Cover image for The rainbow tulip
The rainbow tulip
Mora, Pat.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) color illustrations ; 27 cm
A Mexican-American first-grader experiences the difficulties and pleasures of being different when she wears a tulip costume with all the colors of the rainbow for the school May Day parade.
Reading Level:
AD 310 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 34645.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 2 Quiz: 21709 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Stella loves her family and her Mexican heritage, but she doesn't always like being different from the other kids at school. Now her class is going to dance around the Maypole at the school's May parade, and Stella wants her tulip costume to be special, even if she won't look like the other girls at school. Sometimes being different can be exciting. This touching story that celebrates diversity is based on author Pat Mora's mother's childhood and is brought to life by Elizabeth Sayles's evocative paintings. Illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles.

Author Notes

Pat Mora is a bilingual author with a special focus on children's literature. Among her awards are Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, Honorary Membership in the American Library Association, Life-Time Membership in USBBY, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a recipient and judge of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.

Her children's books include: Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube. With her daughter, Libby Martinez, Pat also recently wrote I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!. A literacy advocate, Pat founded Children's Day, Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros often known as Día. The year-long commitment promotes creatively linking all children and families to books, and establishing annual April Children's Day, Book Day celebrations across the country. April 2016 will be Día's 20th Anniversary. Pat's Book Fiesta captures the Día spirit.

A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular national speaker who promotes creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-9. In a picture book based on her mother's childhood, Mora tells of a Mexican American immigrant child who feels caught between her Spanish home and the English world outside. At home she's Estelita. At school she's Stella. There's not much story: when she goes to the May parade at school in a tulip costume of many colors, she worries that she looks different from everyone else, only to realize that it's fine to be different. What many immigrant kids will enjoy is the bicultural experience. The scenarios in words and soft-toned pictures show the warm, loving family and also the fun and success at school. At first, the child is ashamed of her quiet, old-fashioned mother, but her parents keep a piece of Mexico at home, and Estelita/Stella comes to value her dual heritage, even though it is hard to be different. --Hazel Rochman

Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Mora succeeds in creating a quiet story to which children will respond. Stella loves her mother very much, but sometimes she is just a little embarrassed that she can't speak English and doesn't dress like the other mothers. Despite her awareness that her Hispanic family is different from the other families in her neighborhood, Stella fits in well and enjoys school. Her excitement over the May parade mirrors that of the other girls in her class. They will all be tulips, and Stella has definite ideas about her costume: it must include all of the spring colors. But when the big day arrives and Stella sees the other girls, each dressed in one color, she feels that she's made a mistake. However, her perfect execution of the Maypole dance, her teacher's approval, and, above all, her mother's quiet love result in a memorable day for Stella. Based on a story from the author's mother's childhood, and perfectly extended by soft, warm pastel drawings framed in white, this tale of family love and support crosses cultural boundaries and may remind youngsters of times when their families made all the difference. Pair this with Mary Hoffman's Amazing Grace (Dial, 1991), another story of an irrepressible child supported by a loving family.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.