Book: Flora and the Penguin
Author: Molly Idle
Age Range: 3-5
Flora and the Penguin is a companion book to Molly Idle's Flora and the Flamingo. In this installment, young Flora is skating, apparently on an ice floe, when a little penguin comes up out of a hole in the ice. Flora and the penguin skate/dance together quite happily, until the penguin returns below the surface of the water, and comes back with a fish. Flora's initial rejection of the fish (she tosses it back into the hole) nearly ruins their budding friendship. But luckily, Flora is able to redeem herself, and the friends ice dance together again.
Flora and the Penguin is a wordless picture book with occasional flaps to lift. The illustrations, set against a white (the ice) and pale blue (the water, shown in profile below the ice) background are minimalist. Most of the story is conveyed through the facial expressions and, especially, the body language of Flora and the penguin. We see Flora, after she has thrown back the fish, lift her head and turn away in arrogant denial of wrong-doing. Then, lifting a flap, we see her peer back towards the penguin, remorseful. Personally, my favorite images where those of Flora and the penguin skating together, hand in flipper, graceful and free.
Those who enjoyed Flora and the Flamingo will be pleased to see Flora back in print for another adventure. Fans of wordless picture books in general (and I know there are many) will want to give Flora and the Penguin a look. It is not necessary to have read the other book first. Flora and the Penguin is a celebration of winter and ice, as well as friendship.
Publisher: Chronicle Books (@ChronicleKids)
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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