and love.
A Review on Amazon:
This story is so good for the soul. It's moving, magnetic, and extremely well-written. With authentic illustrations and expert story telling, Pola's Flower isn't just wonderful for kids and teens, but a must-read for adults, as well!
Read a wonderfully written review on OnlineBookClub.org
Official Review: Pola's Flower by Diana Nadeau
Pola’s Flower is a stunning visual, which offers a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry and spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism through the eyes of a young Tibetan girl. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing about Tibet’s artistic wealth, its unique wisdom culture, and its peace-loving people.
- Tulku Jigme Rinpoche, Founder and Director of the Palmo Center for Peace and Education
Although I am ninety-six years old, Pola’s Flower brings me back to my childhood, with memories of my beloved grandpa telling me stories. This book lights a divine light in children’s innocent hearts. If Diana had not had years of intensive training in Tibetan Buddhist Meditation, she would not nor could not have ever written such an inspiring and encouraging book.
- Master Alfred Huang, Author of The Complete I Ching, Understanding the I Ching,
The Numerology of the I Ching, and Dragon Flying in the Sky
A beautiful, thoughtful, and timely children’s book. Brimming with cultural awareness and providing support for children and families that are dealing with loss.
- Melissa Gomsrud, Licensed Professional Counselor
Masterfully written, Pola’s Flower not only gives children explicit guidance on how to move through the challenges of impermanence, but also offers a peek into the heart and soul of traditional Tibet. This book has the power to calm the mind and warm the heart.
- Karma Sonam, Shi-ne Meditation Instructor
Growing up in Western societies, children often miss out on developing meaningful bonds with their grandparents. In this beautifully illustrated book, meet Metog-ma, a young girl growing up under the wings of her Po-la (grandfather) in the mountains of Tibet. He is a well-respected painter of Buddhist scrolls (Thangkas) who encourages Metog-ma and instills virtues like patience and gratitude in her. A heart-warming story for ages 8 to 12.
- Skipping Stones Multicultural Literary Magazine Review
Review Quotes from Educators:
I would recommend this book as a reference text or independent reading in the classroom. - Learning Magazine Evaluator G.W., 6th Grade Teacher in Wisconsin
This book would be great for a multi-day read aloud or for independent reading. Pola's Flower is a fairly long story that is not broken into chapters. It also has fairly short paragraphs and alternates between text and illustrations to text and text on facing pages. This makes it difficult for small group and whole group reading, but is perfect for a read aloud or for independent reading. - Learning Magazine Evaluator E.B., 6th Grade Teacher in Montana
I would use this book as a read aloud to my class while studying about Southeast Asia or teaching what is valued in life. This book allows students to hear a beautiful story filled with the vocabulary of Tibet. The drawings and illustrations are very colorful reflecting the culture of the country. The message of the story could easily be discussed with the whole class. It also could be used as independent reading to enhance the students’ understanding of the culture of Southeast Asia or a lesson taught about the importance of family. - Learning Magazine Evaluator B.K., 6th Grade Teacher in Illinois
Yes, it is written in a kid friendly style and does use realistic conversational tone. It sparked discussions concerning celebrations of life, which is not something that we usually have the chance to talk about. - Learning Magazine Evaluator G.W., 6th Grade Teacher in Wisconsin
My students were very interested in this book. I set it out after reading it so that students could better look at the beautiful illustrations. Students had so many questions about Tibet. So yes, I would say this book is definitely interesting. - Learning Magazine Evaluator E.B., 6th Grade Teacher in Montana
This book was definitely written with children in mind. The illustrations can be found on almost every page depicting the text. It is easy to follow the storyline. Using vocabulary found in ancient Tibet, the words are introduced and explained in the text. Throughout the rest of the story, the vocabulary is used to reinforce its meaning. The story is very interesting as it explains the plight of the family. Students can easily relate to the events of the book while being immersed in the cultures of Tibet. - Learning Magazine Evaluator B.K., 6th Grade Teacher in Illinois
Language Arts, Literacy, Other Cultures, Other Religions, Families, and Character Education. - Learning Magazine Evaluator G.W., 6th Grade Teacher in Wisconsin
Pola's Flowers would meld well with a reading unit, language arts, social studies, and even science as it pertains to geology. - Learning Magazine Evaluator E.B., 6th Grade Teacher in Montana
With this book, vocabulary skills are emphasized. The words of Tibet are used throughout the story. Their definition is given in the text the first time they are used. The the new word continues being used as the story progresses. In social studies, it can be used to study ancient cultures of Southeast Asia. i could use a chart having students list the customs and compare them with another country in Southeast Asia. I could also have them make a Venn diagram comparing the ancient culture in Tibet to American customs. Also, this book could be read after students learned how the government took over Tibet. I could also use this book to discuss important lessons about the importance of family and other life lessons. One in particular would be that material possessions are not what is important in life. In language arts, I could have them write an essay based on the last line of the book. I would edit it to read, “What family tradition would you help to keep alive as you grow up?” - Learning Magazine Evaluator B.K., 6th Grade Teacher in Illinois
I would. I think the story is well written and my students enjoyed it. As the foundational philosophy of the text is Tibetan Buddhism, some schools might only be able to use it with parent permission. But I thought it was a lovely story. - Learning Magazine Evaluator G.W., 6th Grade Teacher in Wisconsin
I would definitely recommend this to other teachers, it would be perfect during a unit that studies Asia. It kept my students engaged and asking questions. - Learning Magazine Evaluator E.B., 6th Grade Teacher in Montana
I would recommend this book because it really explains the culture of Tibet in a very clear, concise way. It is a short book that motivates the students to turn the page to see what visitors will be coming. It also is very interesting to learn how the paintings are created in Tibet. The morals emphasized while learning about a culture also applies to students today. The value of the lesson and the special relationship between the grandfather and his granddaughter is evident while reading the book. - Learning Magazine Evaluator B.K., 6th Grade Teacher in Illinois
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