Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
- Reading age: 4 to 7
Tulip is a watering fairy. Her best friend and companion is Lupin, a dog bee honeymaker. Together they cultivate their fields and make delicious honey. But because, as everyone knows, watering fairies outlive dog bees, Lupin eventually becomes old and dies, leaving Tulip sad and bereft. She goes on a long journey during which, with the help of a river, the sea and a friendly turtle, she finally imagines a way to pick up her life once again. When she returns home she finds a baby dog bee waiting for her. He will never replace Lupin, but Lupino will come to be just as important in his own way.
About the author
Mireille Levert is one of Quebec’s most talented children’s book author-illustrators. Her previous books include Lucy’s Secret, Rose by Night and Tulip and Lupin Forever, and she has won Governor General’s awards for Island in the Soup and Sleep Tight, Mrs. Ming. Mireille lives in Montreal where she works as an illustrator.
The pain of loss is sensitively described...Levert's watercolor and Acryla art suit this quiet story; thin, curved lines and deep, rich colors enhance this magical world, and Lupin subtly conveys emotion.
School Library Journal
Levert offers a whimsical but honest story about grieving.
An eyeful of colour and flower good enough to eat...Grief, plain and powerful...with adventures and experiences along the way is this book's gentle, subtle tale.
Globe and Mail
Levert provides both the text and the art, which work marvelously together. Crisp white backgrounds highlight the rich reds and greens of giant flowers...The artwork has visual charm...Levert's text is sweet but never cloying, and doesn't speak down to the reader...Tulip and Lupin Forever lifts the reader up and provides those low to the ground with a broader perspective - one that shows there is always a new day coming, and that loss, while overwhelming in the moment, is not the final act.
Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW
Tulip and Lupin ForeverTulip and Lupin are inseparable. She’s a fairy in a bright red dress, sporting a watering can atop her head, and he’s a dog bee and master honey maker. (Picture a wiener dog with stripes and wings.)
Their days are filled with fun and friendship, flying among fields and gardens as they water flowers and collect nectar. Enjoying a cup of honey at sunrise, or an afternoon nap in a shaded glade, they enjoy a rare contented companionship. Sometimes, though, while howling at the full moon, they “feel a bit melancholy.”
The story of these two friends takes a turn when Lupin starts to age. “Sometimes he even forgets what game they are playing. Then one day, he does not wake up, and Tulip must face the fact that “dog bees don’t live as long as watering fairies.”
Thus begins Tulip’s journey through grief. Initially, she is emotionally paralyzed by her sadness, but she soon decides to set off on an adventure. Beginning by floating downriver on a leaf, she later finds herself riding ocean waves, thinking about how Lupin would love this new experience. After meeting new friends and visiting new places, she eventually returns to the rhythms of her old life, and discovers that new joys await her there.
This irresistible picture book warms the heart and delights the eye. Internationally acclaimed author and illustrator Mireille Levert’s friendly images and evocative use of colour will keep young readers riveted to the page as she takes them from joy to sadness and back again. Tulip and Lupin Forever is a gentle, non-threatening portrait of grief for young children.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.