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Children's Nonfiction Flowers & Plants

A Flower is a Friend

by (author) Frieda Wishinsky

illustrated by Karen Patkau

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
May 2023
Flowers & Plants, Insects, Spiders, etc., Butterflies, Moths & Caterpillars, Frogs & Toads, Gardening
Recommended Age
3 to 6
Recommended Grade
p to k
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

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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.

About the authors


Frieda Wishinsky
est l'auteure de plus de 40 livres pour enfants. Parmi les ouvrages déjà
parus, on peut citer, entre autres,

Ounga Bounga, Tu es méchante Lily-Ange!, Le sac à main de la reine,
Canada en vedette

et les romans de la série Catastrophe! Elle vit à Toronto, en


FRIEDA WISHINSKY has written over seventy books for children, including Oonga Boonga; You're Mean, Lily Jean; the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award winner Please, Louise!; the middle-grade series Survival, and the non-fiction books Explorers Who Made It . . . or died trying; Everything but the Kitchen Sink and Colossal Canada. Frieda lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband. Visit her online at

Frieda Wishinsky's profile page

KAREN PATKAU has been writing and illustrating picture books, with a focus on nature and non-fiction, for more than thirty years. She won the Ezra Jack Keats Memorial Medal for her first book, Don’t Eat Spiders by Robert Heidbreder, and since then her titles have appeared on lists including Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books, Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award finalists, Green Book Festival Award finalists, Ontario Library Association Best Bets and White Ravens selections. Karen has also illustrated Forest: A See to Learn Book. She lives in Toronto.


Karen Patkau's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for A Flower is a Friend

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

49th Kids “Spring 2023 New Releases” 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

“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

“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

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