Winner of a 2018 Family Choice Award.
Pola’s Flower is a gentle yet powerful account of a young Tibetan girl’s relationship with her grandfather, Pola. Metog-ma and Pola live in the quiet and magical land of Tibet during the time just before the historical government take-over. Pola is a painter of Buddhist scrolls known as thangkas. He tells Metog-ma that thangkas have the potential for giving secret messages to those who meditate on the sacred images.
As a seven year old child growing up in a traditional family, Metog-ma recognizes her grandfather’s capabilities for penetrating wisdom. And so, she follows Pola everywhere. She asks Pola everything. She listens closely to his words. And she watches as he paints grand landscapes adorned with glorious Buddhas, stately mountains, lush blue lakes, and richly colored lotus flowers. Secretly, she holds her greatest wish: to be able to see the messages hidden in her grandfather’s beautiful paintings.
With mastery, Pola prepares Metog-ma for impending and grave losses through his art. Sometimes this entails hard lessons, but she follows his every instruction even when faced with strong feelings of fear and sadness. Eventually, like one of Pola’s lotus flowers growing out of the muck and mire, Metog-ma stumbles upon a wealth of inner strength and wisdom, aspiring to help others keep that which they love most alive in their hearts.
Pola’s Flower is absolutely lovely, illustrated by traditionally trained thangka artist, Lobsang Gyatso. Geared toward children of ages 9-12 years, it offers a respectful glimpse of Tibetan life at a time when their culture was untouched by the major historical changes. The story offers wonderful support for children facing major life changes, and provides adults the means to foster compassion and strength as they help their children deal with life experiences.
Pola’s Flower is a must-have!