Beautifully illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, an inspirational biography of the Peace rose and its creator digs deep into world history, botany, and the rewards of perseverance.
From a young man’s experiments in cross-pollination to the rose that became an international symbol of hope, this gentle picture book biography, beautifully illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, is a quiet epic of war and peace. Francis Meilland was passionate about roses. He loved their rich perfume, their buds unfurling in the summer sun, and their petals, soft as lambs’ ears. Like his father and grandfather before him, Francis cultivated flowers on the family farm in France. In his teens, he set about grafting and experimenting, determined to create a rose no one had seen before, and as the world braced for World War II, he rushed cuttings to rose-growing friends around the globe. Six patient years later, word reached him: his rose had not only flourished; people were calling it the Peace Rose. An ideal gift for science and history buffs and for gardeners of all ages, this life story of a special flower is also a love song to living a dream from beginning to end, through sun and through storm.
About the Author
Barbara Carroll Roberts is the author of a middle-grade novel Nikki on the Line and lives in Virginia with her husband, two cats, and one very goofy dog.
Bagram Ibatoulline has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman; On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Great Joy, both by Kate DiCamillo; and The Serpent Came to Gloucester by M. T. Anderson. Bagram Ibatoulline lives in Chichester, New York.
Words are artfully placed within and around the images to ensure that each piece has its own space while working in tandem to tell the story. Most striking of all are the illustrations; using watercolors, Ibatoulline has created tangible images of Meilland’s life, and readers of all ages will be in awe of the realistic appearance of each one. —School Library Journal (starred review)
In this informative, botanically leaning picture book, Roberts and Ibatoulline chronicle the efforts of French gardener Francis Meilland (1912–1958) to create “a new thing of beauty to give to the world,” describing how WWII almost derailed his efforts. —Publishers Weekly
Roberts offers a truly multi-disciplinary slice of history with child-accessible discussion of the aesthetic, scientific, and business aspects of 3-35-40’s ascent, woven together with the uplifting subplot of how it acquired its name, Peace Rose. Ibatoulline’s near-photorealistic watercolors, set into oversized trim, are well-suited to classroom sharing as well as leisurely examination. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Exquisite watercolors by Ibatoulline starkly contrast sun-drenched rose gardens with smudged, fragile battlefields, highlighting the many strands woven into the flower’s journey. . . a compelling combination of history and science. Poignant storytelling that absolutely blooms. —Kirkus Reviews
Precise and detailed, Ibatoulline’s captivating watercolor paintings help readers imagine the historical settings. . . lovely. —Booklist