Tag Archive: ice skating


flora and the penguin

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

This is a delightful wintry follow-up to Flora and the Flamingo, a book that stole my heart when it came out.  With clear connections to the ballet of the first book, this second book has Flora on ice skates swirling with a penguin.  Flora puts on her skates and the penguin climbs out of the water and the two glide together across the page, through different flaps to lift, landing synchronized jumps side-by-side.  But then the penguin disappears back into the water and Flora is left skating alone.  The penguin returns with a fish for Flora, but Flora tosses it back into the water.  The penguin is entirely angry and dejected, so Flora figures out how to repair the budding friendship. 

Idle tells so much in her wordless books.  Who knew that a penguin could communicate so very clearly with the tip of its head, the tilt of its wings and the set of its shoulders.  Flora too communicates her feelings clearly on the page to great effect.  It’s a book that explores friendship, dance and the joy of winter play.

The illustrations are top notch, they invite the reader to glide along with them.  The flaps on different pages are ingenious ways to have readers participate, culminating in one amazing jump the two characters do together.  They amazingly leap right off the page, or perhaps it’s the book that leaps out to catch them.  Beautiful, icy and pure joy.

Another magnificent offering by Molly Idle, this book will be embraced by fans of the first and will make a great holiday gift.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.

bunnies on ice

Bunnies on Ice by Johanna Wright

This icy read is just right for a very cold winter day, like we have been having here in Wisconsin.  One little bunny thinks that she is a champion ice-skater.  As a champion, she has to wait for conditions to be just right, even if it means waiting through spring, summer and fall!  When the waiting is finally over, she has to eat a big breakfast to prepare.  Clothing selection is also important, enough layers to be warm, but not too many.  Finally, it is time to skate her adoring fans.  She demonstrates her high level of skill, well, almost.  The day ends with hot chocolate, a warm bath and a cozy bed.  The perfect ending for a champion day.

Wright has created a cheery book about not only ice skating but the wonder of big dreams.  It is a delight to find a picture book with a young girl exhibiting such strong self-esteem with no hesitation.  Wright nicely weaves in the truth behind the little girl’s dreams.  This happens particularly when the actual skating begins and readers discover that she’s not really a champion ice skater. 

In her illustrations, Wright creates a cozy world.  There is the rabbit’s home inside a large tree that is filled with deep colors that evoke a warmth.  This contrasts nicely with the blues of the outdoors and the white of the snow.  The entire book exudes a cluttered friendliness and family-centered cheer.

Sparkling with ice and plenty of bravado, this picture book will inspire children to dream big themselves.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.

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