Flora and the Flamingo

Molly Schaar Idle, Author
Molly Idle. Chronicle, $16.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1006-6
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 02/01/2013
Open Ebook - 44 pages - 978-1-4521-2771-2
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Without providing a backstory for the eponymous pair’s curious meeting, Idle (Nighty Night, Noah) imagines a wordless encounter between a lithe, sultry flamingo and a pudgy little girl in a bathing suit, swim cap, and flippers. The call-and-response nature of their dance—the flamingo poses in a series of sinuous movements on the left, Flora does her awkward best to mimic them on the right—produces a series of beautifully lighthearted tableaus. At first, Flora models her movements on the flamingo’s, unbeknownst to the bird. A series of stumbles draws a sharp reaction from the flamingo and a sulk from Flora, but the flamingo relents and the two collaborate on a graceful duet that ends with a joyous flourish. Inset flaps add drama by revealing new poses, and Idle’s crisp, confident drafting produces a reading experience akin to flipping through a series of animation cells. There’s an undertone of a growing-up story, too, as Flora almost seems to shed childhood self-consciousness and take her first tentative steps into womanhood. It’s seamless and dynamic visual storytelling. Ages 3–up. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Mar.)
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