flora and the flamingo

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

There are oh so many ballet books out there for little ballerinas who look for tulle and pointe shoes.  So it was with that bias and perhaps a cringe or two that I opened this book.  Inside it’s very pink cover is a very pink world that is pure pink fabulousness!  In this wordless book, Flora meets the flamingo and immediately imitates its stance and attitude.  Then the flamingo launches into a dance that Flora struggles to match in her swimcap and flippers.  It all goes well until Flora loses her footing and flops into the water.  What happens next speaks to what friends should do when they see someone take a flop.  Start again with plenty of support.  All this with no words!

Idle has a stunning simplicity in this book.  It has the draw of flaps to open, but that is all about the dance and the movement.  There is a pleasure in lengthening the dance by having the two of them dance movements again and again by opening and closing the flaps.  It turns readers into storytellers in a way that is engaging and free, just as this entire book is throughout. 

I love Flora and her lack of tulle and ballet outfit.  Instead wearing her swim gear, she is able to mimic the flamingo all the better.  It takes the emphasis off of the clothes of ballet and back to the dance itself.  Now all children need is a friendly flamingo.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.