Although I'm a passionate lover of words, I'm in love with this gorgeously illustrated picture book for kids that tells an entire story about friendship, acceptance, and beauty. . . without a single word.
Flora and the Flamingo is pure delight for the young (and young-at-heart.) Even if your kids don't typically adore all-things-pink, or don't have a yearning to be a ballerina, you'll find that this book is so much more than that.
The story shows little Flora beside a tall, proud flamingo. She immediately tries to copy his poses, until the cheeky bird squawks at her, which gives her a tumble. What comes next is so lovely, you can almost hear the orchestra swelling: the two begin to dance and form an unlikely friendship.
And, yes, all of this is done without a single word. But while it's lacking in printed text, the illustrations are extraordinary and convey beautiful emotion. Former DreamWorks artist Molly Idle does a magnificant job of capturing the movement of the two characters, without a whole lot of "noise" on the pages. And children will love to lift the flaps to see how the story unfolds.
It's like discovering a wonderful silent movie, all heart and imagination.
I also appreciate how open to interpretation this story is. Very young kids will see this as a story of friendship. Older kids might want to talk about how they feel when a friend rejects them. And all ages may relate to how good it feels to move our bodies, even if we aren't all made of the stuff of prima ballerinas.
Here's a book I'll keep front-and-center on our bookshelf. Even though my kids have long graduated to reading books on their own, this is one they'll enjoy "reading" as a family, too. -Christina
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