About Hope for the Flowers

Hope for the Flowers is a tale, partly about life, partly about revolution, and lots about hope for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read).


17 Responses to “About Hope for the Flowers”

  1. Michael Says:

    Happy I am to find you and your blog. I owned and managed a large used and rare book store in Virginia from 1984-2004 and read and sold many copies of your wonderful story. Since then I have been working on a project very much related to butterflies, hope, New Jersey, and our world. I will share more about this, with earnest hope to collaborate with you soon. Peace, love, and wisdom to us all.

    • trinapaulus Says:

      Dear Michael,

      Who is Edwin (golden-butterfly.com)
      and more about you.
      A little NJ team for Hope and butterflies is functioning now.
      Una McGurk, residing in Asbury Park and being part of the week in Montclair at my house, is a Monarch MAven.

      I am including her in this email,

      Peace, in hope always,

  2. suzanne gelbart Says:

    Dear Tina,

    My daughter and I have been reading your book since she was about four years old. She is now nine, and tonight, for the first time, read it to me.

    What is amazing is that every time I read it, it touches some part of me that needs touching – and it’s something different every time.

    I just wanted to thank you for your story – and for sharing it.

    Much appreciation and love,

  3. Ruth Cochran Strick Says:

    Dear Trina…

    Many years have passed since we last knew each other in Edris Eckhardt’s class at CIA. I now live in Pasadena CA – have a grown daughter and two grandchildren – 20 and 11. My granddaughter (20) has always loved your book and uses it now with the preschool children she teaches. I am working here as a freelance Artist/Designer and volunteer community advocate for Arts and Education after a career as a college teacher and a counselor. I found your photograph on the Grailville site and was so pleased to see the same person I knew so many years ago – same smile.

    I hope we can be in touch again – I do admire what you have done and are doing. I have given you my Blog address if you want to see some of the visual Art work I have been doing.

    Till we can correspond – very best,


    • trinapaulus Says:

      Oh Ruth,

      This is exciting. About 15 years ago I visited John Clague.
      I was also visiting Edris in the nursing home every time I came back to Cleveland.
      She had a very long and lonely ending of her life.
      I looked at your photo. Did you once have red hair?
      Did you make that cat online? Terrific! What do you use?
      I am struggling so with my illustrations for Hope’s sequel.

  4. Rebecca Says:

    My mother read your book to me when I was a little girl and I now read it to my 20 month old son. It is the strangest thing – I had the copy of the book (which my mother gave me to me for Christmas) up on a shelf and he kept pointing to it. Surely my toddler wouldn’t be able to sit still long enough for me to read it to him?!?!? He sat quietly through the entire book the very first time. He now asks for “lello” every night and sometimes insists on sleeping with it. How can it be that such a profound book could speak to such a young soul? I love the book more now because my son loves it so much. FYI – I’ve been looking for a plush yellow caterpillar for him to sleep with (he’s ripped the front cover off of my book sleeping with it) so add that to the list of possible future “Hope” projects. Hope for the littliest ones!

    Thanks again for your wonderful book.


    • trinapaulus Says:

      Dear Rebecca,

      I am so happy with your letter. Your child is about the best recommendation someone could have for what I had hoped to be a book for everyone. Thank you for telling me. I am going to send this to the Chinese publisher who plans to put out hope in Chinese this summer. Maybe it should also go to the American publisher and also someone who wants to make it into a movie.

      I want the movie to be a “soft sell” so to speak, about not climbing over others like it feels we are doing in our country somehow imagining it is great at the top, because “everybody seems to be going there”. It’s not just in our country, of course, but it seems greed has taken over every place. And some are honored for “getting over” as though that were a good thing.

      I want the style to not be a fast, always exciting, 3D kind of appeal. I rather want it to be like the book itself; taking the reader into a quieter world of reflection.

      I think this worked with “Hope”, your son’s approval seems to say Yes! It reached him, so I hope it can work for more, including young children. So indeed, I thank you very much for sharing. Please give your young one a big hug from me.

      A few weeks after I finished the book and it was published, I went off to work in Egypt for the second time, a volunteer helping build a women’s cooperative in the south. These girls taught me so much. Their fathers were making about 50 dollars a year! Yet they have the same issues and central concerns as we do. Whether people liked them. Whether they were trusted. Whether their work was good.

      May our children learn these lessons so we can we build a better world. It is possible–together.

