FLAMINGO DREAM by Donna J. Napoli


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 10
Email this review


As a little girl tells of her father’s death from cancer, she mixes tender memories and great pain in an unvarnished account. She and her dad take a trip to the places in Florida he loved when growing up. Her dad is funny and silly, and wonders, as they collect pink and white flamingo feathers, if maybe she’s a flamingo at heart. When they come home, she sits with him after school every day. She knows he is dying, and she’s not surprised when he goes to the hospital for the last time. At his funeral service, all of his friends bring her flamingos, as her father had asked them to do after his death. She fills the yard with them, then knocks them down in pain and in anger. Later, she carefully stands them up again, and scatters her father’s ashes under their feet. When the flamingos disappear under the snow, she dreams that they—and her dad—went back to Florida for the winter. Her father made a Year Book on her birthday each year full of his photographs; she takes all the mementos and flamingo feathers and puts them together for her own Year Book. The art is a wonderful collage mix: objects, torn paper, and childlike drawings colored in pencil or crayon, echo the honesty and realism in the text and are exactly what this little girl would have drawn or collected. Napoli (Daughter of Venice, 2002, etc.), who has written many intense tales for children and for teenagers, takes a page from her own life (and a nephew’s death) here, and transforms it into a wrenching, powerful, four-hanky story. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-16796-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2002


ChildrenFAMILY LULLABY by Jody Fickes Shapiro
by Jody Fickes Shapiro
ChildrenAN ISLAND GROWS by Lola M. Schaefer
by Lola M. Schaefer
ChildrenEARTHSHAKE by Lisa Westberg Peters
by Lisa Westberg Peters