A Flower is a Friend cover

By Frieda Wishinsky & Karen Patkau

A Flower is a Friend

In the garden ecosystem, a flower means many things to each bird, insect, and creature.

What does a flower do? They may not seem active to human eyes, but for the creatures of the garden they dust a bumblebee, shade a frog, feed a hummingbird, and serve as the center of a buzzing, humming, thrumming community.

In A Flower is a Friend, award-winning author Frieda Wishinsky’s spare text whispers softly to readers about the many ways a flower cares for those around it, while award-winning illustrator Karen Patkau’s striking art provides a close-up view of each mouse, frog, and butterfly within a blossom’s embrace. Rich back matter unfurls further information about the partnerships within the garden ecosystem, including the ways these garden creatures are friends to flowers in return.

Available In


Ages 3-6
ISBN: 978-1-77278-280-6
List Price: $22.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 9.00 x 9.00 inches / 22.86 x 22.86cm
Pages: 36

Publication date: May 16, 2023

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 36

About this book


Praise for A Flower is a Friend

California Reading Association “2023 EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards” Honor Book

The Children’s Book Council “May 2023 Hot Off the Press” Feature

49th Kids “Spring 2023 New Releases” Feature

CBC Books “12 Canadian books for younger children this summer 2023” Feature 

★“ Beginning with this quietly lovely book’s first spread, blossoms proudly announce themselves in clear, simple prose and describe how they help their friends….The remarkable digital illustrations, so photographically, lusciously lifelike that one can almost smell floral aromas wafting from the pages, call for readers’ close scrutiny….A garden of gorgeous delights.”—KirkusStarred Review

“Young readers will enjoy the accessible tone and engaging illustrations of this scientifically minded book; this is first-rate for browsing shelves or to round-out classroom collections.”—School Library Journal

“This appealing picture book takes viewers on a close-up tour of a garden….Wishinsky’s age-appropriate text talks of friendships between flowers and animals and uses questions to engage her audience….Patkau’s vibrantly colorful illustrations are eye-catching and helpful. An intriguing picture book on flowers and their friends”—Booklist

“[S]tunningly beautiful….The interconnectedness of nature is explained in easy-to-understand descriptions and the colorful illustrations of familiar and not-so-familiar flowers are beautiful to look at.”—Youth Services Book Review ★ Starred Review

“[A] wonderful invitation to embrace science….Enjoy both quiet moments with the pictures and the fun of discovery with the text in this thoughtful book. Highly Recommended”—CM Magazine

“[A] lovely celebration of flowers….The lyrical text lends itself to be read aloud with young readers. The art invites the reader to study the images closely to discover more animals….A perfect book for nature lovers.”—The International Educator

“This quiet, cozy, informative, and beautifully illustrated children’s book explores the relationships between flowers and wildlife.…Perfect for schools and libraries, this fantastic introduction to nature, gardening, and ecosystems will captivate children ages 3 – 6 with its realistic artwork and accessible language.”—CLCD – Children’s Literature

“Master nonfiction author Frieda Wishinsky helps readers think about the way that flowers care for those around it….Full page, close-up illustrations by award-winning illustrator Karen Patkau are spectacular….This is a gorgeous gem of a nonfiction title.”—Larry Swartz

“Page after page of glorious digital art….A Flower is a Friend will be a lovely book for teaching STEM with regards to the growth and changes in plants and the interrelationships of living things….Coupled with Karen Patkau’s illustrations, A Flower is a Friend transforms from creative non-fiction to gorgeous coffee table book that any reader would love to peruse.”CanLit for LittleCanadians

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