The First Tulips in Holland

The First Tulips in Holland
The First Tulips in Holland

In this charming story by Phyllis Krasilovsky and illustrated by S.D. Schindler, the reader learns how tulips first came to Holland.  In this fictionalized imagining (since no one knows for sure who first brought the bulbs to Holland), a Dutch merchant named Hendrik brought them back to Holland as a present for his daughter, Katrina.  She plants them in her window and when they bloom they attracted the whole town’s attention.

Hendrik is offered everything from gold to a harpsichord to sheep and goats to trade for them but he refuses.  Instead, he gives them to his daughter as her dowry when she marries a florist.  Her and her husband end up cultivating the tulips and selling them.  Hence, the proliferation of tulips all over Holland.

One king in history, Ahmet III, is known as “The Tulip King” for his love of tulips.  He was a Turkish ruler who imported hundreds of bulbs from the Netherlands and threw lavish parties every year when they bloomed.

For a time, tulips were coveted items and there was even a run on tulips in 1637 when one tulip was selling for the price of gold today.

Great book about a beautiful flower and its role in history.