A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War

A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War
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Release Date
May 17, 2022
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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.

Editor review

1 review
History of Roses and War
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Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Francis Meilland grew up planting roses and his love for their beauty only magnified as he became an adult. He loved them so much that he wanted to make them better so he crossbred species. But war spawned at his doorstep, and he and his family were forced to replace their rose fields with vegetables. However, Francis kept one small plot for his roses and it's where he creates the most magical one. In fear of it being lost due to the war, he sends its seeds to friends who also enjoy roses. For that reason, the rose was saved and named "Peace" in tribute to the end of the war.

A ROSE NAMED PEACE is an inspiring historical story about holding on to a slice of beauty during a desolate time. Francis Meilland doesn't let the threat of war stop his progress and I love how he sends it to multiple people instead of keeping it to himself. Unable to reach out to Francis during the war, the people he sent it to named it different things, but it still rings as a symbol of peace. The illustrations are stunning and it's obvious the illustrator paid attention to even the minor details. They add to the majestic feel the rose offers its viewers.

Final Verdict: I would recommend this to children who love history and gardening. It's a motivating story that teaches staying true to who you are and doing what you love no matter how hard times become.
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