A Bloom of Friendship

A Bloom of Friendship: The Story of the Canadian Tulip Festival

  • Intended audience: 9-12 year olds
  • Number of pages: 40
  • Publisher: Whitecap Books
  • Amazon
  • Indigo

Every spring, Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, bursts into colour with hundreds of thousands of tulip blooms. The Canadian Tulip Festival is an annual celebration born of courage, sacrifice and loss, and of a friendship that blossomed between Canada and the Netherlands more than half a century ago. The festive floral display is a reminder of the safe haven Canada provided to Dutch Crown Princess Juliana and her family during the Second World War, and is a tribute to the thousands of Canadians who fought and died during the dreadful months of conflict that gave way to the liberation of the Netherlands.

“Reading this book is the next best thing to visiting a war museum for learning about World War II. It is full of interesting archival photos, easy to understand timelines, reproductions of newspaper headlines and Instant History Facts set apart in boxes, as well as explanatory text and illustrations…this is an important book because the veterans of the war are now in their 80s or beyond, and their memories will soon be lost to us. Teachers could use this book in the days leading up to Remembrance Day to facilitate learning about this terrible period of world history. It would be great for reading aloud and discussing, but children will also pick it up to soak up the tidbits of information they find on its pages.” – Canadian Teacher Magazine, Winter 2004

“…attractively designed, well-written…gives a concise description of events leading to World War II…This war history is told clearly and succinctly; Renaud has summed up many years of complicated events in a few pages and an easy-to-read timeline…bright pictures, combined with the attractive overall design of this book, will entice readers across Canada to share in the interesting history of the Canadian Tulip Festival.” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials, December 2005

“…a great supplement for students studying Canada’s role in World War II and the symbols and festivals which are part of our Canadian heritage. This book should be in every school and public library. Rating: E for Excellent.” – Resource Links, February 2005

“This wonderful book clearly describes the events of half a century ago that led to this special friendship between Canada and Holland. The history is clear and concise for children, with excellent illustrations and photographs.” – Quebec Home & School NEWS, June 2005

“Renaud makes use of authentic photographs, timelines, maps and newspaper clippings to accentuate the story. …Spires’ colourful illustrations provide an eye-catching historical account of the war effort, both home and abroad. Additional photographs of the Tulip Festival by the late Malak Karsh add to the books’ charm. A Bloom of Friendship is Renaud’s first children’s book and is sure to delight both younger and older readers.” – Westmount Examiner, February 2005

“…an invaluable teaching resource in any grade 3 to 5 classroom.” – TEACH Magazine

“…Beautifully worded, this book is a history lesson like no other. Written in an easy to understand style suitable to multiple ages, your children will be entranced by our history.” – Homeschooling Horizons

  • Shortlisted, Red Cedar Book Award (BC Young Readers’ Choice Awards, 2006-2007)
  • Shortlisted, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award (Atlantic Canada, 2006)
  • Shortlisted, Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Reading Program Award (2006)
    #5 on the Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction Bestseller List (BookManager, May 11- 18, 2005)
  • Selected for CBC Montreal Radio Noon’s “Children’s Book Suggestions”
  • Selected by Library and Archives Canada for the 2005 “Read Up On It” Resource Guide
  • Selected for the Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth Recommended Social Studies Learning Resources list (2005)
  • Featured in the Canadian Tulip Festival Program, the “Thank you Canada and Allied Forces” website, and by the Canadian Embassy in The Netherlands and the Rotterdam Museum during the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of Holland ceremonies