A Tulip in Winter: A Story About Folk Artist Maud Lewis

Illustrated by Lauren Soloy
Published by Greystone Books

A picture book biography that celebrates Maud Lewis and her artistic expression of joy and beauty.

Age Level

Kindergarten to grade 6

Curriculum Connections

Art, biography, history, Canadian artists, women artists, Nova Scotia, bullying, disability


For teachers --

Watch the NFB film Maud Lewis: A World Without Shadows with your students. Have them discuss what they think they would and wouldn’t like about living in Maud’s time.

Watch Maud Lewis at work in her little house in this 1965 clip from the CBC Archives with your students. Discuss what they found most surprising in the film.

For kids --

Find images of Maud Lewis’s paintings online. Choose a favourite and write to Kathy Stinson and tell her why you like it.

What do you find beautiful around where you live? Capture it in a painting, in the style of Maud Lewis or a style all your own.

If Maud Lewis was still alive, what question would you like to ask her?

Write about a time when things weren’t going right for you, and what you did to help yourself feel better about it.


... sadness in the telling... but there’s grace and beauty, too... In a word: beautiful.

Kirkus Reviews review

The artfully composed, graceful narrative draws attention to Maud’s keen eye, natural talent, and strength of spirit... A deep admiration and respect shines through this splendid, inspiring biography.

Quill & Quire review

... tears in my eyes... an exquisite biography! You captured Maude’s struggles and spirit and treated your subject and your young audience with respect. Brilliant! I am in complete admiration of this perfect picture book biography.

Kirby Larson, author of Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky

... an exceptional picture book biography... Soloy’s artwork is as exquisite as it is vibrant, and works as a perfect match to Stinson’s skilful approach to biographic storytelling.

Michelle Callaghan, librarian and book reviewer

Soloy perfectly captures Lewis’s joyful, colorful artistic style, while Stinson’s spare, evocative prose balances Lewis’s joy and hardships with grace.


[Stinson's] admiration and respect for Lewis permeate every page, while Soloy’s thick-lined, brightly colored illustrations capture the essence of Lewis’ joyous art... The book’s seamless blend of text and art provides a superb introduction to the work of a woman who found “beauty in the everyday.”


a fascinating and inspiring story... compelling and uplifting... clear attention to the details and wonder of the artist and the life she lived... superb accompanying artwork.

Sal's Fiction Addiction

This deeply sympathetic biography is testimony to a creative life that yielded joyful art.


Stinson's admiration for Maud Lewis shines through on every page. Soloy's captivating illustrations depict the hallmark's of Maud's folk art and the Nova Scotia countryside.

Canadian Children's Book News

... poignant... heartfelt... Soloy's illustrations are a glorious tribute to Lewis's art.

Globe & Mail

The overflowing-with-life art [of Maud Lewis] is lovingly emulated here, complementing the story... A great choice for biography and art shelves.



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