GoodReads Choice Awards 2014 – The Winners

The winners of the GoodReads Choice Awards have been announced.  The awards are voted on by GoodReads users.  Here are the winners in the youth categories:

MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN’S

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

PICTURE BOOKS

The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Review: Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

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.