Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Esmeralda Grunch is a very enthusiastic and energetic flower sprite, a fairy. Her best friend is Tulip, the only red tulip in a field of yellow tulips. Esmeralda lived inside Tulip. Well, perhaps it would be more precise to say that she slept inside Tulip, during the night because before the sun rises in the morning, before Tulip has had a chance to opens its petals, Esmeralda is pushing her way out into the open air to explore the world around her and explore she does. Tulip is a little envious of Esmeralda’s freedom to fly around all day. Tulip has to stay put in the tulip patch, waiting for Esmeralda’s return at the end of the day. And when questioned about her day, all Esmeralda will do when she returns is curl up and fall asleep.
Debbie Manber Kupfer’s little picture book story for very young readers, Esmeralda Grunch and the Red Tulip, is a simple story of make-believe and whimsy. It tells a story of a flower sprite and her daily adventures that exclude the somewhat disgruntled Tulip who really can’t go anywhere. Esmeralda is a character much like a child, full of energy from well before sun up till after sunset. This will definitely appeal to the energetic young reader, and it should attract a chuckle or two from the adult who reads this story aloud to them. Illustrator Tina Wijesiri has captured the character of the story with colorful and insightful illustrations. A charming, playful story.