A husband and wife author–illustrator team give life to a precocious young girl named Flo.
Florence, or Flo, is an imaginative kid who’s confident in what she knows. The universal appeal and relatable nature of such a character is undeniable, and author Gloria Barone Rosanio and illustrator Jim Rosanio help young readers get to know her. In this story of childhood self-confidence inspired by the Rosanios’ daughter, Flo knows all the fanciful things children know—like how rainbows are painted and how the moon naps at night. Flo loves to wear flip flops and she relishes the day school gets out so she can have the summertime glee of free feet; but when summer is over, Flo and her feet face a challenge. At times the rhymes feel forced: “Flo waits for school to get out so her flip flops can go on without a doubt!” The story arc is uneven: a bit too slow at the beginning and too fast at the end. As a result, young readers will miss an emotional attachment to Flo and they won’t feel a strong pull toward the tension or action in the book. Overall, the Rosanios’ effort falls short of the read-over-and-over quality found in the best picture books, yet kids can still enjoy it. Children will love the well-rendered, clear and colorful pictures. Also, part of the proceeds from the book are used to buy shoes for kids in need through Shoes That Fit—a benevolent tie-in to Flo’s footwear obsession.
Steeped in love for their child and the playfulness of childhood, the Rosanios craft an enjoyable, visually appealing story.