Tulips for Breakfast is set in Amsterdam during the Second World War, from the arrival of the German army to liberation.
For much of this time, Adelena lives in hiding in the home of her music teacher. Her Jewish parents, who fled pre-war Germany with Adelena, have left her in the care of someone else in the belief their only child's chances of survival are greatest if she can remain in hiding for as long as it takes to be free again.
Adelena feels abandoned but finds a way to adjust, her heart warmed by memories.
A powerful and relatable tale of life, death, friendship and the ability of the human spirit to both endure and transcend evil.
A fascinating aspect of the story is that the character of Adelena is loosely based on the real-life Hanneli Goslar-Pick, who was a friend and playmate of Anne Frank. The elderly Hanneli Goslar-Pick, recently passed away in Israel, had written to the writer, encouraging her to tell the next generation what happened.
The author researched widely and interviewed former Hidden children to gain first-hand accounts and experiences to ensure the narrative’s emotional and historical authenticity.
The story was also partly inspired by many of the stories the author’s father recounted during her childhood. He grew up in a Catholic, non-Nazi supporting household in south-west Germany in WWII.
One of his many poignant stories was that his mother came across a Gestapo officer’s greatcoat. These coats were made of the best wool and expertly manufactured. She unpicked the garment, dyed the wool so no one would recognise it, and she made him his first suit and a smaller jacket for another child out of the material. It became a symbol to show that something representing oppression could be turned into something positive and useful.
The author’s father also had young Jewish friends who simply began to ‘disappear’ during the late 1930s.
Though set in WWII, issues of confinement and reduced freedoms resonate with young people today who have experienced similar lifestyle changes due to COVID.
About The Author
A South Australian-born journalist and communications specialist and awarded children’s writer, Catherine Bauer grew up in Adelaide, where she lives with her three sons and three cats. When not working full time as a Media Adviser, Catherine writes, reads, enjoys theatre, keeping fit, and enjoying plenty of chocolate.