I read this article in yesterday's Washington Post ("Letter from Ireland: Snowdrops are a prize in full bloom," by Adrian Higgins, 2/20/2013), about the mania for snowdrop bulbs in Ireland, with great interest, partly because who doesn't love snowdrops in February? But mostly because I'm also interested in reading about the seventeeth-century Dutch mania for tulips. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many middle grade or YA books set during the Dutch Golden Age: just The House of Windjammer by V.A. Richardson (Bloomsbury, 2003) and its sequels, The Moneylender's Daughter and The Street of Knives, which seem to involve a lot of seafaring and anyway are out of print. Maybe there are more?
Picture book readers, though, might like Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Deborah Noyes, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline (Candlewick, 2004). Ibatoulline's illustrations echo the style of the Dutch masters, particularly Rembrandt, who appears as a character in this book. And Noyes's work is always interesting, whether she's writing about tulips or wolf girls or Chinese princesses. And those are just the picture books!