A pink flamingo finds his place in a monochromatic world.
The story opens with the information that “Zac the zebra and Poncho the panda are like two peas in a pod,” but readers quickly learn that the story revolves around Filippo, a blotchily pink flamingo desperate to be their friend. Filippo repeatedly asks the black-and-white animals if he can play with them and is met with refusal and ridicule on the grounds of his pinkness. His family members defend their hue with various logical explanations, but nothing soothes the hurt of exclusion, and Filippo worries that “Pink is for crybabies and silly princesses.” But Ludo the lemur, lurking in the background of almost every spread, comes up to the sobbing flamingo and explains everything he loves about the color pink, ending with “I’m black and white, but I’d love to play with you.” The story ends with a whole crew of colorful animals playing together (sans panda and zebra). Bursts of color and rough, expressive animal cartoons carry the otherwise humdrum and uneven story. The use of present tense, abrupt transitions, and depthless prose fails to elevate the tried-and-tired you’re-great-as-you-are narrative seen in countless other picture books.
Look elsewhere, whether in search of a story about conformity, friendship, or just the color pink. (Picture book. 3-6)