Barbara Carroll Roberts

A Rose Named Peace

Rose Named Peace

Fran­cis Meil­land always want­ed to grow his own ros­es, like his father and grand­fa­thers before him. More than that, he want­ed to cre­ate a brand-new rose, the most beau­ti­ful rose the world had ever seen. Year after year — through sud­den frosts and insect infes­ta­tions and fail­ure after fail­ure — Fran­cis tried to craft a new hybrid. And then, just as he final­ly began to find suc­cess, World War II explod­ed across Europe.

When the Ger­man army stormed into France, Fran­cis and his fam­i­ly had to sac­ri­fice their rose beds for veg­etable gar­dens. It seemed that Francis’s efforts to cre­ate a new rose would be lost forever.

But at war’s end, the sto­ry of the Peace Rose was just beginning.

Beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed by cel­e­brat­ed illus­tra­tor Bagram Iba­toulline, this biog­ra­phy of the Peace Rose and its cre­ator is an ode to liv­ing a dream from begin­ning to end, through sun and through storm.

Behind the Book

You Never Know Where a Story Will Come From

husband and son

This is my hus­band hold­ing our son (thir­ty years ago) stand­ing in front of the Peace ros­es bloom­ing in our yard in Cal­i­for­nia. We had no idea what they were — oth­er than beau­ti­ful. But our elder­ly neigh­bor and gar­den­er-extra­or­di­naire, Lau­ra Hoff­man, knew exact­ly what they were.

“These are Peace ros­es,” she told me, while also show­ing me — a novice gar­den­er at the time — how to care for them. “They were flown out of France at the begin­ning of the World War II.”

Laura’s words — and the mys­tery they held — stayed with me. And all these years lat­er, I dis­cov­ered the rest of the story.



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)

Rose Named Peace

illus­trat­ed by Bagram Iba­toulline

Can­dlewick Press, May 2022

ISBN: 978–1‑5362–0843‑6

Non­fic­tion Pic­ture Book

48 pages

Age Range: 6 and up

buy the book