The Boy who Grew Flowers

Last updated Monday, February 1, 2010

Author: Jennifer Wojtowicz
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 1841486868
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2010

Synopsis: Everyone in Rink Bowagons family is a little different. His uncle trains rattlesnakes and his siblings and cousins are all shape-shifters. The boy has a special quirkiness all his own. On nights when there is a full moon, he sprouts beautiful, perfect, fragrant flowers from his body. At school, he is quiet and shy, and the other children keep their distance from him. One day, Angelina joins his class and all of the students vie for her attention. She has her own gift and recognizes what a special boy Rink really is. Together, their story is one that celebrates individuality and self-acceptance. The illustrations are done in acrylics on board and the way the texture of the wood shows through gives the lovely paintings a folksy quality. The luminous scenes and soulful relationship between Rink and Angelina make this story a joy to read.–Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Does anyone in your family grow flowers or vegetables?
•  What do you need to grow flowers or vegetables? (sunlight, seeds, water, dirt)
•  What is the boy in the cover holding in his hands?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Vocabulary: luminous(glowing)
•  Is this a fiction or non fiction story? Why do you think so? (this is non fiction—make believe—can people grow flowers from their heads?)
•  Would you like to grow flowers on your body?
•  Why is Angelina saying she would not be a good dancing partner? (she has one leg shorter than the other)
•  Is it ok to make friends with someone different?
•  Is it better to have lots of friends instead of none?
•  Do you like to dance? Do you know how to ballroom dance/partner dance?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Floral Valentine for your sweetheart.
•  Make a paper flower hat/band for your head. Cut out flowers and attach to a headband. Use pipe cleaners or construction paper for stems

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!