Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Favorite Picture Books: Hana in the Time of the Tulips

Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Deborah Noyes, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Set during the time of the tulipomania in seventeenth century Holland, this book shows the collapse of the tulip market through the eyes of a young child, one who dearly loves her father. Throughout the book, she seeks answers from everyone, including the artist Rembrandt, on how to console her father. In the end, she herself shows him how much he still has in the love of his family and daughter. A note at the end gives a little more information on the rise and fall of the tulip market.

The book is illustrated beautifully in the style of the Dutch masters. My favorite illustration shows a delighted Hana displaying a daisy chain she made for her father. I also love the one that shows Hana gazing raptly at the light of a firefly wonderfully cupped in her nurse's hands.

I decided to read this book to the children as part of our Reading Around the World for Europe. I was a little afraid the girls' attention would wander as some of the pages of text are a little long, but they were enthralled for the entire book. Even First Son (my third grader) sat and listened to the whole story.

This book is sadly out of print. I loved it when I requested it through inter-library loan and was delighted to find a perfect used copy on Amazon. I bought it with some of the commissions from people who have made purchases when clicking through this blog. Thank you for helping to add this beautiful book to our home library!

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