      In hope always,

      P.S.Hope won the Christopher award for 1972 while I was in Egypt. When I came back, my mother had made me two soft caterpillars from a nice fuzzy material. She had put eyes on them with some leather pieces. They were about 8 inches long and stuffed. Except for the eyes and mouth that might not be good for a baby,they were very cuddly. She also made Stripe and Yellow as butterflies. She’s used rather unusual pipe cleaners. They were very fat.

      So I want to keep things simple, and not add to unnecessary toys, but you are encouraging me to make a few things that could make children very happy. I bet you can find something yourself to easily make a stuffed caterpillar. If you do, please let me know and send me a picture. Thanks!

  5. Noni Says:

    Hi Trina,

    My boss gave this book to me…I really enjoyed reading it and I’ve learned a lot of good things from this book.

    It’s not all about being on top….it’s about the journey…it’s all about the climb….it’s how you deal with people around you. How you deal with change and how you react to situation.

    I’m very thankful that I got the chance to read your book and I wanna thank you for sharing your knowledge, your life and story…

    God Bless you more!

    Manila, Philippines

  6. Becky Sadler Says:

    Hello Trina

    20 years ago, when my father died, I received a sympathy card with the butterfly quote. I just wanted to tell you how much it touched me and though I can’t find the cards anymore, I still think it is the most touching thing to read when you are in a time of pain and loss. Thank you for it.

    Becky Sadler

  7. charlene lee Says:

    I would love to speak with you about producing Hope For The Flowers into a short film. We would love to showcase this book in the form of Film Festivals around the world. If interested, please contact me so we can discuss the details. Thank you for this book and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Charlene Lee

  8. Sue Ostapowich Says:

    Hello Trina
    I’m attempting to contact you regarding permission to use your words in a book I’m writing about my personal struggles with emotional freedom.
    The words that I’m hoping to use are “How to you become a butterfly?” she asked pensively. “you must want to fly so much you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

  9. Ruby Says:

    I raise monarch butterflies.its fun.

  10. john Says:

    Hello Trina:

    It can’t believe it has been 40 years since I was first introduced to this wonderful book. I still have my original copy and consider it one of the most important books in my library. I have shared it with friends over the years, and as a father to the most important person in my life, my son. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book, that to this day continues to touch my soul.

  11. chsmall Says:

    I loved your book. It was about Transformation, Love, Faith, Intuition and I referenced in my blog lately. I am a Spiritual Psychotherapist and love how simply you write about the complex concepts. I refer to it with my clients to help move them past the complexities of the mind and ego and personality. Thank you for your wisdom.

  12. Jeffrey Moon Says:

    Hi Trina

    It is amazing that I can write message to you directly.
    I am Korean and living with my wife in Japan with my 2 years old daughter. I read your story for long time back when I was child. I did not know who is author at that time and how I could find that book. However, I clearly remember your story and messages to me at that time.

    It still alive in my heart and still fighting within me.
    Whether my dream or mission(to become a global business leader) is from my selfish motivation or passion or calling from God.

    The cultural background and education I had in korean was more about competition as good things in society. To win the competition you can be the winner. On the other hand, so many people will be behind and be isolated. As you know numbers of people in Korea are not happy. It has record of highest ratio of suicide. Almost every months, I can read the article that students of my country will commit suicide because of score of test and pressures from family and society.

    Even if you could successfully entered a good university and get a good job, the happiness and morale satisfaction of individual consciousness is not that high. Unfortunately, it is still…

    I do hope that I will find my own way even now.
    I am above 30 years old.
    I do not want to live neither somebody else’s life and somebody’s set the dream. However, it is not easy and need a courage to do so.

    Would you kindly share your advice or stories?

    P.s Really happy to see you in here.

    Best regards,
    Jeffrey Moon

  13. josh Says:

    dear Mrs. Paulus
    I am Josh, a 15 year old boy. Thank you for writing- this book never fails to bring the joyful water works!it is an amazing book. I just wanted to tell you!!

  14. Sarah Says:

    Dear Trina,

    I was in one of our Montclair elementary schools this morning to read to the class when I saw a bulletin board with the names, biographies, and pictures of various environmental heroes. You were up there, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that you live here in town. I grew up with your book and have bought and given away many copies over the years. My mother read it to me when I was a little girl, and it is one of the books that speaks to my soul. My mother is not here to read it to my daughters, but I am, and reading it to them is one way my daughters connect with the grandmother they didn’t have a chance to know. Thank you for writing such an extraordinary book, and I was so pleased to discover that you live here in town. Maybe I will have the honor of meeting you one of these days.

    Best regards,

    P.S. The line about Yellow’s inability to put her thinking into words that his kind of logic could understand is one of my all time favorites.

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